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It's done! USB-C to become mandatory for smartphones in EU starting 2024
- The EU has reached an agreement to make USB-C mandatory for all phones starting 2024, including Apple’s iPhones.
- Buyers will get to choose whether they want to buy new phones with or without a charger.
- The new EU rules would not apply to products placed on the market before the date of the agreement.
European lawmakers reached an agreement today mandating all phones, tablets, and cameras sold in the region to have a common USB-C charging port. The new law will also apply to Apple’s iPhones that currently use a Lightning port for charging.
Under the amended rules, all future smartphones sold in the EU, including iPhones, need to have a USB-C port for charging by fall 2024. Consumers will no longer need a different charging device and cable every time they purchase a new device and can use one charger for all small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.
That said, the rules only apply to devices that charge via a wired cable and not those that only charge wirelessly.
“Today we have made the common charger a reality in Europe! European consumers were frustrated long with multiple chargers piling up with every new device. Now they will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics,” said the European Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba.
“We are proud that laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mice, and portable navigation devices are also included in addition to smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles, and portable speakers. We have also added provisions on wireless charging being the next evolution in the charging technology and improved information and labeling for consumers,” he went on to say.
Buyers will get to choose if they want to buy new phones with or without a charger.
Buyers will be provided clear information on the charging characteristics of new devices, making it easier for them to see whether their existing chargers are compatible. They’ll also be able to choose whether they want to buy new phones with or without a charger. It’s unclear if manufacturers will have to have both packaging options in Europe or if they’ll be obliged to provide an in-box charger should buyers want one.
“These new obligations will lead to more re-use of chargers and will help consumers save up to €250 million a year on unnecessary charger purchases. Disposed of and unused chargers are estimated to represent about 11,000 tonnes of e-waste annually,” the European Parliament noted in a press release.
What about older phones with no USB-C ports? Well, the new EU rules would not apply to products placed on the market before the new regulations come into effect after 24 months.