The European Union today gave its final approval to legislation that will force tech companies like Apple to switch to USB-C in a wide range of devices.
Outlined in an officer Press releaseThe European Council today approved the European Parliament’s Common Chargers Directive, finalizing the legislative procedure that will make a USB-C port mandatory in a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The directive has now been officially adopted and will be published in the official journal of the European Union. It will come into force 20 days after its publication and the rules will apply exactly 24 months after that date. Products released before the application date will be exempt and may continue to be sold after that point.
USB-C as a legally mandated “common port” is a world-first status and will likely affect Apple in particular, as it widely uses the Lightning connector instead of USB-C in many of its devices. MEPs say the move will reduce e-waste, address product sustainability and make using different devices more convenient.
Regardless of manufacturer, all new cell phones, tablets, digital cameras, headsets and headsets, handheld game consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, corded rechargeable headsets and notebooks, with one delivery of power up to 100 Watts, you must have a USB-C port. Exemptions will apply for devices that are too small to offer a USB-C port, such as smartwatches, health trackers and some sports equipment, but the legislation is expected to expand to other devices over time. Companies will also need to ensure that dedicated labels clearly inform consumers about the charging characteristics of the devices they buy.
Additionally, the EU seeks to ensure that wireless charging solutions are interoperable as the technology evolves over time. The directive empowers the European Commission to develop delegated acts by the end of 2024 that oblige companies to make their personalized wireless charging solutions more open and compliant with interoperability standards, helping consumers avoid being locked into solutions. proprietary cargo carriers while preventing fragmentation and reducing waste. It is not clear if this would include Apple MagSafe charging system for the iPhone and AirPods as it is based on the Qi wireless charging standard.
In 2018, the European Commission tried to reach a final resolution on this issue, but it failed to become law. At the time, Apple warned that forcing an industry-common charging port would stifle innovation and create e-waste as consumers would be forced to switch to new cables.
the European Union the effort was resumed last yearwith the European Commission spearheading a updated version of the directive. In April, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection voted in favor of the directive, with 43 votes in favor and only two against. In June, the EU Committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection An agreement was reached submit the directive to the European Parliament, which then voted overwhelmingly in favor of that
Both Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Y Bloombergby Mark Gurman thinks Apple is testing a version of the iPhone that has a USB-C port instead of Lightning. Kuo thinks Apple could switch the iPhone to USB-C starting with the iPhone 15 of 2023prior to transition of AirPods and other accessories at a later date. This timing would allow Apple to switch many of its affected devices to USB-C before the EU directive takes effect.
Last week, Apple released a new Siri Remote for Apple TV and the 10th generation iPadboth of which replace the Lightning ports on their predecessors with USB-C, apparently indicating that Apple’s transition to the common port is already underway.
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