USB-C May Be the Common Charging Solution Globally By 2024 After New EU Legislation

Almost, if not all, electronic devices, from smartphones to laptops, could soon adopt a common charging solution – USB-C – thanks to a new deal by the European Union (EU). This new legislation may make USB-C charging a common solution worldwide as it will probably cost more for manufacturers to develop two different standards of charging for their devices.


Credit: Mark Urbenz via Unsplash

Legislators from the international organisation on Tuesday have reached a provisional agreement to make USB Type-C the mandatory charging port for over 15 categories of small and medium-sized electronics by autumn 2024, as the New York Times reports. The ruling not only covers smartphones and laptops, as previously mentioned, but also tablets, e-readers, headphones, portable speakers, digital cameras and handheld game consoles, among others.


The agreement must still be voted upon by the European Parliament and Council later this summer before it can be approved by the EU’s Radio Equipment Directive. This part of the legislative process, however, is said to be just a formality. The new mandate then goes into force 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal, with device manufacturers being given 24 months to comply. The only exception are laptop makers, who will be given more time to implement the common charging solution – after 40 months, to be specific.


“Today we have made the common charger a reality in Europe!” said European Parliament rapporteur Alex Saliba. “European consumers were frustrated long with multiple chargers piling up with every new device. Now they will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics.”


The agreement also requires fast charging speeds to be harmonised across different chargers. Along with this, customers must additionally be able to choose whether to buy devices with or without bundled chargers, which could save them from spending extra on accessories they might not actually need.


After almost a decade of deliberation and talks, the EU agreement is finally taking a significant step forward in its bid to reduce excess spending for customers and minimise e-waste produced by electronic devices. EU lawmakers claim chargers are estimated to represent about 11,000 tonnes of per year.


iPhone 12 with Lightning to USB-C cable. Credit: Apple

For many manufacturers, the legislation shouldn't be that big of an adjustment, given how commonplace the USB-C standard has become among modern devices. Perhaps the only company that will have to make changes is Apple, with the majority of its iPhones still using its proprietary Lightning charging port. The Cupertino company has been notably resistant to the EU's plans for a common charging solution, saying how such a legislation could stifle innovation. But if previous reports are to be believed, the Cupertino company appears to be already preparing its products in case the legislation is indeed passed, with iPhones and AirPods allegedly shifting to USB-C by 2023.


Apple has yet to comment on the EU's new agreement.

 
  • EU Legislators have reached a provisional agreement to make USB Type-C the mandatory charging port for over 15 categories of small and medium-sized electronics by autumn 2024. This includes smartphones, laptops, tablets, headphones and digital cameras, among others.

  • The agreement must still be voted upon by the European Parliament and Council later this summer before it can be approved by the EU’s Radio Equipment Directive.

  • Once it goes into force, device manufacturers will be given 24 months to comply. Laptop makers, meanwhile, will have 40 months.

  • The new ruling is part of the EU's bid reduce excess spending for customers and minimise e-waste produced by electronic devices.




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