large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

EU votes to enforce USB-C common charger standard for mobile devices

The EU has voted to enforce treating the USB-C standard as a common charger standard across a range of mobile devices by the end of 2024, which will require Apple in particular to make some drastic changes.

This directive means that Apple will be forced to retire its proprietary Lightning port standard within the next two years if it’s to continue selling iPhones and AirPods in the European Union.

MEPs voted overwhelmingly for the measure, to the tune of 602 votes in favour, 13 votes against, and eight abstentions. It’s the first time any such uniform ruling on a universal charging standard has been applied.

“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,” reads the associated EU press release. The ruling will be extended to laptops from spring 2026.

“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,” continues the statement.

Devices that are too small to support a USB-C port, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, will be exempt.

The EU claims that this switch to USB-C will encourage technological innovation and help the environment. By encouraging the reuse of existing chargers, the EU anticipates that it will help consumers save up to €250 million per year on unnecessary charger purchases.

Fortunately, Apple has been tipped to ditch its Lightning standard for the iPhone 15 next year.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.