EU Declares: It’s USB-C Charging or Nothing

Apple’s Lightning port may be in trouble

Digging around for just the right charger can take the better part of an afternoon, but Europe is putting an end to this particular 21st-century gripe. 

After a decade of debate, the EU has released legislation dictating that USB-C chargers become the mandatory standard for smartphones by 2024, as announced by a press release from the European Parliament.

EU USB-C

EU Parliament

This legislation includes Apple products, potentially forcing the company to swap out its proprietary Lightning port with a standard USB-C port moving forward. In addition to smartphones, the ruling also applies to other gadgets like tablets, e-readers, cameras, gaming consoles, and more. 

Laptops are also in the crosshairs of this ruling, but with a later and undefined time frame for compliance. 

"European consumers were frustrated long with multiple chargers piling up with every new device," said European Parliament's rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba. "Now they will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics." 

This legislation also includes language to coordinate fast-charging standards as an attempt to address future concerns beyond 2024. The ruling still needs to be formally approved by the EU Parliament and Council, but this appears to be something of a formality. 

The EU estimates that this legislation will save consumers €250 per year on "unnecessary charger purchases” and eliminate 11,000 tons of e-waste every year. 

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