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EU Parliament passes law making USB-C mandatory for all phones

The European Parliament has finally passed the law requiring gadget sellers to use a common charging port. The biggest takeaway is that Apple will now be forced to use the USB-C standard on their iPhones and other accessories. The directive in a voting session today received 602 votes in favour with 13 votes against, and 8 abstaining.

The EU is made up of 27 countries. Which is a huge market.

With the new directive, all mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video-game consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, and earbuds operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port by 2024. From spring 2026, the obligation will extend to laptops.

Apple has for long insisted on their propriety lightning port, while the whole world has shifted to Type-C. This has made them millions in accessories and licensing to third parties. What’s weird is that Apple chargers for their laptops and tablets have for a long while adopted the USB-C standard.

The new directive will also make it possible for fast charging to be available across all devices at the same speed with any compatible charger. How this will work with Apple and Samsung who currently lag on fast charging versus with OPPO and Xiaomi who are currently leading the pack, will be interesting to watch.

EU will also be standardising wireless charging to ensure interoperability. It will be interesting to see how this affects Apple’s wireless MagSafe.

The reason EU is pushing for these changes is because it will lead to actual re-use of chargers, save consumers money, and reduce up to 11,000 tonnes of e-waste yearly.

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