The EU has officially decided on the date by which new iPhones, as well as other smartphones, tablets, headphones and small electronics should switch to the USB Type-C wired charging standard. This should happen by 28 December 2024, as the new legislation today was published in the Official Journal of the EU, making it formally binding.
The new rules will now officially come into force in 20 days, and individual EU member states will have a maximum of 24 months to implement them as national law.
This date is more or less in line with previous predictions by politicians, but until now it has remained uncertain, given the number of stages through which each act of EU legislation must pass. When lawmakers reached an initial agreement in June, they said the legislation would apply from “autumn 2024,” but in October a press release said the rules would apply “until the end of 2024”.
In addition to smartphones, the legislation will also apply to devices including tablets, digital cameras, headphones and handheld video game consoles. Laptops will also eventually be included in the list of devices that must come with USB Type-C charging, but not before April 2026. The rules only apply to devices that offer wired charging, meaning those that only charge wirelessly won’t be forced to use USB Type-C.
Apple, which is the largest smartphone manufacturer that has not yet switched to USB Type-C, publicly confirmed that it plans to comply with the new rules. Based on its current release schedule, it technically won’t have to make the switch until the 2025 flagship iPhone launch, but insiders indicate that Apple could ditch Lightning earlier. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that this may happen as early as next year.