EU agrees to USB-C everything with Power Delivery for fast charging
2024 iPhone is now practically guaranteed to be USB-C
After years of deliberation, European Union lawmakers have reached an agreement that will force all future smartphones, tablets, e-readers, cameras, and more to be equipped with a USB-C port for charging. The aim of this agreement is to reduce fragmentation, e-waste, and to also introduce a standard for fast charging across multiple devices. The agreement is part of the EU’s broader efforts in making products more sustainable and is expected to be in place from autumn of 2024, and will also force Apple to adopt USB-C on the iPhone too — finally.
We have reached a deal on the common charger! 🔌👏
✔️mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, digital cameras & more #USBtypeC
✔️harmonised fast-charging technology
✔️unbundling of sale of chargers from the sale of device
— IMCO Committee Press (@EP_SingleMarket) June 7, 2022
While it has been agreed on, the European Parliament and Council will need to approve the change, though it’s expected to not have any issues.
“Today we have made the common charger a reality in Europe! European consumers were frustrated long with multiple chargers piling up with every new device,” Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT) said. “Now they will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics. We are proud that laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mice, and portable navigation devices are also included in addition to smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers. We have also added provisions on wireless charging being the next evolution in the charging technology and improved information and labelling for consumers”.
That fast charging standard that the EU has agreed should be commonplace is USB Power Delivery, which a lot of devices with USB-C already support. It also doesn’t appear to prevent manufacturers from creating their own fast-charging standards, meaning that device manufacturers can still also make their own fast-charging standards, they’ll just need to support USB Power Delivery, too. It doesn’t apply to devices that exclusively charge wirelessly either, as the press release specifically notes that it only applies to devices that “are rechargeable via a wired cable.”
Obviously, the biggest device manufacturer this will affect is Apple, with the iPhone still maintaining the usage of Apple’s own Lightning port. What’s particularly interesting in Apple’s case is that many of its devices make use of USB-C already, with its MacBooks still being able to charge via USB-C (or MagSafe for faster speeds), and its iPads making use of USB-C, too. Apple has reportedly been internally testing iPhones with USB-C for quite a while, likely in anticipation of the change.
For now, there are two years before anything is set in stone, but it’s likely manufacturers who haven’t made the switch will move towards doing so as soon as they can in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. It’s a pretty consumer-friendly change as it ensures your chargers work across devices, but I imagine it may cause some headaches in the future for people who use a series of devices with proprietary connectors, such as Apple’s Lightning cable.
Source: European Parliament