EU finalizes USB-C charging standard • The Register

After an initial agreement in June, the European Parliament today overwhelmingly voted in favor of a USB-C charging standard that will force electronics manufacturers to abandon other proprietary or other ports.

With 602 votes in favor, 13 against and eight abstentions, the EU has finally decided to make USB-C the port of record for all phones, tablets and cameras sold in the European Economic Community from the end of 2024. Laptops will need to use USB-C by 2026.

Alex Agius Saliba, MEP for Malta and rapporteur for the new rule, described it as future-proof as it includes the ability to set future charging standards and that everyone would benefit from it, from consumers to the environment. “We’ve been waiting for these rules for more than 10 years, but we can finally put the current abundance of chargers in the past,” Saliba said.

As well as the electronics mentioned above, Saliba said a number of different types of devices had been added to the regulation in the past parliamentary session. “We have continued to work to … extend the scope of this proposal to other products. This was one of the greatest achievements when you look at the original proposal from the European Commission,” said Saliba.

According to the EU Parliament’s announcement, “headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earphones” and any other device that charges with a cable and draws up to 100 watts will be covered , including the scope of the rule.

The new rule also requires device manufacturers to put up specific labels detailing the charging capabilities of new devices, so consumers can more easily tell if their existing chargers are compatible.

The European Commission’s decision in June piqued the interest of US officials interested in a similar standard. Not long after, three Senate Democrats wrote a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, urging the department to consider similar regulations.

Perhaps no company has been looking for a response in the battle for standardized chargers as much as Apple, the biggest tech company, which has resisted the adoption of USB-C, which long ago became the norm for Android devices.

Apple, on the other hand, has been reluctant to ditch its Lightning port, which it says would be bad for consumers by forcing them to discard old chargers and – somehow – bad for innovation.

According to Bloomberg, Apple was already testing new iPhones with USB-C ports before the EU mandate. Apple already equips its laptops and several iPad models with USB-C, making the iPhone one of the few devices in its lineup that might, but doesn’t, support it. ® EU finalizes USB-C charging standard • The Register

Rick Schindler

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