The EU Parliament votes to require Apple to use USB-C for charging

The iPhone will have to use USB-C standard to save consumers money.
Stephen Vicinanza
USB-C and the smartphone port


The European Parliament voted to force companies, like Apple Inc. to adapt their products to the USB-C Standard charger, if they aren’t already doing so. This would include the iPhone in Apple’s case.

Overwhelmingly For the measure

A total of 602 lawmakers voted yes, while 13 were against the plan and eight abstained. There was a deal provisionally agreed upon in June 2022, between the commission and the European Union's 27 countries, still needs a final approval from the EU’s member states. This would push the rules to be written into the law in early 2023.

Alex Agius Saliba, the lead negotiator in the European Parliament, held up a pile of power adapters when debating the final proposal in Strasbourg Tuesday. “We are replacing this pile of chargers,” he said of the tangle of wires and boxes, “with just this,” he held up a single USB-C cable.

Apple already adopting the technology

At first Apple was angered by the proposal, which said it would reduce innovation. But the company is currently testing future iPhone models that replace the proprietary Lightning charging port with a standard USB-C connector. Current Apple laptops and iPad Pro models already use them, as do most popular Android smartphones.

Under the proposed rules, all phones and tablets sold in Europe will have to comply by fall 2024. Laptops will have longer to make the switch. The commission will be able to set standards for wireless charging in the future.

The EU Parliament votes to require Apple to use USB-C for charging
The USB-C Connector

The proposal was a year old

The proposal was first introduced last year, by the European Commission. Its overall purpose is to cut down on environmental waste and save consumers an estimated 250 million Euros (USD $247 million) a year. Consumers will not have to buy different chargers for each device, the Executive Vice President of the Commission Margrethe Vestager said Tuesday, speaking to Parliament

“The common charger will simplify the lives of Europeans,” said Vestager. “No more obsolete chargers piling up in drawers, reducing costs for European citizens.”

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The future of power connectors

This proposal will be in concert with the new USB-C power connectors now being developed by many companies throughout the world. Using USB-C as a conduit to power many household devices, such as alarm clocks, lamps, toasters, and blenders. This proposal is right on target for the new power connecter for all things electronic, as a simpler, more efficient, safer way to provide power to the vast number of electronic devices in our world.

There is also the added benefit of allowing devices to easily “talk” to each other, through the Internet of Things (IoT), which is growing quickly to make smart devices out of all our home appliances large or small. The USB-C standard is also the standard for IoT and small computer devices which run our industry, transportation, and medical sectors.

The adoption of this technology has far-reaching implications when we will leave the electrical plug behind, in favor of the simpler, safer, and more energy-efficient USB connectors.

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