The standardization of charging sockets and cables within the EU finally seems to be on the move. The EU Parliament and the EU member states have now agreed that USB-C will be mandatory from 2024. Devices with other connections will then no longer be approved for the EU market.
Finally less cable clutter
Can you still remember the days when USB-C was relatively new on the market as a standard? Cable clutter was the order of the day. After all, the new connection type met many others. Besides the classic USB-A, there were already three other port versions with Micro USB and Mini USB. Apart from a few exceptions, owners of Apple devices also had the Lightning port. Reaching into the obligatory cable box was always associated with pulling hair out. This is about to change. The EU has decided that USB-C should finally become a uniform standard. The regulation is to come into force from mid-2024.
Not just for smartphones
Society and politics only became aware of the problem with different charging connections with the advent of smartphones. After all, one usually has to supply the same with fresh power once a day to recharge the battery. But the standardization towards USB-C should by no means only affect smartphones. Other technical devices such as headphones, tablets, cameras and Bluetooth speakers will also have a USB-C port from 2024. So far, so well known. However, the scope of the “USB-C standardization” seems to be even broader than thought a few months ago. After all, PC peripherals such as mice and keyboards, smartwatches, and e-readers will also be affected by the regulation.
Furthermore, notebooks will also be equipped with a USB-C port in the future. However, the manufacturers of notebooks would like to have a bit more time. If the EU Parliament had had its way, the new regulation should have been implemented earlier. The member states, however, have pushed through that it should not take effect until 2024. By the way, the regulation is not yet ready for printing. After all, the official approval of the e-parliament and e-members is still missing. According to experts, however, this is as good as certain.
Fight for more sustainability
The move toward standardization is likely to have a positive impact not only in the area of consumer protection. On top of that, it is hoped that it will save a great deal of electrical waste. Every year, 11,000 tons of scrap alone are said to be attributable to chargers and the associated cables. Industry associations, however, are still somewhat skeptical. Bitkom, for example, has expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the regulation. After all, it would leave out many other electronic devices, some of which would use exotic charging sockets. The EU would have to make further adjustments here. All in all, we welcome the EU’s initiative and are curious how the manufacturers will react. Will Apple, for example, finally use USB-C instead of Lightning for the iPhone 14? We will see.