EU lawmakers agreed today to make USB -C the standard charging port on all phones and other electronic devices that will be sold in Europe by 2024. The new legislation aims to reduce electronic waste, and it should impact Apple and its proprietary Lightning port in a pretty big way.
The EU’s Radio Equipment Directive will apply to many electronic devices that are rechargeable via a wired cable. ”The charging speed is also harmonised for devices that support fast charging, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger,” the EU press release reads.
Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba boldly said today that the EU has “made the common charger a reality in Europe.” The rapporteur added that the new legislation will also include provisions to address wireless charging technologies, which the EU also wants to make interoperable.
“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 labelling for consumers,” the rapporteur said.
This new legislation will still need to be formally approved by the EU Parliament and Council later this year before it can come into effect by 2024. However, we may not have to wait that long to see Apple finally give up on its proprietary Lightning port. Last month, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the first USB-C iPhone could be released next year.