The European Union has approved the full transition to USB
Hardware

The European Union has approved the full transition to USB Type-C and there will be no exception for Apple

By the end of 2024, all electronic mobile devices sold in the European Union must be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port, and from spring 2026 this regulation will also apply to laptops. Such a requirement is introduced in connection with the law passed in the region, for which 602 parliamentarians voted (13 against, 8 abstained). expression European Parliament.

    Image source: tomekwalecki / pixabay.com

Image source: tomekwalecki / pixabay.com

According to the law, European consumers no longer have to buy a new charger with their next device: all small and medium-sized electronic devices get a single connector. The standard applies to phones, smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, portable consoles and speakers, e-books, keyboards, mice, portable navigation devices and laptops – if the device is charged via cable and has a sufficient power of 100 W , then it should be used USB Type-C connector.

In addition, all devices that support fast charging are also subject to standardization so that chargers are fully compatible. Characteristics of chargers are given special designations, making it easier for consumers to choose.

But the parliamentarians will not stop here either. In view of the widespread use of wireless charging technologies, the European Commission will agree on uniform requirements for the interoperability of such devices by the end of 2024. This will help avoid negative effects on the environment and eliminate the so-called effect of technological “isolation” when the consumer becomes dependent on one manufacturer.

    Image source: Capri23auto / pixabay.com

Image source: Capri23auto / pixabay.com

The European Parliament is confident the new law will help consumers save up to $250 million a year on unnecessary chargers – they alone generate 11,000 tonnes of e-waste in the region each year. In the near future, the adopted law will be officially approved and published in the Official Journal of the EU and will come into force 20 days after publication. After that, EU countries will have 12 months to bring local legislation into line with the document, and another 12 months will have a transition period.

Half of bundled phone chargers in 2018 featured a USB Micro-B connector, 29% were USB Type-C, and another 21% were proprietary Apple Lightning. Such results were shown by a study by the European Commission in 2019, recalled Reuters.

The new law will mostly affect Apple, which has adamantly opposed the transition to a single USB Type-C standard in its iPhones – it still uses the proprietary Lightning that debuted back in 2012 with the iPhone 5. At the same time, absolutely all other major smartphone manufacturers have long been using USB Type-C. The exception is perhaps most budget models.

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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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