With the support of the European Parliament, USB-C is now the accepted charging port for a variety of device types. There are numerous categories, including cameras, smartphones, and tablets. Apple has been using the exclusive Lightning connecter on iPhones and AirPods as well as other accessories, despite the fact that many OEMs are already using Type-C for charging and data transfer. To comply with the new law, Apple must make sure that all upcoming iPhones that ship by the end of 2024 support Type-C.
European Parliament released a press release stating its decision to make Type-C the only charging method for devices:
Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charger every time they purchase a new device, as they will be able to use one single charger for a whole range of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.
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 navigations 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.
All devices that support fast charging will now have the same charging speed, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger.
The new law will force manufacturers to use the USB Power Delivery standard for fast charging, even though it wasn’t mentioned in the announcement. This won’t stop the manufacturers from implementing their own fast charging standards, though. As long as they also support USB Power Delivery, manufacturers will still be able to offer their own proprietary fast charging standards on their products. The European Commission is planning to implement interoperability requirements by the end of 2024 because the new law does not address wireless charging.
Smart watches, fitness trackers, and some sporting goods that are too small to have a USB-C port will be exempt, but it is anticipated that the law will eventually apply to more devices. Additionally, businesses will need to make sure that specific labels clearly inform customers about the charging capabilities of the devices they purchase.
It should be noted that before this directive is published in the EU Official Journal, the European Council must still officially approve it. After it is published, the law will take effect 20 days later. Member states will have 12 months to rearrange the regulations and another 12 months to put them into effect following the transposition period. Products that hit the market prior to the application date are exempt from the law’s application.
Apple is testing an iPhone model with a USB-C port rather than a Lightning port, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The iPhone 15 in 2023, according to Kuo, could be the first iPhone to use USB-C, with AirPods and other accessories following later. With this timing, Apple would be able to convert many of its affected devices to USB-C before the EU directive took effect.