Most modern Android smartphones feature USB-C ports, but soon that might be a requirement for all phones sold in Europe… including iPhones.

The European Union has announced a provisional agreement to create “a single charging solution for certain electronic devices” including smartphones, tablets, eReaders, digital cameras, handheld game consoles, portable speakers, and headphones, headsets, and earbuds with rechargeable batteries. By early 2028, the rule will apply to laptops as well.

USB-C cables (Baseus via Amazon)

The promise of a unified charging solution is that you won’t necessarily need different power adapters and/or cables for all your stuff. Some of us are already living in that world – I already have a laptop that charges via a 45-watt USB-C power adapter, and I can plug that same charger into my phone, tablet, or eReaders.

But I do have a few older devices like wireless headphones and Bluetooth speakers that have micro USB ports, which means I can’t use the same charger for those devices.

Still, by requiring all devices use the same charging standard moving forward, the European Union rule could dramatically cut down on electronic waste, since you won’t necessarily need to discard old chargers and cables when buying new devices and companies can more easily justify shipping products that don’t come with a charger in the box unless you pay a little extra for one.

Of course, not all USB-C cables or chargers are created equal. So you may still want to pick up a new one from time to time if you want support for fast charging, wireless charging, or charging multiple devices at once, among other things.

While the EU’s rules don’t necessarily apply to devices sold outside of Europe, it will likely have a wide-reaching impact. For example, if the rule finally forces Apple to release iPhones with USB-C ports, it’s unlikely that the company will decide to make USB-C iPhones for Europe while continuing to make models with Lightning ports for the rest of the world, as that would mean that accessory makers would have to produce two versions of every gadget that plugs into an iPhone.

via The Verge

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  1. image is not good
    all charger have usb A and usb c cable
    only apple have charger with usb cusbC
    why not promoting a 2usb c cable not only one?

  2. While I’m happy that Apple will be forced to give up the lightning connector, I’m also concerned about what implication this could have on further innovation beyond Type-C.

    Is the entire world stuck on Type-C now, because nobody is going to make products with more innovative solutions, which can’t be sold in Europe?

  3. Gotta love the EU. If we left regulations solely to the US and China, we’d all be drinking lead water from asbestos cups.

    1. Yeah and if we left regulations to the EU we would be have mandatory VGA cables in all electronic devices in 2022. This is more or less the effect of having mandatory Type C charging ports, by 2050 we’ll still be using this standard because of this regulation.

      1. If we left regulations to the EU, we would have had SCART RGB back in the CRT days instead of just composite on most TVs and S-Video if you were lucky. Europe seems to get ahead of things rather than lagging behind. As it is, left up to the corporations, we never actually have standardized standards, so this is indeed a step forward which is the point. As for the 2050 bit, USB-C is just a connector. I don’t see a problem in hoping it’s still viable in 2050. The connector is reversible, and it can be USB 2.0, 3.x, or Thunderbolt 3 & 4 right now.

    2. You’re very right, we have the EU to thank for banning lead in solder for all consumer electronics. European buying power has practically assured that all consumer electronics worldwide are now lead-free. This has prevented enormous amounts of lead from contaminating soil and water around the world.

  4. I’ll believe it when Apple announces it. The lightning cables have built-in over voltage protection switches… which makes them superior to compliant Type C cables, for the case of unexpected high voltage.

    1. Type C cables have overvoltage protection as well, Apple will soon follow suit if they don’t mind losing millions of costumers in the EU. And after all Apple has been one of the first Type C adopters in the laptop market. The real issue is that probably we will have to use Type C for more than a decade now, considering the time that the EU typically needs to produce and update their ever-growing regulations.

      1. “Type C cables have overvoltage protection as well”, I think you meant to say “Although there are no USB Type C cables with overvoltage protection presently available for purchase, there is nothing in the USB specification that would prevent their implementation.” All Apple lightning cables (to USB A or Type C) will block voltages greater than 6V. Type C to lightning cables will allow voltages over 6V after the iphone communicates to the cable. I have seen the overvoltage protection kick-in when the phone has been disconnected from the cable, but I have not tried to drive more than 20V while the phone is connected.
        I have driven 30V on Apple and other USB Type C to Type C cables without any protection seen, and I expect that this is typically for all USB C cables.

    2. Look at current iPads and Macbooks with USB-C connectors on both ends, let’s not even mention Lightning cables have USB-C on the charger side anyway – it’s apparently not a technical issue at all.

      What is jolting Apple is that they’re forced to give up the licensing fee they collect on third-party Lightning accessories as it’s their proprietary gizmo.