This move is expected to save EU customers ‘250 million euro a year on unnecessary charger purchases’
The EU’s making USB Type-C a universal charging port for mobile devices
The European Union has announced that by Autumn 2024 USB Type-C will become the block’s universal charging port standard for mobile phones, tablets, portable gaming consoles, e-readers, earbuds, cameras, and all other medium-sized portable devices. With this move, proprietary charging standards will disappear within the EU, and universal changers will be available for most portable devices.
This legislation has been under consideration for years, but now, USB Type-C is the official charging standard of the EU. This move is seen as a major blow to Apple, who ship most of their devices with Lightning ports for charging and data transfer. To continue selling iPhones in the EU, Apple will need to transition to USB Type-C.
Is USB Type-C good enough to be a universal connector?
USB Type-C is a versatile standard, and modern USB Type-C cables can be manufactured that can deliver up to 240W of power to compatible devices and data rates of up to 40 Gbps. This is more than fast enough and powerful enough for today’s small to medium portable devices, and future iterations of USB Type-C have the potential to deliver higher data rates and handle higher power draws.
Should the need arise for higher data rates or additional power over USB Type-C, the market will move to make USB Type capable of handling those loads (within reason). That said, 240W of power and 40Gbps of data is plenty for most reasonable use cases.
While there are concerns that mandating USB Type-C could needlessly restrict innovation, it is hard to argue that USB Type-C can’t deliver enough power to charge portable devices. Remember 240W USB Type-C cables and chargers are available, more power than most devices can currently draw for charging.
Over the next few years, most portable devices that are sold in the EU will use USB Type-C for charging. This will allow most people to charge a majority of their new devices using a single charger. This is good news for consumers, as they should no longer need multiple chargers to charge all of their devices. Soon, you may only need to place a single charger in your travel bag.