UK says it won't copy EU USB-C mandate, but that won't matter for iPhone

If the EU is getting a USB-C iPhone, so is everyone else.

What you need to know

  • The EU has confirmed that the iPhone and other devices must have USB-C chargers by 2024.
  • The UK now says it does not plan to replicate this requirement.
  • However, the rumored change to the iPhone will almost certainly be universal.

The UK says that it does not currently have plans to replicate the EU’s USB-C charging mandate, but that doesn’t mean Apple won’t make everyone switch.

Following the news this week that the EU has reached an agreement on the terms of its USB-C mandate, the UK government has told the BBC “we are not currently considering replicating this requirement”. The issue has some interesting ramifications because of Brexit, which could see requirements that differ for Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The BBC reports that both EU and UK officials believe the USB-C mandate would apply to Northern Ireland.

However, that doesn’t mean you’ll struggle to find a charger for your iPhone 15 on one side of the Irish sea.

In the face of this legislation, it is now rumored that Apple is testing USB-C on the iPhone with plans to implement the new charging standard not this year with iPhone 14, but next year. That would bring Apple well in line with the regulations more than a year before it’s necessary. Moreover, as Oliver Haslam notes, there is no way that Apple would push out an iPhone with more than one type of charging port. As reported by the ultra-reliable Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone is going USB-C next year and that is guaranteed to be a universal change, just like the 30-pin to Lightning move was nearly 10 years ago.

The legislation will also impact devices like AirPods 3 and peripherals, as well as laptops, although the latter are subject to a more generous 40-month grace period.

At WWDC this week Apple unveiled its new M2 MacBook Air with MagSafe charging, which it has reintroduced to its best MacBook models in recent months.

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