Europe to make all smartphones, laptops adopt USB-C power charging

The EU ruling could become a de facto global standard, forcing even Apple and its iPhones to comply.

By David Flynn, June 14 2022
Europe to make all smartphones, laptops adopt USB-C power charging

Life could soon become a lot easier for technology-toting travellers, with just a single cable to pack for charging all your devices.

Under a new ruling by European lawmakers, all mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, cameras, headphones and earbuds sold within the EU will have to feature a USB-C charging port by late 2024.

This will include Apple’s iPhones, all of which have relied on the company’s proprietary Lightning socket since 2012, although several recent iPads have already moved to USB-C.

Selling an iPhone with a Lightning-to-USB-C adaptor won’t cut it under the new EU laws, meaning Apple will be forced to produce a seperate line of ‘made for Europe’ iPhones with USB-C ports, or standardise on USB-C across all its iPhones.

Under the company’s annual release pattern, the iPhone 16 is due in 2024.

“European consumers were frustrated with multiple chargers piling up within their homes,” European Parliament spokesman Alex Agius Saliba said at a press briefing in Brussels.

“Now they will be able to go with a single charger for all portable electronics, which is an important step to increase consumer convenience.”

Although there’s been a gradual industry trend towards USB-C, some devices from brands other than Apple still rely on micro-USB sockets.

The EU rules also outline standards for fast charging technology and 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 said the ruling would save around €250 million ($372 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.

Other devices covered under the USB-C ruling include portable speakers, navigation systems, keyboards and mice, and handheld video game consoles.

All laptops sold within the EU will also need to be powered through USB-C ports, although laptop manufacturers have been given until the end of 2027 to make the change-over.

The European Parliament and European Council are expected to give formal approval to the agreement in the coming months.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 333

Bad bad move Ive had USB C charging on  Lenovo Laptop wear out and burn out less than a year after purchase, and they wear out on mobile phones as well.  Clearly electronic goods are not made to last more than a year and longer, so who cares what charging  socket type is used?

05 Jan 2018

Total posts 47

they should have made magsafe compulsory

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