EU to require all phones, laptops, other similar devices use same USB Type-C charging cable


June 7 (UPI) — The European Union said Tuesday that it’ll require in the near future one single charging cord that will work for all smartphones and similar devices, a move toward making things less confusing for users and cutting out electronic waste.

The European Parliament announced a provisional agreement for the rule, which will mandate that all devices can be charged with a USB Type-C cable. The law will take effect in 2024.


Most smartphone makers already use the Type-C cable, but Apple uses its own to power iPhones and iPads. The new law will require them to supply Type-C cables in all 27 countries and states in the EU.

“This is not a common charging solution, a common charger only for smartphones. This is a common charging solution for a list of 15 different products,” European Parliament rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba told reporters Tuesday.

Apple has argued that requiring a single type of charger would create electronic waste and be disruptive for consumers. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

The move is aimed at making varying devices easier on consumers and reduce electronic waste.

“This law is a part of a broader EU effort to make products in the EU more sustainable, to reduce electronic waste, and make consumers’ lives easier,” the European Parliament said in a statement.


The rule applies to tablets, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and other devices that use similar charging cables. Laptops will also be required to use the Type-C cable, but will have a longer grace period to comply with the law.

During the legislative process, the European Electronics Recyclers Association called the proposal a “great opportunity for reuse.”

Apple has argued that requiring a single charger type would “freeze innovation” and be “unnecessarily disruptive” to consumers. It said that about a billion Apple devices would need to be fitted with Type-C adapters or become obsolete, which would be bad for the environment.