Saudi Arabia passes law requiring USB-C charges for smartphones

From 2025, Apple’s iPhone and all Android smartphones sold in Saudi Arabia will have to have a USB-C charging port, with laptops to follow in 2026.

After the European Union’s mandate that all smartphones switch to USB-C charging, the government of Saudi Arabia has followed suit.

According to GSM Arena, the local government has announced that the law is intended to cut down e-waste, reduce costs overall, and improve the user experience. The latter is to come both from the convenience of being able to more easily buy or borrow the correct cables, and from ensuring higher speed data transfers.

The announcement was reportedly made by the Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization and the Communications, Space, and Technology Commission, which said that the law will be enacted in two stages.

From January 1, 2025, the law will require USB-C charging ports on all new smartphones, headphones, keyboards, speakers and routers. Then from April 1, 2026, the law will be extended to apply to laptop computers.

Saudi’s law is unlikely to impact Apple as it is expected to move the iPhone to USB-C starting with this year’s iPhone 15, and by EU law must do so by the iPhone 17 in 2025. Leakers have already begun claiming to have images of the iPhone 15 range’s USB-C components.

Apple has not commented on the decision. It has previously, though, argued that moving to a common charger would handicap innovation and increase e-waste, rather than reduce it.

A rumor in February 2023 claimed that Apple would throttle charging and data transfer speeds over USB-C cables that had not been certified by the company. However, the EU has informed Apple that this is unacceptable, and that were it to happen, the EU would ban iPhone sales.

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