The EU has voted to have USB-C become the common charger standard for a range of mobile devices by the end of 2024, which will require Apple to make some drastic changes in particular.
The directive means that Apple will be forced to phase out its proprietary Lightning port standard within the next two years if it continues to sell iPhones and AirPods in the European Union.
MEPs voted overwhelmingly in favor of the measure, with 602 votes in favor, 13 votes against and eight abstentions. This is the first time such a uniform ruling on a universal charging standard has been applied.
“By the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will need to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port,” it said. Press release. The regulation will be extended to laptops from spring 2026.
“Regardless of manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, portable game consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, in-ear headphones and laptops that are charged via a wired cable, work with up to 100W must be equipped with a USB Type-C port,” the statement said.
Devices that are too small to support a USB-C port, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, will be exempt.
The EU claims that this switch to USB-C will promote technological innovation and help the environment. By encouraging the reuse of existing chargers, the EU expects this will help consumers save up to 250 million euros a year on unnecessary charger purchases.
Thankfully, Apple has been advised to drop its Lightning standard for the iPhone 15 next year.