Uh oh Apple, now you have to comply. Unless you just want to sell phones in Great Britain from now on.
The EU parliament has voted unanimously to make USB-C the standard and common charger for all smartphones which will take effect in 2024. This bill was created with the objective of e-waste reduction efforts. In the voting 602 voted in favour while only 13 were against it.
The Parliament also previously pushed to create a common charger not just in smartphones but for other consumer electronics including laptops and computers. However, it still isn’t a law yet as the EU Council still has to make a decision but the overwhelmingly positive votes could mean that the bill now has a higher chance of becoming a law.
Once the Council voted in favour of the bill, the directive will be put into force 20 days after its official publication in the European Union’s Official Journal. After that, the EU’s member states will have 12 months to transpose the new law — and another 12 months after that, the law will be applied. Hence the reason why the directive, if it becomes a law, would take two years to have its full effects be felt.
What would this mean for smartphone manufacturers? Well, Android manufacturers will have no problem with coping up or adjusting with this new directive as they already use USB-C onto smartphones way before this new directive was written. However, Apple might have some issues as the company is infamously known for traditionally keeping its outdated proprietary Lightning port, which the company has several times fought against the EU government. Apple is also known for selling multiple adapters and or circumventing these strict measures, such as implementing a USB-C (female) to Lightning Port (male)
“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,” the EU stated in a press release
“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 EU added.
With this new directive, the EU hopes to reduce the amount of e-waste manufactured every year and help consumers reuse their chargers. In return, consumers could also save EUR 250 million yearly on purchasing additional chargers and ports.
An additional component of the directive would have manufacturers state the charging characteristics of new chargers. This is intended to make it easier for consumers to know whether their old chargers are compatible. Even with the label, customers can still freely buy a new charger even if they have already an existing one. Probably for “emergency” case uses.