EU sets 2024 deadline for Apple and other manufacturers to adopt USB-C connector

EU sets 2024 deadline for Apple and other manufacturers to adopt USB-C connector
(Image credit: Apple)

The USB-C iPhone is coming in the next two years – but maybe not to the UK. The European Union has set a hard deadline of 28th December for phone makers to adopt the USB-C charging standard, but the law will only apply to EU countries, the BBC (opens in new tab) reports.

As of the December deadline, all new portable electronic devices sold within the EU will have to use USB-C. This will include mobile phones, tablets, wireless headphones and handheld gaming consoles.

Apple's iPhones use its own proprietary Lightning connector, though rumours abound that Apple has been testing a USB-C variant. It has also switched most of its iPad models from Lightning to USB-C in recent years.

The EU had previously claimed USB-C would have to be standard by autumn 2024. But now the law has entered the EU's Official Journal, the December 2024 deadline has been set.

Apple's Greg Joswiak has previously told media that the firm will "obviously" comply with the new law. But the law might not apply to the UK, since it left the EU with Brexit – the UK government previously said it was not "currently considering" replicating the law on these shores.

As things stand, the law will apply to Northern Ireland, under the terms of the Northern Ireland protocol. This would mean iPhones sold in Northern Ireland would use a different connector to those sold in the UK.

Talks are currently ongoing on how to reform the Northern Ireland protocol. So by December 2024, a solution might have been found.

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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.