From autumn 2024, all smartphones sold in the EU must be equipped with a USB-C port for wired charging.
Does Apple have to switch from Lightning to USB-C from 2024?
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The legislators of the European Union agreed on a new regulation this week. According to this, by autumn 2024 all smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, handhelds, e-readers and headphones sold in the EU must be equipped with a universal USB-C connector for charging via cable.
New law from autumn 2024
After the EU bodies have come to an agreement on the scope and the details, the legislation still has to be passed by the EU Parliament and the EU Council this year. As the European Parliament explained in a press release, the law should come into force by autumn 2024.
“European consumers have long been frustrated by the accumulation of multiple chargers with every new device. Now they will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronic devices,”
said Alex Agius Saliba, rapporteur of the European Parliament. The legislation is also expected to set standards for fast charging technology and wireless chargers.
EU forces Apple to switch
The new law aims to save around 11,000 tons of electronic waste annually in the EU. While the majority of smartphone manufacturers are already using USB-C, Apple still uses a proprietary connection for its mobile devices. The EU decision should therefore have a major impact on the US company.
So far, Apple has resisted the EU’s USB-C requirement, arguing that the switch would cause e-waste since Lightning accessories would then become superfluous. According to Apple, strict regulations on one type of connector would also prevent innovations.