Skip to main content

UK says it won't copy EU USB-C mandate, but that won't matter for iPhone

Purple Iphone 14 Pro Render
Purple Iphone 14 Pro Render (Image credit: Front Page Tech)

What you need to know

  • The EU has confirmed that the iPhone and other devices must have USB-C chargers by 2024.
  • The UK now says it does not plan to replicate this requirement.
  • However, the rumored change to the iPhone will almost certainly be universal.

The UK says that it does not currently have plans to replicate the EU's USB-C charging mandate, but that doesn't mean Apple won't make everyone switch.

Following the news this week that the EU has reached an agreement on the terms of its USB-C mandate, the UK government has told the BBC "we are not currently considering replicating this requirement". The issue has some interesting ramifications because of Brexit, which could see requirements that differ for Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The BBC reports that both EU and UK officials believe the USB-C mandate would apply to Northern Ireland.

However, that doesn't mean you'll struggle to find a charger for your iPhone 15 on one side of the Irish sea.

See more

In the face of this legislation, it is now rumored that Apple is testing USB-C on the iPhone with plans to implement the new charging standard not this year with iPhone 14, but next year. That would bring Apple well in line with the regulations more than a year before it's necessary. Moreover, as Oliver Haslam notes, there is no way that Apple would push out an iPhone with more than one type of charging port. As reported by the ultra-reliable Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone is going USB-C next year and that is guaranteed to be a universal change, just like the 30-pin to Lightning move was nearly 10 years ago.

The legislation will also impact devices like AirPods 3 and peripherals, as well as laptops, although the latter are subject to a more generous 40-month grace period.

At WWDC this week Apple unveiled its new M2 MacBook Air with MagSafe charging, which it has reintroduced to its best MacBook models in recent months.

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.

1 Comment
  • I think as a Brit myself I can say this ... no one actually cares. The UK is irrelevant on the world stage now (because Brexit). If Northern Ireland soon rejoins the rest of Ireland (a *very* likely scenario) then "the UK" will physically not even exist anymore! If Scotland leaves soon as well, (a *fairly* likely scenario) then "Great Britain" is no more either. It will just be old England standing alone, with it's metaphorical pants around it's ankles. No one cares about the UK's silly old-fashioned measurements and no one cares about their data or consumer standards either. Not even "the colonies" follow them on any of that. I mean they still measure weight in "stones" for cripes sake, lol.