There is currently a deadline for Apple and other businesses to update their hardware.
By a vote of the European Parliament, USB-C will become the accepted charging protocol throughout the EU. By the end of 2024, all mobile devices with up to 100W power output (including phones, tablets, and earphones) sold in the area must include a USB-C charging connector. By the spring of 2026, laptops will have to make the change. Products that are commercially available before these dates won't be impacted.
By allowing users to use current chargers to power new devices, the law is intended to reduce electronic waste. Additionally, it aims to end the technological "lock-in" that forces consumers to utilize a certain manufacturer's exclusive formats. With regard to rapid charging, the vote establishes expectations that devices will implement at least the 18W Power Delivery standard for USB-C.
The EU has long advocated for a universal charger and has worked to reduce the number of connector types by promoting standards like micro-USB. The Union contends that user contributions did not result in "concrete results." In September of last year, a formal legislative proposal resulted from that.
It goes without saying that Apple will be the company most impacted by the requirement because it has continued to use its own Lightning connections on its iPhones and certain other products, despite the industry's shift toward USB-C. Despite Apple's claim that the charging requirement will "stifle innovation" in 2020, we have contacted the company for comment and will update you if we hear back.
Sales of existing Lightning-equipped devices like the iPhone 14 series and the second-generation AirPods Prowon't be affected, but the business will be forced to move to USB-C in the future. According to numerous speculations, Apple is currently developing USB-C iPhone models that might ship in 2023, while the entry-level iPad might incorporate the connector this fall.
Concerns exist over the measure's long-term effects. While Alex Agius Saliba, the rapporteur for the Parliament, said that the law would enable the creation of future "new pricing options," businesses would have to wait for EU approval before making the switch. Manufacturers won't have to adopt USB-C 2.1 (with up to 240W of power delivery) for high-performance laptops because the law doesn't cover hardware that uses more power than 100W. Even so, if you don't want to buy new cables and chargers merely to migrate to a different mobile platform, this change can be welcome.