EU passes law to switch iPhone to USB-C by end of 2024
The European Parliament has passed a law enforcing USB-C as the standard charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024.
The amended Radio Equipment Directive, adopted by plenary on Tuesday, with 602 votes in favour, 13 against and eight abstentions, is part of a broader EU effort to reduce e-waste and empower consumers to make more sustainable choices.
“By the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port. From spring 2026, the obligation will extend to laptops,” The bloc said in a press statement on Tuesday.
“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,” the statement added.
Exceptions to the new law include devices that are too small to use the USB-C port such as smartwatches, health trackers, and some sports equipment; however, the legislation is expected to be expanded to other devices over time.
The European Council is to approve the directive so it can be published in the European Union’s official journal. Twenty days after being published, the directive will come into force, and its requirements will apply to new devices after 24 months.
The bloc has deliberated on charging port status since 2019, when an impact assessment study carried out by the European Commission revealed that half of all charging cables sold with mobile phones had a USB micro-B connector.
An additional 29 per cent had a USB-C connector, and 21 per cent had a Lightning connector. The analysis recommended a standard charger port to cover all devices and power adapters.
The new legislation will lead to reusing existing chargers and help consumers save up to 250 million euros annually on unnecessary charger purchases.
The Parliament noted that disposed of and unused chargers represented about 11,000 tonnes of e-waste annually.
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