iPhone must use USB-C by 2024, says EU law

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 4
The European Union will require all iPhones as well as other electronic including tablets to incorporate USB-C no later than the end of 2024.




The EU's long-debated plan to enforce a common charger standard on manufacturers of smartphones, tablets, cameras and other devices, has become law. It was voted into law on October 4, 2022, by the EU Parliament with 602 votes in favor, 13 against, and 8 abstentions.

"The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe," said EU rapporteur (spokesperson) Alex Agius Saliba in a statement. "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," continued the statement. "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."

The EU has not specified a date beyond the end of 2024. However, the new law must be formally approved and published, and it will enter into force 20 days later.

EU member states will have a total of 24 months to adopt the law, meaning it can be no sooner than November 2024.

What the law will apply to

The EU says that its new law applies to new devices of any of these categories:

  • Phones

  • Tablets

  • Digital Cameras

  • Headphones

  • Handheld game consoles

  • Portable speakers

  • E-readers

  • Keyboards

  • Mice

  • Portable navigation systems

  • Earbuds

  • Laptops

Specifically, it applies to any of these devices if they are rechargeable via a wired cable, operate "with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts".

Each of these will now require a USB-C charging port. The law is specific about it being a USB-C charger, and despite claiming to be "future-proof," is not clear what happens if a better alternative is invented.

Apple and the EU

Apple has not yet commented publicly on the law, but it did consistently argue against it during the extended debate that preceded it.

"We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphone stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole," Apple wrote in 2020. "We hope the Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry's ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to customers."

The EU says that a chief aim of the new law is to reduce e-waste. Apple has argued that such an enforced move would mean that the wide number of accessories that use Lightning connectors -- including cables -- would become e-waste very rapidly.

Wireless devices

Regarding the issue of being charged by a wired cable, the EU's statement also says that the European Commission hopes to "harmonize interoperability requirements" for wireless charging.

This seems to disregard how there is effectively already a wireless charging standard in the form of Qi charging. Apple's own MagSafe is already a superset of Qi.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    For data transfer ? I only use my port my iPhone to connect to my car to run Waze. I use a MagSafe charger .
    jibwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 84
    Apple shouldn’t need to be dragged kicking and screaming to implementing USB-C on iPhones. They just can’t seem to get past Lightning because of the revenue it brings in, regardless of how inferior it is.
    twokatmewdarkvaderneoncat
  • Reply 3 of 84
    Really hoping Apple adds USB-C to the iPhone.
     But they’re probably going to try to go portless before that even happens.  :/
    WhiskeyAPPLEcider
  • Reply 4 of 84
    As a Mac and iPad Pro user I’d prefer if iPhones used USB-C but 90% of people don’t care.

    We can expect a new AirPods Max with USB-C too :)  

    Looks like I’ll be upgrading to new iPhone and new APM over the next 2 years :) 
    darkvader
  • Reply 5 of 84
    I can’t suppress the feeling that EU law makers just do not understand this matter: they consistently talk about chargers which is a good thing. But forcing device connections to use USB C is effectively just about the cables.

    In the case of Apple, all chargers are already USB C, so what’s the problem this law is solving?? To force al cables to USB C? That’s stupid and hardly contributes to reducing ewaste.
    mike1bshankthtdewmeFileMakerFellerrandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 84
    What if apple leaves the lightning port but makes it data only? And all charging is done wirelessly? Honestly, that’s what I would do…..
    bshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 84
    BossaYeye said:
    Really hoping Apple adds USB-C to the iPhone.
     But they’re probably going to try to go portless before that even happens.  :/
    Portless is no longer possible. Since the EU burocrats enforce the USB-C for charging. So portless is not an option.
    darkvader
  • Reply 8 of 84
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,239member
    I don't mind USB-C for anything other than iPads or iPhones. Newer iPads already use USB-C, but I'd like to see Apple keep it off the iPhone for as long as possible. I'm good with Lightning.

    It wouldn't and couldn't happen, but I'd like to see Apple say FU to the EU — "USB-C?? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' USB-C!" Not gonna happen though. The EU is too big of a market, so if Apple can't get around them, say "hi" to in on the phone.
    jibwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 84
    Took them long enough.

    Apple should have ditched the idiotic Lightning connector years ago.  It's sad that it's taking the EU forcing them to finally take care of the problem.
    grandact73Hedware
  • Reply 10 of 84
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 1,007member
    "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," continued the statement.

    If you’re waiting more than ten years, you probably shouldn’t be in charge of the rules. Not when it comes to technology. And if you think a law mandating USB-C is “future-proof,” you don’t understand the term.

    "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."

    Ok, the war in Ukraine is an enormous tragedy, covid is still raging and inflation is through the roof, but everybody’s life is gonna be much better when iPhone users charge with a cable that has USB-C on BOTH ends.

    docbburkbshankthtdewmeFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 84
    dltdlt Posts: 4member
    The EU needs to remember they would be speaking German today if it wasn’t for the United States and quit dictating how our iPhones should. I have a lot of money invested in charging stands that are lightening. Apple should pull iPhones out of EU and let the people there scream. May be then the EU would get off their high horse.
    bshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 84
    JP234JP234 Posts: 515member
    I don't think the EU is accomplishing anything positive by mandating how a private company manufactures its products. I was considering upgrading to the iPhone 14, but now I'm going to wait until this plays out, since my MacBook Air, my iPad and my Apple Watch 7 all use USB-C, I've installed USB-C wall sockets in two rooms, and am forced to have an A to C cable, a Lightning to C cable, and a Lightning to A cable, and a 3.1 to C cable for my backup hard drive. Hell, even my 2022 Volvo XC40 has USB-C ports!

    I seriously doubt Apple will make implement different standards for different countries, so I think I can wait to upgrade until Apple bites the inevitable bullet, be that the iPhone 15, 16 or whatever. Wonder if I'm alone. As a shareholder, I wonder how this would impact iPhone sales.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 84
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,399member
    I still use wired Lightning headphones!  I’ve accumulated several pairs of them over the years.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 84
    Next question is what flavor of USB-C will Apple implement in the iPhone 15 some of us are waiting to buy? Hope it’s Thunderbolt 4 but I’m not holding my breath. Still using a 4 year old 512GB XS Max until the iPhone 15 has a fast USB-C port on it. So I’ll be taking a 5 year leap next September.
    dewme
  • Reply 15 of 84
    Darn. Doesn’t apply to watches.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 84
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,273member
    BossaYeye said:
    Really hoping Apple adds USB-C to the iPhone.
     But they’re probably going to try to go portless before that even happens.  :/
    They can't go ProRes & 8K with terabyte iPhone storage and wireless-only. 
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 84
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 301member
    EU=Modern day communists in suits
    edited October 4 chadbagwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 84
    thrangthrang Posts: 943member
    What if someone invents a better connector next year? Or: who would be motivated to think of something better?

    It is deeply inappropriate for governments to get this granularly invasive in industrial product design. Moronic is the better way to describe it.


    edited October 4 chadbagdewmeretrogustoFileMakerFellerrandominternetpersonblastdoorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 84
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,832member
    Sounds like it will be innovation by subcommittee for device charging from here on out. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 84
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,273member
    Madbum said:
    EU=Modern day communists in suits
    Anything I don't like = communism. 

    It's amazing how McCarthyism can still raise its perverse stink, seven decades and more than two generations later. 
    neoncatfreeassociate2tokyojimumazda 3sFileMakerFellerMplsPmuthuk_vanalingamroundaboutnow
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