Lawmakers in the European Parliament voted to make USB-C the only connector on all technology devices. This situation is a blow to Apple, which has several devices with the Lightning connector. iPhone phones will have to start preparing for the switch to the new charging format, which has been stipulated for the end of 2024. All new devices sold in Europe must have a USB-C port for wired charging.
After an initial compromise in June, the new technology legislation has now been overwhelmingly voted in favor of. The European Union (EU) has set a global target for the reduction of e-waste. The aim is to achieve interoperability with the same cables and, in this way, to dispose of fewer chargers and electronic devices. According to some estimates, some 11,000 tons of loaders are discarded. This initiative, with the standards being voted on, expects a reduction in waste.
Fewer devices due to USB-C connector
The money that can be saved is another vital issue in the new regulations that will come into effect in 2024. By reusing the same chargers for new devices, consumers can save up to 250 million euros. This is in addition to the reduction of the blocking effect of the patented accessories.
Now comes the time to look at the issue in relation to Apple. The company will have to start thinking about its devices, for Europe at least, with a new connection. iPhones have always been noted for their Lightning connector, which is used for both charging and headphones. Now, the people of Cupertino will have to completely rethink the new devices that go on sale, both for the European territory and globally.
The new EU rules, which from a technical point of view are an amendment to its radio equipment directive, have not been formally approved. A block in Parliament has given the go-ahead to this new legislation on common chargers. However, it remains to be approved by the EU Council and subsequently published in the EU Official Journal. Thereafter, it would become effective 20 days after its publication.
More time can still be given
Although it seems like a date that’s just around the corner, there’s not that much of a rush for Apple. Companies with other types of connectors will be eligible for a two-year grace period for design to facilitate the transformation to USB-C. Although the European Parliament’s press release makes it explicit that the rules will come into force at the end of 2024, there could be an extension. In any case, the application of the regulation applies to the entire technology industry, regardless of the manufacturer and type of device.
At the moment, the only smartphone manufacturer that has not made the switch to USB-C is Apple. The company, which is sticking with its Lightning connector, will be the company most impacted by this change. The people from Cupertino usually launch their flagship devices in the middle of the year. This leads us to see that the iPhone 16 would be seeing the light of day in late 2024, with the new connector.