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USB type-C will become the European Union's standard charging port from 2024

USB type-C scores a win. (Source: Flickr)
USB type-C scores a win. (Source: Flickr)
The European Commission (EC) has now completed its deal to make USB type-C a "common charging port" across its jurisdiction. The decision is now set to ensure that new devices of a swathe of consumer electronics categories can use the same cables and power bricks anywhere in the European Union - laptops and iPhones included.

The EC has now announced that its negotiations on new legal requirements for consumer electronics sold within the EU are now complete. As a result, these products will indeed all have to support the same charging standard: USB type-C.

The new law, provisionally known as COM(2021)547, or the amendment to the Radio Equipment Directive, stipulates that a list of personal electronics will need to be made with a type-C port in order to be eligible for sale in the EU. They include all "mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers" that require wired charging.

Therefore, this upcoming directive might spell the long-predicted end for Apple's Lightning port. The EC's decision may have a knock-on effect for other OEMs, too, as it has determined that laptops will also have to become compatible with this law. This might not change much for a number of OEMs and popular lines, but just might cut the long-awaited return of true MagSafe short.

In addition, some companies such as OPPO, not to mention its BBK Electronics subsidiary siblings such as Vivo, OnePlus and Realme, might be affected by the new rule. They may use USB type-C in their smartphones; however, they have also developed multiple voltage/current profiles in order to market them as charging faster and faster by the generation.

However, the EC now stipulates that all devices covered by the amended Radio Equipment Directive will have a "harmonized" charging speed, meaning that they should be able to charge at the same rates using the same power brick and cable.

Therefore, this might also spell the end of SuperVOOC and its derivatives - on the other hand, OPPO may be able to get around this so long as its new power bricks support standards such as Qualcomm QuickCharge, as they increasingly do in any case.

The new directive is now set to come into effect 40 months from now (or in late 2024). Some companies such as Apple may not welcome the move, having argued that the law will stifle innovation within their industries. In addition, it may become awkward should a new USB upgrade (such as the ongoing transition from type-A to -C) happen along.

However, the EC asserts that it will prevent as much as 11,000 tonnes of electronics becoming e-waste per year, while saving consumers a total of €250 million (~US$268 million) a year.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 06 > USB type-C will become the European Union's standard charging port from 2024
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2022-06- 7 (Update: 2022-06- 8)