Goodbye Lightning port? EU votes to make USB-C the charging standard by the end of 2024

What happened now? The European Parliament has voted in favor of EU legislation that would make USB-C the universal charging format for numerous consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone, by the end of 2024.

The European Commission’s more than a decade-long struggle for a universal charging solution seemed almost over in June when EU lawmakers finalized legislation that would require all phones, tablets and other small electronics sold in the region to have USB-C charging ports. reduction of e-waste.

Today, the European Parliament voted in favor of the rule and, as expected, it was passed by a wide margin: 602 votes in favour, 13 against and eight abstentions. It still needs final approval by the Council, but this step is considered a formality.

The directive will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the EU, and its requirements will apply to new devices after 24 months (40 months for laptops). Any products that went on sale prior to the filing date are exempt from tax and may continue to be sold after that date.

The full list of electronic devices subject to the law includes e-readers, in-ear headphones, keyboards, computer mice, portable navigation devices, smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, portable game consoles, and portable speakers that can be charged via a wired compound. cable and works with power up to 100 watts. Laptops are also on the list, although they have until spring 2026 to make the switch.

Items too small to use USB-C charging ports, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, will be exempt from the regulation, but legislation could eventually be expanded to cover these items.

The commission also hopes to have a wireless charging standard by the end of 2024 as the technology spreads. There have been rumors that Apple is considering an iPhone without ports that can only be charged wirelessly.

Of course, the biggest company affected by the change will be Apple. Even though the Cupertino-based iPad line has moved to USB-C, its iPhones still feature Apple’s signature Lightning ports. However, the company is expected to release the first iPhone with USB-C in 2023, before EU law forces it to do so.

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