Is USB Type-C The Way Forward? Soon To Be Mandatory In The EU

TECH NEWS – The new law requiring the use of USB Type-C will also apply to laptops, but only from 2027.



USB Type-C will become the standard charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU by 2024. This standard charging solution was provisionally agreed upon today under the revised Radio Equipment Directive and is part of a broader drive to make products in the EU more sustainable, reduce electronic waste and make everyone’s lives a little easier.

It is fair to say that the days of looking for special chargers are mostly behind us.

But legislation covering one of the world’s largest markets ensures that we don’t go down the same old miserable roads again. (This could finally mean I can throw out that massive box of cables that’s been sitting in the attic for years. Or at least spend some time looking through them.)

One of the biggest culprits for the introduction of countless chargers over the years has been the not-so-humble mobile phone. For some time now, there has been a concerted effort to move to USB Type-C ports, especially for Android phones, although obviously, Apple is going its own way.

Under the new law, Apple will have to switch from its beloved Lightning port unless it wants to turn its back on Europe.

This new law will target all small and medium-sized portable electronic devices, focusing on handheld video game consoles, keyboards, mice and headphones. Laptops will also be covered by the law, although not immediately. They will be brought into line “40 months after entry into force”.

It will be interesting to see if this applies to all laptops, especially those that we are interested in, namely gaming laptops. The updated spec for USB Type-C 2.1 power came out this time last year, which made 240W chargers a reality, so there’s still plenty of power on the cards.

Faster charging speeds are also covered by this new law with a harmonised approach, meaning devices that can take advantage of faster charging can do so with any compatible charger, not just the one that ships with the device.

One clause provides customers with the option to buy new devices with or without a charging device, which makes sense if they already have a fully functioning charger.

Furthermore, given that unused chargers are said to account for 11 000 tonnes of electronic waste, this problem does indeed seem to be something worth addressing.

The new USB Type-C law will come into force in 2024, provided it passes formal approval, which is expected to happen after the summer holidays.

Source: European Parliament

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