USB-C: the European Union will help you see more clearly in this jungle

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The universal charger is soon here. After the adoption of the European directive in 2022France published a decree and one stopped requiring manufacturers to equip their electronic devices with a USB-C port from December 28, 2024 (April 26, 2026 for computers). The idea being to harmonize “charging interfaces and communication protocols for charging” for most of our electronic devices, explains Bercy. But this new obligation will also have an unexpected side effect, it will allow us to see more clearly in the jungle of USB-C chargers and cables.

Clearer indications on each box

“Connectivity”universal“is in fact a collection of different standards and protocols, the only thing in common being that they use the same tip to connect to your smartphone or tablet. Type-C is available in chargers”Power Delivery“, in cable “Thunderbolt” or even standard USB 2.0/3.0/4.0. As a result, it is not always easy to know the most appropriate type of charger and cable to use with your favorite gadget.

Fortunately, the new European bonds will change all that. Indeed, the manufacturers of devices affected by the measurement will have to indicate the minimum and maximum powers required for charging a device. A pictogram must also alert the consumer to the presence or absence of a charger in the box. This goes even further since, for any product sold by default with a charger, the manufacturer must also offer “the possibility of purchasing this radio equipment without a charging device“.

Concretely, this means that the charger will become an optional accessory for most electronic gadgets, which certain manufacturers may decide to overcharge for or not. In all cases, manufacturers will obviously have an obligation to provide a charger compatible with the device.

A little order on the market

Whether or not a gadget is compatible with the USB Power Delivery standard (or “USB PD“) must also be informed by the manufacturer. This standard allows the device and the charger to modulate the electrical power for the fastest possible charging, all without reducing the life of the battery. There is also no question of fooling around with homemade protocols or excessive charging powers, the law in fact indicates that “any additional charging protocol allows full functionality of power delivery via USB port

All this information will be summarized in a pictogram “user-friendly and easily accessible“. A bit like the repairability index, this label should be “displayed in a visible and legible manner and, in the case of distance selling, near the price indication“. This mandatory label, present in stores and on the web, will therefore make it easier to understand why your charger dug out from the bottom of a drawer charges so slowly your brand new Galaxy S24 or why your charger Nintendo Switch struggling to give a boost to your Macbook Pro.

In addition to all this, the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) will also inherit new powers to control “the placing on the market of radio equipment compatible with the requirements specific to the universal charger.“Enough to sort out the big mess that is the USB-C market.

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