Life will soon become a lot easier for technology-toting travellers, with just a single cable to pack for charging all your devices – yes, even including Apple’s iPhones.
An Apple executive has confirmed the company will fall in line with a new European law to make USB-C the standard socket and connector for battery charging by the end of 2024.
“Obviously, we’ll have to comply,” Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing, Greg Joswiak, told The Wall Street Journal. “We have no choice.”
That means an end to the Apple-designed Lightning connector, launched in 2012 to replace the original 30-pin dock connector of the early iPhones and iPads.
However, Joswiak declined to say if the USB-C iPhone would be exclusively for Europe – an expensive move – or if Apple would adopt USB-C for all iPhones sold worldwide.
Apple is already reported to be testing a USB-C version of the iPhone, which could make its debut in next year’s iPhone 15 – but it will certainly need to be in place for the iPhone 16 series of 2024, as the EU directive requires that as of January 1, 2025 all mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable speakers, headphones and earbuds sold within the EU will have to include a USB-C charging port.
As previously reported, Apple is also moving towards an iPhone without physical SIM card slots, replacing that with dual eSIM modules.
In addition, all laptops sold within the EU by mid-2026 will also need to be powered through USB-C.
The new rules will also specify all devices which support fast charging will have the same charging speed when connected with any compatible charger, while also moving towards standardised wireless charging rather than brand-specific technology.
“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,” said European Parliament spokesman Alex Agius Saliba, who added that consumers were tired of “multiple chargers piling up within their homes.”
“Now they will be able to go with a single charger for all portable electronics, which is an important step to increase consumer convenience.”
The EU rules also give consumers the right to choose whether to buy new devices with or without a charger, given that a single USB-C adaptor could be used by every device.
“One in every three chargers that is bundled with these products is never opened from its original packaging,” Saliba claimed.
EU industry chief Thierry Breton predicts the ruling would save around €250 million for consumers.
“It will also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to emerge and to mature without letting innovation become a source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience,” he added, as the EU will also have the power to harmonise next-gen wireless charging systems.