The European Parliament has finalized the adoption of USB-C for charging small and mid-sized devices, including Apple’s iPhone.
Much of the phone industry already relies on USB-C for charging and data transfer. Apple is the main outlier, relying on its Lightning port instead. The EU has been moving toward forcing all manufacturers to adopt USB-C, both for the benefit of consumers and for the sake of the environment.
The EU has now formally adopted the proposal, with plans to enforce it by the end of 2024.
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.
The rules will also apply to laptops, although not until a later date.
From spring 2026, the obligation will extend to laptops. The new law, adopted by plenary on Tuesday with 602 votes in favour, 13 against and 8 abstentions, is part of a broader EU effort to reduce e-waste and to empower consumers to make more sustainable choices.
The move should make customers’ lives easier and significantly reduce electronic waste. While the EU’s rules will only apply to Europe, it’s a safe bet Apple will make all phones in compliance with the new regulation since manufacturing two completely different models — one for the EU market and one for outside it — would be cost prohibitive.
“The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe,” said Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT). “We have waited more than ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of chargers in the past. This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone – from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment. These are difficult times for politics, but we have shown that the EU has not run out of ideas or solutions to improve the lives of millions in Europe and inspire other parts of the world to follow suit”