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EU passes law for universal charger in 2024 that could affect Apple

Megan Robinson
October 4, 2022

The European Parliament says the law will be beneficial for the environment and gives consumers the choice to purchase a device with or without a charger

The European Parliament has passed a law for Apple and other manufacturers to move to the USB-C charging port.

The move has been debated for months, with a previous Mobile News article outlining the EU’s plans to make the move in 2024.

The law will mostly affect Apple as it still produces its own Lightning cable, but it is reported that Apple could be working towards changing to a USB-C on the iPhone as it has already done with the MacBook and iPad.

All new mobile phones, tablets, headphones, cameras, speakers, etc., sold in the EU by the end of 2024 will be required to have a USB Type-C charging port, and this will extend to laptops in 2026.

The new law had 602 votes in favour with 13 against and eight abstentions. New obligations will encourage re-use of chargers and is part of a wide effort across the EU to reduce e-waste- but the UK will not have to follow suit.

European Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba 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”

Analyst comment 

Ben Wood of CCS Insight believes the EU made the right decision

CCS Insight chief analyst Ben Wood added: “It is now inevitable that Apple will have to capitulate and transition to USB-C on the iPhone 15 when it arrives in 2023.”

“This is a victory for common sense. Although Apple has a huge installed base of lighting cable powered devices, the ubiquity of USB-C across all consumer electronics products means that harmonising on USB-C makes perfect sense.”

“Irrespective of whether the UK government mandates the move to USB-C or not, UK consumers will get the technology by default. It will make no sense for consumer electronics manufacturers to offer devices with anything else.”

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