In a nutshell: USB-C cables are extremely versatile, being able to simultaneously transfer data, carry a video signal, and charge electronics at up to 240W. While most devices already use the popular standard, there are still a few holdouts, like Apple's iPhones.
Today, lawmakers in the European Union have finally reached an agreement requiring all phones, tablets, and other small electronics sold in the region to use USB-C as the charging port. The European Commission has been pushing for a universal charging solution for mobile phones for over a decade.
The entire list of electronics includes laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mice, portable navigation devices, smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles, and portable speakers.
By fall 2024, all new devices belonging to these categories will have to include a USB-C port for charging. The only exception is laptops, which have 40 months after being passed to be adapted.
We have a deal on the common charger! 🇪🇺— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) June 7, 2022
This means more savings for EU consumers and less waste for the planet:
" mobile phones, tablets, cameras… will all use USB type C
" harmonised fast-charging technology
" unbundling of sale of chargers #SingleMarket #DigitalEU pic.twitter.com/qw2cJV4RY0
Apple's iPhones will be the most impacted by the new law, as most other devices already adopted USB-C a long time ago. However, the latest rumors indicate that the company already has plans to replace the Lightning connector in next year's iPhones.
The USB-C standard currently supports power delivery at up to 240W, so it'll be interesting to see what becomes of desktop replacements and other high-powered laptops. For instance, the recently-unveiled MSI Titan GT77 ships with a 330W power adapter, and its components can draw over 250W combined.
It's also worth noting that these rules only apply to devices that charge via a cable and not those that exclusively feature wireless charging.
Lastly, the press release mentions that consumers in the EU will be able to choose between purchasing a new device with or without a charging brick included in the box.