A landmark law requiring Apple and other electronics makers to adopt USB-C as the universal charging standard in the European Union has cleared its final procedural hurdle, after EU member states voted to approve the legislation on Monday.
The new law, which targets smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, portable speakers and a wide range of other small devices, is the first of its kind in the world. It aims to streamline the number of chargers and cables consumers have to deal with when buying a new device, and to allow users to mix and match devices and chargers, even if they were produced by different manufacturers. .
Apple could be among the most affected by the legislation. The iPhone maker has always required users to charge their mobile devices using a proprietary charging connector known as Lightning; under the new rules, Apple would be forced to migrate away from Lightning in its devices sold in the EU. This change, which Apple is would have tested for iPhones, could also extend to devices that Apple sells in other markets.
The European law still needs to be signed by the presidents of the European Parliament and the European Council, according to a Release, but these are considered formalities. Earlier this month, the legislation received final approval EU legislators.
As well as covering new small electronics coming onto the market at the end of 2024, the rules will also extend to larger electronics such as laptops from 2026. It will also commit European officials to streamlining standards wireless charging, a technology that is only becoming more widespread.