European Union Passes Common Charger Rule, iPhone Must be USB-C By 2024


Today the European Union has reached an agreement that smartphones will require a common charging port across all devices, meaning that the Apple iPhone will be mandated to include USB-C.

By the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will have to have USB-C. By spring 2026, this law will extend to laptops. The new law was adopted Tuesday, with 602 votes in favor, 13 against and 8 abstentions.

European Union Adopts USB-C Standard with Common Charger Rule

Reports from June indicated that the EU was looking to set a rule mandating that small and medium sized devices, including the iPhone and Air Pods, must use a common charger. The new law aims to increase device connectivity while also reducing e-waste.

According to reports, the European Union has long held the belief that the solution to multiple charging cables was to mandate a single style of charger. However, it is worth noting that when this law originally became an idea, the uni-directional microUSB was the standard at the time. However, it seems that the standard (for now) will be the USB-C port.

It also seems that lawmakers in the U.S. are also looking to set an adoption standard. U.S. Lawmakers also reason that it would reduce consumer costs as well as help mitigate e-waste.

What Means for Apple

While this law does force Apple into switching iPhone ports from Lightning to USB-C by the time the iPhone 16 arrives, rumors suggest that the iPhone 15 is possibly aiming to adopt USB-C. Though some suspect that Apple was aiming to keep lightning until the iPhone possibly became portless, Ming Chi-Kuo has reported earlier in the year that Apple will likely make the switch to USB-C by the iPhone 15.

Of course, the iPad made the switch from Lightning to USB-C in 2018 starting with the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.

2015 saw Macs adopting USB-C, starting with the 12-inch MacBook. The MacBook Pro also featured USB-C, though it then backtracked a bit last year by bringing back MagSafe, HDMI and SD card slots.

What are your thoughts on the EU’s new law? Let us know in the comments.

8 thoughts on “European Union Passes Common Charger Rule, iPhone Must be USB-C By 2024

  • Good for Europe. Apple sticking to lightning was totally abusive and did nothing good for customers. There is no excuse for a port that can’t even keep up with the iPhone’s camera, or mirror it’s display without massive loss in quality.

  • Isn’t it wonderful that the EU has no other problems, and has ample time to direct their rule-making efforts to what type of charging mechanisms should be included with every electronic device sold.

    1. That seems unlikely. After all, electrical plugs themselves have changed quite a bit over the years. The first detachable plug that Hubbel patented in 1904 looked almost nothing like what we use today, and they’ve curved several times since then. That’s just here in the US; other regions have dramatically different designs.

      1. I would encourage you not to put that too much to the test. What I left out was the changes that have taken place in our wiring codes…home electrical wiring in the 1950s was poorly grounded, if grounded at all. Sure, you can use a 3-prong adapter in those outlets, but you’ve got less than a 50% chance of the connection actually being properly grounded. Our three-prong plug didn’t become standard on anything until 1969. At that time, only half of the homes in the US had three-prong outlets.

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