EU lawmakers have reached agreement on legislation that would force all future smartphones sold in the EU, including Apple’s iPhone, to have a universal USB-C port for wired charging by the fall of 2024.
The rule also applies to other electronic devices, including tablets, digital cameras, headphones, portable video game consoles, and e-readers.
The legislation had been under consideration for years. But agreement on its scope and details was reached after negotiations between various EU bodies.
The European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection announced the news in a tweet . The legislation still needs to be approved by the EU Parliament and Council later this year. But this is a formality.
The European Parliament has stated that the law will be effective by the fall of 2024. He said: We have made the common shipper a reality in Europe. There was frustration due to the accumulation of multiple chargers with each new device. One charger can now be used for all portable electronic devices.
The legislation also includes provisions designed to deal with wireless chargers, as well as to coordinate fast charging standards.
The rules represent an attempt to reduce e-waste in the European Union by making chargers for electronic devices interoperable.
In the future, lawmakers hope the phones won’t need a charger in the box because buyers have the right charger and cable 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.
EU: iPhone should have USB-C port by 2024
The agreement has the biggest impact on Apple, the only leading smartphone maker that still uses a proprietary port instead of USB-C.
In 2021, the company sold 241 million iPhones globally, and about 56 million of them were sold in Europe.
The EU press release states that the rules apply to devices that are rechargeable via a wired cable. This means that a device that charges only wirelessly will not need to be equipped with a USB-C port.
The European Commission announced current plans for the legislation last September. But the bloc’s efforts to force manufacturers to use a common charging standard date back more than a decade.
And in the years since, Android manufacturers have converged on micro USB and then USB-C as the preferred common charging standard. While Apple has moved from offering phones with its own 30-pin connector to Lightning.
Apple has faced attempts by the European Union to force it to use USB-C on its phones. A company spokesperson said last year: “We remain concerned that strict regulation of just one type of connector is stifling rather than encouraging innovation, which in turn is hurting consumers in Europe and around the world.”
It has also argued that forcing the switch to USB-C does rather than reduce electronic waste, as it renders its current ecosystem of Lightning accessories redundant.
However, there have been reports from within the company that it may be preparing to supply a USB-C port to iPhones. And Bloomberg reported last month that Apple was internally testing an iPhone with USB-C. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the transfer could be made as early as next year.
Aside from its phones, Apple has been a big supporter of the USB-C standard, and uses it on its laptops and high-end iPads.