USB-C will be mandatory for phones sold in the EU by fall 2024

EU legislators reached an agreement on legislation that all future smartphones sold in the EU – including Apple’s iPhone – will be required to be equipped with a universal USB-C port for wired charging by fall 2024. The rule will also apply to other electronic devices including tablets. and digital cameras, headphones, portable video game consoles and e-readers.

The legislation has been under consideration for years, but agreement on its scope and details was reached this morning after negotiations between various EU bodies.

The European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection announced the news in a tweet Ahead of the press conference scheduled for 12:30 CET (6:30 AM ET) later today. The legislation still needs to be approved by the EU Parliament and Council later this year, but this appears to be more of a formality than anything else. in press releaseThe European Parliament has stated that the law will be in effect “by the autumn of 2024”.

“Today we made Shared Charger a reality in Europe!” European Parliament Rapporteur Alex Agios Saliba said in a statement. “European consumers have long been frustrated with the backlog of multiple chargers with each new device. Now they will be able to use one charger for all their portable electronic devices.” The legislation will also include provisions designed to deal with wireless chargers, as well as harmonizing fast charging standards.

The rules are an attempt to reduce e-waste in the European Union by making chargers for electronic devices interoperable. In the future, lawmakers hope the phones will not need a charger in the box because buyers will already have the appropriate cable and wall charger at home. The European Union estimates that the rules could save consumers 250 million euros a year on “unnecessary shipper purchases” and reduce about 11,000 tons of e-waste annually.

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The agreement will have the biggest impact on Apple, which is the only major smartphone maker to still use a proprietary port instead of USB-C. In 2021, Apple sold 241 million iPhones globally, of which about 56 million were sold in Europe. The EU press release specifically states that the rules apply to devices that are “rechargeable via a wired cable”, i.e. a device that Wireless charging only It does not need to be equipped with a USB-C port.

The European Commission has announced current plans for the legislation last septemberbut the bloc’s efforts to force manufacturers to use a common charging standard go way back more than a decade. In the years since, Android manufacturers have converged on micro USB and then USB-C as the common charging standard of choice, while Apple has moved from offering phones with its own 30-pin connector to Lightning.

Apple has backed off attempts by the European Union to force it to use USB-C on its phones. “We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating only one type of connector stifles rather than encourages innovation, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” a spokesperson Tell Reuters last year. He’s also argued that forcing a switch to USB-C would be too Create e-waste rather than reduce it, as it would make its current ecosystem of Lightning accessories redundant.

However, there have been reports from within Apple that the company may be preparing to switch its iPhones to charge via USB-C. Bloomberg mentioned Last month, the company was testing iPhones with USB-C internally, and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed it could make the switch. Early next year. Away from its phones, Apple has been a huge supporter of the USB-C standard, and already uses it on high-end laptops and iPads.

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