The European Union requires all devices to use USB-C as a universal charging port by the fall of 2024

About two months ago, the European Union passed a proposal to establish USB-C as the standard port for all devices such as smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and handheld game consoles. Charging ports and fast charging technology will be harmonized to create a common charging solution for all related devices.

Recently, the European Union reached an agreement on legislation for a universal charging solution that will make all mobile phones sold in the EU mandatory to have a USB-C port by the autumn of 2024. Although the bill still needs to be approved by the EU Parliament and the Council, considering that the parties have basically reached an agreement on the details, it is only a matter of process and form in the end. After more than a decade of work, an agreement on a universal charging solution has finally been reached between the different EU agencies.

iPhone 11 USB-C

In addition to establishing USB-C as a unified standard port, the EU exempts devices that are too small to have a USB-C port, such as smartwatches, fitness trackers, and some sports wearables. In addition, the EU also recommends that chargers and electronic equipment be sold separately to improve consumer convenience and reduce the production and disposal of chargers to effectively support environmental protection and digital transformation. The EU estimates that the new bill could save consumers 250 million euros a year in buying unnecessary charging heads and reduce e-waste by around 11,000 tonnes a year.

The EU’s new rules will provide a 24-month grace period for all devices, extending the grace period to 40 months for laptops. The reason is that the EU wants notebooks to use the PD 3.1 standard, which is suitable for 100W to 240W power adapters to meet the charging needs of some high-end models.

As the only smartphone maker on the market that still uses a proprietary Lightning port instead of a USB-C port, Apple is clearly the one most affected. According to statistics, Apple will sell 241 million iPhones worldwide in 2021, of which about 56 million will be sold in Europe.