Cell phones and many other electronic devices should have a standard EU charging socket from mid-2024. EU negotiators and the European Parliament have approved USB-C as a standard charging socket, chief negotiator, Anna Cavazzini (the Greens) said on Tuesday.
This affects Apple in particular, who previously relied on their Ligtning connection. Observers assume the iPhone 14 will still come without USB-C, but later models will.
According to Anna Cavazzini, Parliament was able to pass negotiations that also included, for example, laptops, e-readers, keyboards, computer mice, satellite navigation devices, smart watches, electronic games – as long as the devices are large enough for the corresponding connection. A longer transition period is applied to laptop computers. It will also be possible in the future to purchase the device and the charger as well as the charging cable separately.
Legal requirements for charging cables – more precisely for socket charging – have been a topic of debate for a long time. More than ten years ago, the commission brought the charging cable case for the first time. 14 manufacturers – including Apple – have agreed to a unified standard for power supplies for mobile phones in a voluntary commitment. When it comes to sockets for smartphones and tablets, three of what were previously several dozen types remain: USB-C, Apple’s Lightning connector, and micro-USB.
According to the European Union Commission, the regulation could save approximately 1,000 tons of e-waste. Currently, an estimated 11,000 tons of e-waste is generated annually from discarded and unused chargers. However, critics fear that the EU’s approach may pay off, as old chargers can no longer be used and USB-C has become the standard for more and more electronic devices in the past. (SDA / vof)
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