The European Parliament has passed a law requiring manufacturers to adopt the USB-C for universal use in devices such as mobile phones, tablets and cameras by 2024.
The law is a result of deliberations that have been taking place across Europe for some time and will affect brands such as Apple with their iPhones which have had a unique charging port for the longest time.
The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This “common port” will be a world-first statute and impact Apple in particular since it widely uses the Lightning connector instead of USB-C on many of its devices. MEPs claim that the move will reduce electronic waste, address product sustainability, and make the use of different devices more convenient.
The new directive states in part: 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 directive received 602 votes in favour, 13 votes against, and eight abstentions. A press release issued by the European Parliament earlier today states.
Exemptions are extended for devices that are too small to offer a USB-C port, such as smart watches, health trackers, and some sports equipment, but the legislation is expected to be expanded to other devices over time.
Companies will also have to ensure that dedicated labels clearly inform consumers about the charging characteristics of the devices they buy.
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