The European Parliament has reached a final decision regarding the use of universal USB-C ports, harmonized fast-charging technology, and bundled smartphone chargers. The new rule states that smartphones and tablets, as well as headphones, digital cameras, handheld video game consoles, and e-readers, will have to adopt USB-C by 2024 or be prevented from hitting the shelves in Europe.
By 2024, consumer electronics in the aforementioned product categories will use the same standard for charging. In essence, this should allow future Apple iPhones to be rechargeable using a Samsung USB-C wall charger and vice versa. The same should apply to tablets, digital cameras, and so on.
Laptops will also have to comply with the new law at a later, unspecified date.
The EU cares about consumers rather than Apple’s product line
iPhones use a proprietary “Lightning” charging port that’s incompatible with the USB-C standard, and no other smartphone maker has this quirk. So, when asked whether the rule was targeted at Apple, the commissioner for the EU’s internal market, Thierry Breton, clarified that the rule is “not adopted against anybody” but that it’s “working for the consumers, not the companies.” (via TheVerge)
OEMs will also be prevented from bundling consumer electronics with USB-C wall chargers. And because the USB-C standard will become universal across multiple device categories, this move could save consumers €250 million per year.
Consumer electronics manufacturers must comply “by autumn 2024” when the law will be set in place, according to the European Parliament. However, it’s worth noting that this new law applies only to wired chargers and doesn’t concern wireless charging technology.
With that in mind, rumors suggest that Apple could still circumvent the EU rule by removing the physical charging port from its mobile devices entirely and fully adopting wireless charging technologies.
As for Samsung, the Korean tech giant already uses USB-C for most of its devices, and it also stopped bundling wall chargers with most of its Galaxy smartphone models. Samsung already meets the European Parliament’s requirements, but other OEMs, like Apple, will have to readjust over the next couple of years.
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