European lawmakers have approved a new rule that will require all new smartphones, tablets, and cameras sold in the EU to feature a USB Type-C charging port by the end of 2024. The rule will extend to laptops in 2026, and it applies to various other devices that are rechargeable via a wired cable, including headphones, keyboards, mice, and handheld game consoles. Apple may be forced to redesign its iPhones, as current models use the proprietary Lightning charger.
From a European Parliament press release:
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. From spring 2026, the obligation will extend to laptops. The new law, adopted by plenary on Tuesday with 602 votes in favour, 13 against and 8 abstentions, is part of a broader EU effort to reduce e-waste and to empower consumers to make more sustainable choices.
Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charger every time they purchase a new device, as they will be able to use one single charger for a whole range of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.
Regardless of their manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port.
All devices that support fast charging will now have the same charging speed, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger.
The new charging rules have reportedly been over a decade in the making. Following the European Commission and European Parliament’s recent approvals, all that stands in the way now is the European Council, which is expected to give final approval so the law can be officially published.