After almost a decade of trying to impose a single standard for charging ports, the European Union has finally succeeded in its plan to try to reduce electronic waste. Instead of recommendations and various “instructions” as before, a directive came into force. Smartphones, watches, headphones, tablets, consoles, e-readers, keyboards, and portable speakers must use the USB-C standard as a charging port.
Of course, it’s clear to all of us that the biggest changes will happen with the iPhone, but given the date when the directive goes into force, Apple doesn’t have to worry too much. Namely, the directive states that devices must use the USB-C standard if they go on sale after December 28, 2024.
This means that Apple will be obligated to give up its Lightning slot not before they launch the iPhone 17, i.e. the one that goes on sale in the fall of 2025. Also, if it completely abandons the classic slot and switches the next generation iPhone exclusively to wireless charging, which has been speculated for some time, it will skilfully avoid this European directive. Clearly, it is questionable how much such a change will profitable for Apple, so we believe that USB-C will come to life on the iPhone even before the given deadline.
At the same time, the European Commission adopted a directive for the standardization of laptop charging, which will enter into force on April 28, 2026.