The EU has finally passed a law mandating that all new smartphones must have a USB-C Type-C charging port from the end of 2024. It’s been a long time coming – ten years in fact – according to European Parliament. The new law applies to a plethora of technology, but it’s the smartphone market that this will affect the most, most notably Apple, which has avoided the use of USB-C thus far.
Under the new ruling, consumers will no longer need a different charger every time they purchase a new device. Instead, a single charger will be able to be used for a whole range of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices, regardless of their manufacturer. The new law is part of a broader EU effort to reduce e-waste and to empower consumers to make more sustainable choices.
So, by the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras sold in the EU will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port and from spring 2026, the obligation will also extend to laptops.
Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT) said: “The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe. We have waited more than ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of chargers in the past. This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone - from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment. These are difficult times for politics, but we have shown that the EU has not run out of ideas or solutions to improve the lives of millions in Europe and inspire other parts of the world to follow suit.”
Apple to be the most affected manufacturer
As the only mainstream smartphone manufacturer not already using USB-C ports, Apple will be most affected by the new law. Despite rumors that due to the looming legislation, Apple would release the Pro model of the new iPhone 14 family with USB-C ports, they have continued to use their dated proprietary Lightning port for the new series. This new law does however mean that, within the EU, the technology giant will have to switch to USB-C, within a couple of years. Whether we see the swap happen for the iPhone 16 or if Apple holds out as long as possible and swaps for the iPhone 17 launch, remains to be seen.