Apple Faces USB-C Charger Challenge

John Lister's picture

Phones and tablets sold in Europe from 2024 may need to use USB-C charging ports in a blow to Apple. The rules could affect handsets around the world depending on how manufacturers respond.

The rules would come through a European Union directive, which means all 27 EU countries would need to pass the measures into their national laws. Although the draft directive has been published, they won't take force until the European Parliament has voted to adopt them.

The logic is that the rules would let users have a single charger for all small portable devices, including any new ones they buy. That's designed partly for consumer convenience and partly for environmental reasons, to reduce the number of chargers that are manufactured.

Setting Standard Difficult

It's not the first time Europe has tried such rules. It previously tried to make USB-micro chargers a standard format but eventually decided to make it a voluntary program. While many manufacturers complied, Apple continued using its custom Lightning charger format.

This time the plan is to make the rules mandatory for all small devices sold in EU countries from the fall of 2024, including Apple products.

The initial deadline would cover devices including e-readers, digital cameras and headsets. Larger devices such as laptops would come under the rules a few years later. (Source:

The big question now is how Apple responds. It could try to lobby to get the rules changed, refuse to comply (and test how the rules are enforced), or decide it's time to switch to USB-C. (Source:

Effects Could Be Worldwide

The rules would only cover EU countries. The sheer size of the market means its unlikely international manufacturers will simply stop selling devices there. That means those which don't use USB-C have to decide whether to produce special models for Europe, or to adopt USB-C worldwide.

USB-C has several advantages over previous USB formats, including faster data speeds and the ability to carry more power. It also works either way up, removing the frustration of trying to insert a plug, particularly in hard-to-reach places.

What's Your Opinion?

Should this be a legal matter or should it be left to the free market? Would all devices having the same charger format make much difference to you? Do you think Apple will switch to USB-C or stick with Lightning wherever it can?

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Chief's picture

This will do nothing but create an even bigger mess.
Right now, all one has to know is "Apple" and one purchases an Apple charger.

If this succeeds ....

Government meddling never ends the way they think it will because (insert joke here).

topgum's picture

The only cable I have had consistent problems with is the lightening cable

Chuckster's picture

Apple should change to a USB-C cable.

Their cables have always been cheap, problematic and difficult, but they cost $$. The multitude of different chargers, connection types, only causes confusion and rip off charges for special connectors that keep getting changed out for additional sales revenue of new attachments.

Connections should be standardized universally in mobile devices.

matt_2058's picture

Same old reasons that were used to require USB charging block instead of the all-in-one charger.

Except this time the reasoning borderline opinion.
"...let users have a single charger for all small portable devices..."
---NOPE. Different amperage requirements based on the device.

"..designed partly for consumer convenience and partly for environmental reasons, to reduce the number of chargers that are manufactured..
---Convenience, maybe. Environmental(reducing the number of chargers), NOPE. Unless there would be only one size fits all in amperage and cord length.