The European Parliament approved today new rules that will force phone manufacturers to use a USB-C port for charging starting in 2024. The new law will apply to all phones, tablets, and cameras sold in Europe, and it will also apply to laptops starting in spring 2026.
“The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe. We have waited more than ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of chargers in the past. This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone – from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment,” said Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba.
This is very good news for consumers who will no longer have to deal with different charging cables, and that’s ultimately good for the environment as well. According to the EU, the new law will help European consumers save up to €250 million a year on unnecessary charger purchases.
The new law comes from an EU effort to address the ecosystem lock-in effect created by proprietary technologies such as Apple’s Lightning port, or different wireless charging standards. “As wireless charging becomes more prevalent, the European Commission will have to harmonize interoperability requirements by the end of 2024, to avoid having a negative impact on consumers and the environment,” the EU Parliament said in a press release today.
Apple is expected to ship its first iPhones using a USB-C port for charging in 2024, which will be quite timely. Before that, the company’s next entry-level iPad is also expected to switch to USB-C after the iPad Pro and iPad Air product lines previously did so.