European Union Looks to Make USB-C Ports Mandatory with New Law

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The European Union wants to make a universal standard for charging cables and ports.

black and gray portable speaker on white book
Photo by Lasse Jensen

Such a move would force Apple to phase out its in-house Lightning cable standard move it to something like USB-C, DP Review reports.

The proposed legislation comes out of the EU’s European Commissions which touts the idea as a way to cut down on electronic waste, among other things (such as being pro-consumer).

Namely, the Commission proposes that USB-C become the “standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogame consoles.”

That pretty much covers the full consumer gamut right there, but that’s not all the Commission wants to do. They also want to make fast-charging technology mandatory and “unbundle” the sale of a charger with the device itself.

Oh, and doing something like including a converter with your device isn’t going to cut it under these new rules. The device has to have a dedicated USB-C port, not a Lightning-to-USB-C connection.

None of this is going to happen anytime soon; the proposed change would take at least two years to become law. But Apple is already complaining according to The Verge, citing concerns about innovation and having government overreach interfere with the private market. Plus, Apple somewhat unabashedly says the move will generate more waste as consumers are forced to switch from Lightning adapters to USB-C though this notion has never stopped the company from foisting some new, bespoke thing upon consumers in the past.

What do you think of the EU’s proposal for manufacturers to require a USB-C port on electronics? Consumer-friendly move or a bit of legislative overreach on the EU’s part? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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[DP Review]

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