In the modern world, most mobile devices have used the USB-C cable extensively, while Apple has kept its Lightning charger.
Users have been urging the tech giant to make the switch to USB-C for years, and by 2022, the demand was getting stronger.
On Tuesday, the European Union moved to force Apple to abandon the Lightning cable.
On Tuesday, the European Parliament met to approve a new set of rules that would require mobile devices and tablets to use USB-C from the beginning of 2025.
Meanwhile, larger devices like laptops will follow suit and enforce the rules a year later in the spring.
The first of these laws requires new devices sold in the EU to use the USB-C charging standard.
Electronics covered in this new rule include:
- Rechargeable cameras
- Portable speakers
- Handheld video game consoles
The decision effectively ends proprietary charging standards in the commercial block, including Apple’s Lightning connectors for iPhones and iPads.
The EU proposal has prompted calls for similar standards from lawmakers in different parts of the world.
In early 2022, three Democratic senators called on the Commerce Department, asking them to develop a “comprehensive strategy” for charging accessories.
They cited consumer nuisance and environmental waste as the basis for developing the strategy.
According to a European Parliament report, Apple officials warned European lawmakers that the proposed rule would render more than a billion devices and accessories that use the Lightning cable obsolete.
A study in 2021 cited similar reports.
According to the study, iPhones with Lightning connectors accounted for 18% of new phone sales in 2019.
Meanwhile, 44% used USB-C while 38% used the older USB Micro-B connector.
Tuesday’s vote is one of several formal steps needed to finalize the policy drafted by EU officials this summer.
The measure received overwhelming support in the European Parliament.
It raked in 602 votes in favor of the new rule, 13 against, and 8 abstentions.
The next step for the adoption of the measure is the European Council, where it will come into fruition eventually.