EU Forces Apple to Switch to USB-C Chargers In iPhones

EU Forces Apple to Switch to USB-C Chargers In iPhones

Apple will be forced to change the charger used in its iPhone models sold in the European Union (EU) from Autumn 2024.

The EU has finally passed the new ruling mandating that a single, universal charging port be used for most electronic devices. The body has been mulling the new ruling, forcing companies to use USB-C chargers found on most Android smartphones.

The reform passed with a substantial majority in the European Parliament on Tuesday from all 27 member states. The ruling will also apply to laptops from 2026, though most manufacturers – including Apple – already use USB-C chargers for these devices.

The deal would also cover e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle devices, ear buds, such as Apple’s AirPods, and other rechargeable devices. Thankfully, old chargers would not be outlawed, allowing consumers to continue using existing older devices.

“The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe,” said Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba, who serves as the parliament’s rapporteur.

“We have waited more than 10 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. These are difficult times for politics, but we have shown that the EU has not run out of ideas or solutions to improve the lives of millions in Europe and inspire other parts of the world to follow suit.”

In 2019, the European Commission found that half the phones sold in 2018 had a USB micro-B connecter, while 29% used USB-C, and 21% had a Lightning connector. However, USB micro-B has become effectively obsolete, suggesting that more companies would switch to USB-C.

The EU has called on other countries to follow suit with the Commission estimating that a single charger would save consumers around €250 million or around $380 million.

Apple, Samsung, and Huawei were not immediately available for comment when approached by Reuters. However, the California-based company has previously said that switching to a universal charger (read: USB-C rather than its own Lightning Cable) would harm innovation and create more electronic waste.




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