By September 2024, USB Type-C will become the standard charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras in the European Union. This was announced after the European Parliament (EP) and Council negotiators came to an agreement.
The USB-C becomes the standard port for both charging and data transfers. Following the announcement in June, the European Parliament said the port will become mandatory for phones, tablets, and cameras in 2024. However, the EU has given laptop manufacturers a longer grace period till 2026.
The regulations mean consumers within the EU will not be obligated to purchase a different charging device and cable every time they purchase a new device or change the brand. Thus, they will be able to use one single charger for all of their small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.
Furthermore, the regulation has standardized the charging speeds and power delivery of the cables. This move ensures devices can work and recharge at the same speed using a compatible charger.
“Regardless of their manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port.”: read part of the statement from the European Parliament.
EU USB-C Regulation to Impact the World
Consumers from across the globe are likely to be impacted by the move. EU regulations e.g. the GDPR have often had effects across the globe. Thus, the USB-C port is likely to become standard for all devices across the world.
Needless to say, Apple is likely to be the most affected by the regulations. The company is currently the only major smartphone manufacturer not using a USB-C port.
In 2021, Apple sold about 56 million iPhones in Europe. This makes the EU, a major market for the company. Importantly, it is rumoured Apple is to drop its Lightning port with the release of the iPhone 15 in 2023.
The EU believes the regulations will achieve two things. First, ease the burden on consumers who no longer have to buy accessories they already possess. Its estimated consumers will save 250 million Euros per year on “unnecessary charger purchases.”
Secondly, the EU envisions a drop-in e-waste by about 11,000 tonnes annually. The lawmakers would like to unbundle a charger as part of a phone purchase, hence, making life easier for consumers.