The European Union on Thursday urged smartphone makers to use USB-C cables to charge their devices, outlining a plan the smartphone industry would need to reduce to a variety of ports, the Associated Press reported.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, proposed new legislation that would force companies to adopt USB-C charging cables, which many manufacturers have already started using, going forward.
One of the top opponents of the proposed change is Apple, which expressed concerns that limiting charging cables could curtail future innovation and offend buyers as a result, the AP reported. Apple’s iPhones use the Lightning charging port, which is the company’s own design, but adapter cables that can plug into a USB-C socket are included with new models of devices.
A typical EU resident has at least three types of chargers and uses two of them normally, but 38 percent reported that there was at least one instance where they could not charge their phone. because they didn’t have access. Correct cable, the commission said.
While many are expected to celebrate the reduced number of cables needed to charge their smartphones, the EU aims to reduce the 11,000 metric tons of electronic waste that Europeans discard annually, the AP reported.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
About 420 million mobile phones or portable electronic devices were sold in the European Union last year.
The draft rules also call for standardizing fast charging technology and giving consumers the right to buy new equipment with or without a charger, which the EU estimates will save consumers 250 million euros ($293 million) per year. .
After more than a decade trying to get the industry to adopt a common standard – efforts that reduced dozens of different charging plugs to a handful – the EU’s executive commission is pushing the issue.
EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said, “Chargers power all of our essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not required. We are eliminating this. are doing.” “With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use one charger for all of their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.”
Once the new rules come into effect, companies will get two years to adapt to the new rules. The rules would only apply to electronics sold in 30 countries of the European Single Market, but like the strict EU privacy rules, they could become a de facto standard for the rest of the world.
Apple said it shared the European Commission’s commitment to protect the environment, but questioned whether the proposals would help consumers.
“We are concerned that the strict regulation that mandates only one type of connector prevents rather than encourages innovation, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” the company said in a statement.
Breton denied that the new rules would slow innovation.
“If Apple wants to keep their plug, they will have the ability to do so. It’s not against innovation, it’s just to make the lives of our fellow citizens a little bit more easy,” Breton said at a press briefing. Brussels, adding that device makers can still put two separate ports on their phones if they wish. He said the proposals would allow one to keep updated with advances in technology.
Under the proposed law, which still needs to be examined and approved by the European Parliament, phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld video game consoles, headsets and headphones sold in the EU will all have to come with a USB-C charging port. . Earbuds, smartwatch and fitness tracker are not included.