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European Union gives final approval to law forcing Apple to switch to USB Type-C


The European Union today gave its final approval to the common charger directive. The law mandates a USB Type-C port for a whole range of electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and headphones. After this, it will no longer be necessary to buy a different charger every time one purchases a new mobile phone or similar device in Europe.

The rule will have a major effect on Apple as the company will be forced to drop its outdated lightning port on its iPhones for the USB-C one already used by many of its Android competitors.

The decision was announced by the EU council via a press release. It says that having a common charger will improve consumer convenience by harmonizing charging interfaces and fast charging technology, and will significantly reduce electronic waste.

“We all have at least three mobile phone chargers at home. Looking for the right charger, either at home or at work, can be quite annoying. On top of this, these chargers amount to 11.000 tonnes of e-waste every year. Having a charger that fits multiple devices will save money and time and also helps us reduce electronic waste”, Jozef Síkela, Minister for Industry and Trade says.

What is the new EU rule?

The new rules will make a USB Type-C charging port mandatory for a whole range of electronic devices. The directive also allows consumers to choose whether to purchase a new device with or without a charger. “This will not only save consumers money, but will also reduce the electronic waste associated with the production, transportation and disposal of chargers”, the rule states.

In order to enable this technology to become available for more devices, the Commission will work on harmonizing wireless charging for electronic devices and on interoperability based on technological developments.

Categories of devices affected by the move

The new rules will apply to a wide range of portable devices. These include

– Mobile phones

– Tablets and e-readers

– Digital cameras and video game consoles

– Headphones, earbuds and portable loudspeakers

– Wireless mice and keyboards

– Portable navigation systems

In addition, all laptops will also be covered by the new rules 40 months following the entry into force of the directive. 

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