The EU has long been working to pass legislation requiring manufacturers to sell devices with a single charging port in the EU. This is being done for several reasons. Politicians say such a decision would help reduce waste because there would be fewer wires, and production would be reduced because you would only need one wire for all the devices. Besides, it is done to protect the consumer and introduce a standard connector that all devices will use to make it easier for users to switch from one device to another.
In an official press release published the other day, it was reported that the European Council approved a directive of the European Parliament on shared chargers, completing the legislative procedure that will make the USB-C port compulsory. This will include Apple products such as iPhones and AirPods.
The deregulation should take effect 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, and the rules will apply precisely 24 months after that date. Products on sale before the effective date will be exempt from this requirement and can continue to be sold after that point.
This is the world’s first bill of its kind at this high level. It will probably affect Apple the most, which still uses Lightning instead of USB-C in its iPhones.
Under the new rules, regardless of the manufacturer, all new cell phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, portable gaming consoles and portable speakers, e-books, keyboards, mice, mobile navigation systems, headphones, and laptops charged via a wired cable with up to 100 watts of power will have to be equipped with a USB-C port. Exceptions will only be made if the device’s size does not allow for a USB-C port, such as a Smart Watch.
Another condition is that the manufacturer will now be required to place a unique label on the device’s packaging that informs consumers about the charging characteristics of the devices they purchase.
Although there was already news that Apple was testing a new iPhone with a USB-C port instead of Lightning, it’s likely that in 2023 we could see an iPhone 15 with USB-C, especially since the company has been using these ports in its MacBooks and iPads for a long time.
Last week, Apple released a new Siri Remote for the Apple TV and 10th-generation iPad, which replaced the Lightning ports on their predecessors with USB-C, apparently indicating that Apple’s transition to a standard port is already well underway.