Mandatory mobile device USB-C charging by the end of 2024?

Published on June 14, 2022 by Emma Price

Mandatory mobile device USB-C charging by the end of 2024? Here’s what you need to know.

You may have heard recently that USB-C is to become mandatory for mobile devices by autumn 2024, according to The European Commission. We wanted to let you know what that could mean for you, and the implications for our products, so we’ve explained a bit more about what has been put forward, and what it might mean, in this article. 

The European Commission has recently passed a provisional agreement on the amended Radio Equipment Directive (click here to read more:” Deal on common charger: reducing hassle for consumers and curbing e-waste” and ” Document Detail“.), which requires mobile devices of certain types to include the ability to be charged via their USB-C port. If they do not have a USB-C port then in order to be sold into the EU market, they will require one.

This may sound like a major pain for device OEMs, though do bear in mind that most are already working on USB-C variants of their products behind the scenes.

Why is it happening?

The intention of this new legislation is to reduce charger and cable waste due to incompatibilities between USB-C and non-USB-C, or proprietary, charging hardware. By having all, or a large majority, of mobile devices supporting USB-C charging, it opens up the possibility of charger and cable re-use between different manufacturers of mobile device. It also means that consumers may be able to save some cash by purchasing their new mobile device without a charger and simply re-using one which they have already.

How will this affect Cambrionix customers?

Not at all. Cambrionix is not a consumer products company and our products are not classified as mobile devices. As a result, our products will continue to be sold into the EU on a B2B basis. Our customers who use USB-C mobile devices en-masse can continue as normal.

We’re already working on a number of new USB-C products in addition to our recently released Thunderbolt to USB-C ThunderSync3-C10 and our USB-A products will continue to work with USB-C devices with the correct cable.

What’s our opinion on the new legislation?

Although it doesn’t affect Cambrionix as a B2B company, we understand that mobile device OEMs may be getting a little twitchy. The timescales seem incredibly tight with a little over 24 months to comply. Within this timeframe, OEMs with mobile device stock in the EU which is non-compliant may be wondering what to do with it. They may also be wondering how they can design, prototype, certify and move a new product to manufacture en-masse in this timeframe given the current state of the worldwide supply-chain!

That said, we’ve been here before with micro-USB. Back in 2011 the micro-USB port was aimed at becoming the ‘one port for all’ although the legislation passed without action around a year later. That’s the problem with technology; it moves so fast that a connector or cable type which is the greatest thing today may not be fit for purpose tomorrow!

In addition, fast-charging is also discussed by The European Commission. Fast charging is a subjective thing and having all new USB-C chargers support ‘fast charging’ may introduce additional costs for the consumer due to the additional electronics required to support USB-C Power-Delivery. It will be interesting to see what charging rate The European Commission considers ‘standard’.

Cambrionix high-speed, programmable USB hubs provide the best way to connect, charge and manage your mobile device deployment.

Conclusion

Cambrionix is moving towards supporting USB-C across the board. In the meantime, our customers simply need to use a suitable cable to connect their mobile devices to our hardware products. This hasn’t changed.

A wholesale move to USB-C across all mobile device types is a great opportunity for Cambrionix to excel and a great opportunity to accelerate mobile device deployment in healthcare, retail, hospitality, education and enterprise due to lower overall cost of deployment. This lower deployment cost is realised by the ability for customers to purchase devices in bulk without chargers, which may be unnecessary for their deployment type.

We absolutely welcome a reduction in e-waste and standardisation of basic charger hardware, it’s a good thing for consumers and our planet.

About Cambrionix

Cambrionix is the leading provider of intelligent USB hubs for mass mobile device management. Cambrionix’s range of USB hubs, software and tools, support many of the world’s biggest businesses to succeed across a range of industries including hardware and software development, technology, logistics, education, healthcare and retail. 

You can click to find out more about Cambrionix’s USB hubs here and the Cambrionix Connect software here. 

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