One Cable to Rule Them All: EU to Demand Use of Common Charger for Smartphones by 2024
12:25 GMT 22.09.2021 (Updated: 12:29 GMT 22.09.2021)
One of the key concerns among EU leaders is the electronic waste caused by the vast variety of charging equipment, which often depend on the manufacturer and the device model.
The executive body of the European Union plans to introduce legislation next month that will harmonise mobile phone chargers sold in the EU.
In 2019, the Commission ordered a study into how to limit the fragmentation of charging solutions while not hampering future technological evolution. The report marked two main problems that arise from a market flooded with different chargers, which include negative environmental effects and consumer inconvenience.
To tackle these issues, the new EU law will say that all smartphones sold in the EU must switch to USB-C chargers by 2024.
USB-C is an industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power on a single cable. USB-C is smaller and thinner than the USB port. It is versatile and can run a faster data transfer.
USB-C is backwards-compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 and reversible. This means you can plug it in the right way, the first time, no matter which side you use.
While new Android-based devices are charged using USB-C connectors, Apple products have a charging port of their own - the Lightning connector.
Apple's view is that forcing connectors to conform to a certain type hurts innovation and is wasteful and also annoying to the consumer.
However, one of the recently revamped Apple devices, the iPad mini, has had its Lightning port replaced with the USB-C.
The European Parliament planned for a legislative measure to be adopted at the latest by July 2020. However, due to the pandemic, the Commission published a revised 2020 work programme, announcing that the common chargers proposal would be postponed until the first quarter of 2021.