Europe might require all cellphone producers to make use of USB-C charging

Steve Dent

Europe might require all producers to make use of USB-C charging for all telephones and digital units, in response to a brand new EU Fee ruling proposal. It goals to cut back e-waste and “client inconvenience” brought on by completely different and incompatible chargers nonetheless in use. The Fee additionally needs producers to unbundle the sale of chargers with digital units. 

“With immediately’s proposal… USB-C will change into the usual port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, moveable audio system and handheld videogame consoles,” in response to the report. 

The EU mentioned its work with trade has managed to cut back the variety of cell phone chargers from 30 to three over the final decade. A type of three is Apple’s Lightning port utilized by round 20 p.c of units offered in Europe. The EU hopes to alter that state of affairs, in response to an announcement by government VP Margrethe Vestager:

European shoppers have been pissed off lengthy sufficient about incompatible chargers piling up of their drawers. We gave trade loads of time to provide you with their very own options, now time is ripe for legislative motion for a standard charger. This is a crucial win for our shoppers and setting and in step with our inexperienced and digital ambitions.

When a standard charger was first voted on by the EU final yr, Apple issued an announcement saying that the proposal would “stifle innovation,” and its place has not modified. “We stay involved that strict regulation mandating only one kind of connector stifles innovation reasonably than encouraging it, which in flip will hurt shoppers in Europe and around the globe,” an Apple spokesperson informed the BBC

Because the launch of the iPhone 12, nonetheless, Apple has stopped together with chargers within the field, one thing it mentioned would save 861,000 tons of copper, zinc and tin. Apple itself now makes use of USB-C charging on its newest Mac laptops and sure iPad fashions, since that normal helps increased voltage charging required for bigger units.

Almost all Android smartphones now use USB-C charging, and lots of fashions from Samsung and others are offered with charging/knowledge cables however not chargers. It whole, round 420 million cellphones and different moveable digital units offered in Europe simply within the final yr.

The EU throws away 12,000 tons of chargers every year, some unused, in response to Bloomberg. On the identical time, shoppers spend round 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion) on standalone chargers not included with units. The legislation remains to be within the proposal levels and must be handed by EU lawmakers and governments, so it might come into pressure round two years after that. 

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