one charger for all phones and laptops, including the iPhone

New smartphones, laptops and many other devices must be able to charge via USB-C from the end of 2024. Negotiators from the EU member states and the European Parliament reached an agreement on this today.

In the European Union, USB-C will become the mandatory standard for charging smartphones, laptops, tablets, earplugs, e-readers and many other gadgets and tech accessories. Because some laptops use a different adapter because they need a lot of power, laptop manufacturers are given longer time for the transition: three years and four months. For the other gadgets, the rules must come into effect at the end of 2024.

Furthermore, manufacturers are no longer allowed to force customers to purchase a charger with a new device. The negotiators still have to submit the agreement to the full European Parliament and the governments of the EU countries.

The requirement for one charging cable should ensure that consumers have to buy a new plug or cable less often. “This will bring European consumers around €250 million in savings,” said EU industry chief Thierry Breton. It can also save 11,000 tons of electronic waste, according to the European Commission.

iPhones with USB-C for the first time

The measure means that Apple will have to equip iPhones with USB-C ports for the first time. Apple now uses its own Lightning connection in iPhones, AirPods and some other devices. Apple has fiercely opposed the EU proposal in recent years .

In recent years, most Android smartphones and many other gadgets have already received USB-C ports. Apple already uses USB-C in many Macs and iPads.  

Limits innovation’

Apple says requiring one charging port will “limit innovation.” It also forces some Apple users to switch to new chargers, which actually results in more electronic waste. European Commissioner Breton believes that the fear that innovation will be limited is unfounded. According to him, the EU will continue to monitor when USB-C will have to make way for a newer charging standard.

The European Commission made the first proposal for the universal charging port more than ten years ago. Apple is already taking the new obligation into account and, according to analysts, wants to release its first  iPhones with USB-C next year  .

Wireless charging

Consumers are also increasingly using wireless charging, but manufacturers have different standards for this. The European Commission also wants to harmonize wireless charging solutions in the coming years.

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