India joins the EU in mandating USB-C connector on mobile devices by law

The measure applies from 2025, but effectively cements the EU’s move to force mobile device manufacturers to use a single format for the charging jack, making USB-C a universal standard.

With less purchasing power than in Europe, even India hasn’t been too “thrilled” with Apple’s practices, aimed at capturing consumers in a closed ecosystem of accessories sold at a premium. Of course, environmental protection is also an issue, as devices compatible with a particular type of connector can be “retired” at any time, if the manufacturer controlling that ecosystem decides overnight that it is time to move on to a new generation of products.

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Ironically, the measure will also generate profit for Apple, by selling adapters that allow the reuse of old accessories designed for the old Lightning connector format. Then, after the discarded accessories end up in the trash (or recycling centers), Apple still stands to gain by selling new phones, tablets, laptops, and USB-C interface accessories, with the beneficial effects of these measures to be realized much later.

The good news is that USB-C reliability is already time-proven, with the connector accepting both high charging powers (e.g. 240W) and transfer speeds matching the latest USB standards. The connector is reversible (it can be inserted regardless of orientation), and the mother jack (the one installed in the phone) seems to repel dust buildup somewhat better. Some issues arise on the confirmation side of fast charging speeds, but they can usually be fixed by replacing the USB-C cable, without further intervention on the connected device.

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In the European Union, mobile devices without a USB-C connection will be banned from sale from 2024.

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