USB-C will be the common charging standard for all phones in the European Union. Find out what it means

The European Parliament has just announced that officials have reached an agreement to limit the production of electrical waste. Soon, all new phones and other small electronics sold in the European Union will need to have a USB-C charging connector. What does Apple say?


USB-C is a multifunctional universal connector that is present in the vast majority of electronic devices in today’s market. With it, you can transfer data such as files, photos or music. It also enables the power supply to the device, making it the current standard for chargers for devices such as smartphones, tablets or other small to medium electronic devices.

Its versatility is mainly due to the improvement of the traditional USB-A concept – the socket has been reduced in size and is now double-sided. It allows you to connect all peripherals to the device, such as USB sticks, mice or keyboards. This connector, thanks to the DisplayPort module, also makes it possible to send an image, for example from a computer to a monitor, thus replacing the HDMI connector.

USB-A (left) and USB-C (right) Creative Commons

USB-C standard in the European Union

Although the vast majority of new commercially available USB-C devices are already a standard, some manufacturers still use their own solutions, forcing consumers to purchase different types of cables for each of their devices. The Parliament of the European Union, along with other participants in the debate, decided to impose a single standard.

As we can read on the official website of the European Parliament:

Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charging device each time they buy a new device. They will be able to use a single charger for all their small and medium portable electronic devices. Cell phones, tablets, e-readers, headphones, digital cameras, portable video game consoles, and portable rechargeable speakers with a cable will need to have a USB Type-C port, regardless of manufacturer. Laptops will also have to comply with these requirements within 40 months of the regulations coming into force.

Benefits of introducing USB-C as standard

  • More comfort – if each new device will have the same socket, it is enough to have a suitable cable for each device, which will certainly increase the convenience of using the chargers;
  • Economy – the need to purchase a special cable, often difficult to obtain, of good quality after the previous one has been damaged or lost, can lead to large and unpredictable expenses. They can be avoided if a charger fits each device;
  • Less electro-waste – damaged or obsolete cables and wires are a big problem and generate hundreds of tons of waste per year. The introduction of a uniform plug and socket will reduce their number;
  • Uniform loading speed – charging speed will be harmonized for devices supporting fast charging, allowing users to charge devices at the same speed using any compatible charger;
  • Possibility to choose – Consumers will also be able to choose whether they want to buy new electronic equipment with or without a charger.

These advantages have convinced for many years the vast majority of smartphone manufacturers who have been using this socket in Android devices for several years. The company has been the biggest opponent of change for years Applewhich still uses the proprietary Lightning port as standard in smartphones.

Apple's proprietary solution will soon become a melody of the past.
Apple’s proprietary solution will soon become a melody of the past. Creative Commons

However, the giant has probably planned to switch to USB-C in the latest iPhone models, which has already been mentioned by many leaks. Computers and some tablets already run on the unified USB-C standard, so now, when the California giants are forced to do so, their smartphones will likely receive this technology.

The regulation must come into force in the fall of 2024.

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