The European Parliament has approved a law requiring all smartphones to have a USB-C port by 2024. The vote, which saw 602 votes in favor and 13 against, means Apple will need to dump Lightning ports on iPhones in the European Union. The vote was expected and will ultimately affect more than smartphones in the trading and governmental bloc of 27 nations.
Under the new law, consumers in the EU will eventually be able to use one single charger for a range of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices. Ultimately, this will include smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, mobile navigation systems, earbuds, and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts.
The vote is part of the EU's effort to reduce e-waste and give consumers "more sustainable choices."
It's long been rumored the 2023 iPhone 15 series will be the first to introduce a USB-C charging port. The change comes as nations slowly pass laws calling for USB-C to become the standard on mobile devices. Besides the EU, Brazil and the U.S. are also pushing the standard.
Next year's iPhones will be the first Apple handsets since the iPhone 4S without a proprietary Lightning connector.
The next iPhones certainly aren't the first Apple products with USB-C. The 12-inch MacBook (2015) was the first, followed by the 2016 MacBook Pro. The first tablets to include USB-C were the 2018 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. Today, you'll also find USB-C on the iPad Air.
According to the EU's Alex Agius Saliba, "The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe. We have waited more than ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of chargers in the past. This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone - from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment."
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Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.