One Charger to Rule Them All

It finally happened. “Cell phones and handheld electronic devices in the European Union will now be required to have a USB-C charging port, according to an agreement reached Tuesday by the European Commission, the E.U.'s executive branch.

As of 2024, tablets, digital cameras, video game consoles, headphones, portable speakers, e-readers, portable navigation systems, keyboards, mice and earbuds will need to be equipped with the port.”


If I ever replace this aging Android it’ll be a second charger for me. All my lights, garmins, power meter, power bank and phone are micro USB.

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Yep! And I’m an Apple guy, so I have tons of theirs too


And someone cue a new standard from Apple next year….:crazy_face:

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This is a huge positive, and the new USB-C plug is a great choice. Older versions of USB are a big mess. It happened more than once that I accidentally brought the wrong cable. Now companies should include chargers with more than one USB-C plug. The new MacBook Air‘s charger (finally!) does.


If we’re voting on new charger standards, can we please have all watches, Edge, phones, etc use the Garmin watch doofer.

Also, this can’t be enforceable can it? Anti competition to Apple. And USB C wouldn’t be any good for watches etc with 10ATM+ waterproofness?

You can use the industry standard for wireless charging instead, I reckon. That‘s also an option for e. g. newer iPhones, AirPods and Apple Watches.

I don’t think this applies to wearable devices. Partly because of waterproofing, and partly because of the form factor.

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And the same day, the new apple macbook re-introduces magsafe charging!

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I think it said they have 2 more years to bring laptops to the standard. This is going to be interesting to watch!

Where are you going to fit a USB port on earbuds?

Garmin using mini-B (instead of micro, which everything else in the world used until USB-C) has always been annoying. But maybe they don’t any more, my devices are all years out of date.

Not on the earbuds, but I’d require USB-C or wireless charging on the charging case.

Oh yes. My electric toothbrush is using a rarer variant of the USB plug, and I regularly forget to bring the correct cable when I travel.

Even on those model you can still charge via USB-C, so in my book that is compliant with EU regulations.

I like USB-C.

A lot of laptops now use USB-C to connect to an external monitor, where the laptop transmits the signal to the monitor and the monitor charges the laptop. No need for an external charger at all. Awesome!

But I’m totally against governments mandating standards like this. They really have no business getting involved in the tech sector. Was this move strictly motivated by environmental reasons? So that global e-waste production could be reduced by 0.02%? Dumb.

What happens when a better connector is designed? Have they thought about that?


I’m relatively new to the earbuds game, but my Jabra’s come in a charge case. The earbuds themselves have a proprietary connection to the case, but the case is USB-C. Haven’t read the EU standard in detail, but I assume this would comply?

As for Garmin, my 520 Plus, my 530 and my Varia 510 radar are all micro-USB. I note the latest varia 715 is USB, so hopefully this is an indicator that Garmin’s charging standards are evolving.

I don’t think it is dumb at all. When cell phones became mass market products, the European GSM standard became the most popular in the world. And it isn’t about waste either, there are many other facets like protecting consumers and enforcing interoperability. I remember the early time of cell phones, even if you stuck to a manufacturer, you couldn’t re-use your old charger, which was quite inconvenient.

I’d love if I only had to buy one type of cable and charge all devices, from my Wahoo to my massage gun to my iPad to my iPhone to my Wahoo. That’s a massive benefit that is not necessarily in the microscopic interests of a single company.

These people are not morons, and it isn’t their first rodeo either.

How successful a technology is is not just about design, but about many other factors like how wide-spread it is. In my experience, it rarely is the best standard that takes first place, it often just is coincidence. Standards often help technologies spread more quickly, because they allow interoperability. Imagine if every TV manufacturer had its own signaling/video format standard.

E. g. until USB-C came along, USB plugs were horrendously bad. On one end you had a non-symmetric plug that looked symmetric. And you had many different variations on the other. Apple’s Lightning connector was heads and shoulders above them in terms of design — but proprietary. So we had to spend decades with badly designed plugs.

So when a new standard comes along, it must be much better than the old one. I’m fine with that. Over the last few years, standards for digital TV have evolved as resolution and other features have improved — no issue.


I get what you’re saying and agree with plenty of it.

The issue I have is that this seems to be largely targeted at Apple and their lightning connector. I’m not an Apple fanboi, even though I do own a number of their products. They just do certain things better. Tablets and smartphones were crap before iPhone and iPad.

And now for the EU, which has zero mainstream smartphone companies left, to be telling them how to do things? Come on. Apple consumers don’t need to be “protected”.

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It is not narrowly targeted at Apple, although Apple is certainly the biggest company to be impacted. I have no doubt that a few years ago my massage gun would have not come with a USB-C charger and plug. Adopting USB-C plugs and chargers is easy, and I see no standard on the horizon that will take its place.

If I were to guess, I think many devices will lose their charging port and switch to wireless charging instead of adopting a new charging standard. Wireless charging is indeed nice, albeit slower. Even if a new standard comes out and proves itself worthy, history shows that the EU is quite capable of adopting it.

Just to be clear: I think there are plenty of instances where the EU gets it wrong, especially when it comes to technology. But in this instance, they got it right and my biggest criticism is that they should have done this sooner.


Well done EU, good for consumers, good for the environment.


I love usb C. Hate all the BS micro USB bicycle accessories. Now I will have 4 devices with usb c for bikepack racing.

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Is it only “IT” stuff or does the scope of legislation cover shavers, lawn mowers, power tools, toothbrushes, blood pressure monitors etc?