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Post: One charging cable for everything, including iPhones


From autumn 2024, many electrical appliances sold in the EU will have a standard plug. The new iPhones will probably be no exception. Details of the plans.

When Apple introduces a new iPhone on Tuesday, many people will be looking at the charging port. Analysts expect the US company to comply with the new EU directive with the iPhone 15 and introduce a mobile phone with a USB-C port for the first time. In the future many electrical appliances sold in the EU will have a standard plug. The most important questions about the new regulation at a glance.

USB-C port: What devices does the policy apply to?

Starting next autumn, all new mobile phones, tablets and digital cameras will be able to be charged via the USB-C port. The same goes for speakers, headphones, portable navigation systems, mice and printers. From spring 2026, all new laptops will also have a standard charging plug.

Other previously widely used connectors, such as the old micro USB port and the Lightning connector for iPhones, will no longer be valid under the new directive. However, it may still take some time for all devices built with older connections to sell.

What will change for consumers?

Ideally, consumers will be able to charge all their devices with the same cable in the future. Anna Cavazzini (Greens), Chair of the EU Parliament’s Consumer Protection Committee, said:

There must be an end to the cables running around in our drawers.

Anna Cavazzini (Greens)

Under the directive, new devices must always be offered without a charger. Manufacturers must indicate on the packaging the power at which the device needs to be charged and whether it supports fast charging.

How are manufacturers reacting to USB-C?

Apple is likely to comply with EU regulations with the new iPhone after the US company initially resisted the EU’s preliminary agreement last year. The company criticized that the law would hinder innovations such as wireless charging.

Many new devices can now be charged without cables with longer charging times. Digital association Bitkom declared that this was becoming increasingly common and criticized the introduction of USB-C as a standard. According to EU rules, devices with wireless charging functionality must always have a USB-C port.

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Why is the directive coming now?

The EU Commission and Parliament have been working on uniform regulations for chargers for more than fifteen years. In 2009, for the first time, the Commission agreed uniform standards with most manufacturers in a statement of intent. But these were not mandatory; Apple, now the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer, did not participate in the competition.

The agreement ended in 2014. The sector only submitted a new proposal in 2018, and according to the EU Commission, this proposal was deemed unsatisfactory. That is why Parliament has repeatedly called for legal intervention. With the current directive, Apple must also comply with standardized plugs.

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What does the EU Commission want to achieve?

The new requirements are aimed at reducing electronic waste in the EU by around 1,000 tonnes per year and saving thousands of tonnes of CO2. First of all, the Commission expects consumers to use their cables longer and buy fewer chargers. So far they are spending around 250 million euros a year on chargers that are not actually needed.

The European Parliament approved the new rules in October last year, after the Commission made a corresponding proposal in September 2021.

Source: ZDF

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