Apple and other electronics manufacturers will be required to adopt USB-C as the universal charging standard in the Europe Union after a landmark law was approved via vote by member nations. 

The new law targets portable speakers, mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras as well as numerous other small devices. It is the first ever kind of law in the world. The rationale behind the introduction of the law is the streamline the number of chargers and cables consumers have to keep with every purchase of a new device. The new law allows users to mix and match their devices and chargers, even if they were produced by different manufacturers. 

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Apple stands to be the biggest loser in the EU with this change. For a long time, it has kept its device ecosystem closed off thanks to its proprietary systems, including its charging connector called Lightning.

Under the new law, Apple will be forced to move away from its Lightning charging and data transfer systems and adopt USB-C for all its devices sold in the EU. According to reports, the tech company has already begun testing the USB-C on iPhones. If things go well in the EU market, it’s likely that Apple will expand the system to other markets. 

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While the new law has managed to pass voting from member states, it must now be signed by the presidents of the EU parliament and the European Council, according to a press release from the EU Council. This however, is considered a formality. This piece of legislation had already received the go ahead from EU lawmakers last month. 

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While the new law governs small electronics that will go to market by 2024, the rules will also extend to covering larger electronics like laptops by 2026. It will also help the EU begin working towards standardising wireless charging.