EU sets deadline for universal charging cable

An EU law directing phone companies to use a universal charging cable has set a deadline of December 2024. 

Tech companies such as Apple will not be able to sell new devices that do not use a USB Type-C charging port in the European Union after 23 December 2024, meaning the end of their custom ‘Lightning’ cable in the region. 

According to the EU, which has just seen the law enter its Official Journal, this will cover all ‘small and medium-sized portable electronics’ such as tablets, handheld game consoles, and headphones. 

Whilst the majority of large manufacturers already use the Type-C connection for their devices, there has been discontent from consumers over recent years as some companies sought to continue use their own technology. However, even Apple has been transferring many of its devices to the new standard, including some iPads and MacBooks.

white usb cable on white surface

Previously the EU had only set an ‘autumn 2024’ deadline for companies to adhere to the new law, which was signed off by the European Parliament in October this year. 

Alongside making it easier for consumers to use a single charger across devices, the new law also aims to reduce tech waste after an EU report found that mobile phone chargers are responsible for 11,000-13,000 tons of waste every year. 

Though the UK government have previously said it will not be following suit on the law, both UK and EU officials have said that the new directive could end up affecting devices sold in Northern Ireland under the NI protocol in the Brexit agreement. 

Industry experts have already predicted that Apple will switch its next model of iPhone, the iPhone 15, to a Type-C port when it is released, likely in September 2023. 

The move comes soon after Apple launched its self service repair in the UK and Europe for the first time, allowing consumers to purchase parts and tools to repair their devices at home using online how-to guides.

Photo by Marcus Urbenz


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