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iPhones will get USB-C charging after Apple says it will have to comply with EU law

Apple will have to follow a European Union law that mandates electronic devices have a common charging standard — known as USB-C — the company’s marketing chief confirmed.

“Obviously we’ll have to comply,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said at The Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference on Tuesday.

On Monday, ministers from EU member states gave final approval to the common charger law which means that by 2024, electronic devices including mobile phones and tablets will need to support USB-C charging.

The European Council’s stamp of approval comes after other EU legislative bodies voted in favor of the law which has been around 10 years in the making.

Apple’s iPhone uses its proprietary Lightning charger. Under the upcoming EU law, the iPhone would need to support USB-C.

Joswiak did not say when Apple would introduce USB-C to its flagship smartphone but it would need to happen by 2024.

Analysts previously told CNBC that iPhones scheduled to be released in 2023 could be equipped with USB-C charging and that Apple is likely to introduce the standard globally, not just in the European Union.

EU lawmakers contend the rules will reduce waste as consumers do not need to buy a new charger every time they purchase a device. The EU said this will reduce production and the disposal of new chargers.

Joswiak took a swipe at the EU for the charging law, admitting the two sides have been in a “little bit of a disagreement.”

“We think the approach would have been better environmentally and better for our customers to not have a government be that prescriptive,” he said.