December 2024 set as date for universal phone charger in EU

Image credit: BBC

December 28, 2024, has been set aside by the European Union for the adoption of a standard charging cable by phone manufacturers.

A USB Type-C charger must be used by new portable electronic devices by the fall of 2024, the EU has already decided.

With the law’s entry into the EU Official Journal, a precise deadline for the obligation has been established.

After the deadline, businesses like Apple, whose iPhones use an Apple-made charger, won’t be able to sell new products in the EU unless they use a universal connector.

As the largest manufacturer, Apple uses a specialised charging connector that is only available on select products. For instance, its iPhone series makes use of a unique Lightning connector.

The computer giant will “certainly” comply with the rule, according to Greg Joswiak, senior vice president of global marketing at Apple, who previously told the Wall Street Journal.

According to the EU, a variety of “small and medium-sized portable electronics” such as phones, tablets, headphones, and handheld game consoles will be covered by the new regulation.

The EU’s deadline has exacerbated the Brexit situation because, according to EU and UK officials, Northern Ireland may also be subject to the EU regulation.

The “additional rules may also apply to devices supplied in Northern Ireland under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol in the Brexit agreement, potentially creating divergence of product standards with the rest of the UK,” according to a parliamentary report from December 2021.

The way the agreement functions is by keeping Northern Ireland outside of the UK’s membership in the EU’s single market for goods.

Unresolved is a disagreement between the UK and EU over how to change the Northern Ireland protocol.

The UK government stated in June that it was not “currently considering” adopting the EU rule requiring the use of an all-purpose charging cable for cell phones and other portable electronic devices.

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