The European Parliament has announced a new law that will ensure all mobile phones and tablets will have only USB Type-C chargers, and this means changing Apple iPhone and iPad lightning ports, too.
The announcement, which came on Tuesday, is part of a broader European Union effort to reduce electronic waste and boost sustainable consumership. A referendum was held and 602 of 623 votes were in favour of adopting USB-C chargers.
Tech companies have been given a late 2024 deadline. Come Spring 2026, this law will extend to laptops as well.
“Buyers will be able to choose whether to purchase a new device with or without a charging device,” the EU’s press release reads. “Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charger every time they purchase a new device, as they will be able to use one single charger for a whole range of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.”
Aside from new mobile phones and tablets, other electronic devices will also have to comply with the law.
This includes digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds, and laptops that are rechargeable through a wired cable.
The EU says this step will also help put an end to the “lock-in” effect — that’s when a consumer becomes dependent on a single manufacturer.
Apple is known for having brand devotees across the world, but especially in North America. As of right now, you can buy an iPhone with a lightning cable in the box, but it no longer comes with a wall adaptor. Apple says it removed the charging cube to reduce waste.
According to the EU, the new law will help consumers save up to 250 million euros annually, and help curb the production of e-waste by 11,000 tons.
“The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe. We have waited more than 10 years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of chargers in the past,” said Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba.
“This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone — from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment.”
The EU hopes this announcement will inspire other governments to follow suit.
Do you think Canada should look into creating a law like this? Or are you satisfied with your tangle of USB-C, USB-A, Micro USB, and lightning cords in that junk drawer?
Let us know in the comments or vote here: