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EU: iPhone must have USB-C by autumn 2024

iPhone charging port
iPhone charging port (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

What you need to know

  • The EU has confirmed an agreement on USB-C charging.
  • All devices sold in the bloc, including the iPhone, must have USB-C by 2024.
  • The full list of devices also includes devices like AirPods, laptops, tablets, and more.

The EU has today confirmed that the iPhone and other gadgets must have a USB-C charging port by autumn 2024.

The bloc stated:

By autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU, Parliament and Council negotiators agreed today.The provisional agreement on the amended Radio Equipment Directive, establishes a single charging solution for certain electronic devices. This law is a part of a broader EU effort to make products in the EU more sustainable, to reduce electronic waste, and make consumers' lives easier.

New rules seek to ensure that "consumers will no longer need a different charging device and cable every time they purchase a new device and can use one single charger for all of their small and medium-sized portable electronic devices."

The full list is as follows:

  • Phones
  • Tablets
  • E-readers
  • Earbuds
  • Digital Cameras
  • Headphones
  • Headsets
  • Handheld consoles
  • Portable Speakers

Laptops will also have to fall in line but a longer time scale of 40 months has been set for this. The latter won't be a worry for Apple, which ships all of its best MacBooks with a USB-C port of some description. However, with its latest M2 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (2021) Apple has re-embraced its MagSafe charging system, which might need a rethink down the line. As noted, Apple has much more time to figure this out for laptops.

The major change, of course, is the iPhone. While it had previously been thought impossible that Apple would make the switch, multiple recent leaks indicate Apple is indeed planning USB-C for iPhone 14, in part to comply with this law. Ming-Chi Kuo says accessories like Magic Mice and Keyboards, as well as Apple's best true wireless earbuds the AirPods, will also follow suit.

In a response to these proposed measures in September Apple stated:

"Apple stands for innovation and deeply cares about the customer experience. Some of the most innovative thinking at Apple goes toward building products with recycled and renewable materials. We share the European Commission's commitment to protecting the environment and are already carbon neutral for all of our corporate emissions worldwide, and by 2030 every single Apple device and its usage will be carbon neutral.We create products that enhance people's lives, making everyday tasks easier and more efficient, including how you charge and transfer data on your device. We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world.We look forward to continued engagement with stakeholders to help find a solution that protects consumer interest, as well as the industry's ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to users."

The company further stated that a short transition period of just two years would be problematic.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.