The European Union today granted final approval to the legislation that will for Apple and other tech firms to switch to USB-C connectivity across their devices.
In an official press release, it was announced that the Council today gave its final approval to the common charger directive. This means that starting in 2024, a USB-C port will become mandatory for a whole range of electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and headphones.
The directive will heavily impact Apple, as it widely uses the Lightning connector instead of USB-C on many of its devices.
Apple products that currently feature a Lightning connector, that will have to adopt USB-C if newer models go on sale in 2025 or later to comply with the new law, include:
- AirPods Charging Case
- Accessories, including MagSafe Battery Pack, Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, EarPods, and Beats products
The directive is now official and is set to be published in the official journal of the European Union. It will come into force 20 days after publication, and the rules will apply exactly 24 months after that date. Products that go on sale before the date of application will be exempt and can continue to be sold after that point.
The new rules will apply to a wide range of portable devices:
- mobile phones
- tablets and e-readers
- digital cameras and video game consoles
- headphones, earbuds and portable loudspeakers
- wireless mice and keyboards
- portable navigation systems
In addition, all laptops will also be covered by the new rules 40 months following the entry into force of the directive.
Both Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman say they believe Apple is testing a new version of the iPhone that boasts a USB-C port instead of the traditional Lightning port.