In a long-awaited move, the European Union mandates the use of USB-C, putting pressure on Apple

Brussels seen from the Mont des Arts

The European Union, which began pushing mobile phone makers toward a standard for charging devices late in the year, said it would require tech companies to include USB C ports for charging.

“A single charger for all mobiles and tablets [will be] beneficial for the environment and for consumers,” the European Parliament said in a press release.

In 2009, the bloc coalesced around the micro USB connector, although it never gained full adoption from device manufacturers.

“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 parliament said in a statement, adding that “[f]Starting in the spring of 2026, the obligation will be extended to laptops.”

The legislation will affect Apple more than other companies, because Apple has standardized around its Lightning connector and largely ignored USB-C.

“We have waited more than ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of porters in the past,” said Alex Agius Saliba, parliament rapporteur.

Numerous Apple devices will not comply with the legislation, including Apple’s entire line of iPhones, its lower-cost iPads, the charging case for its AirPods wireless headphones, and many other accessories.

Under the new legislation, buyers will be able to choose whether to buy a new device with or without a charging device.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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