Europe Insists on Universal Charger Port for Mobile Devices

Europe Insists on Universal Charger Port for Mobile Devices

Smartphone manufacturers might have to adopt a common charger, at least in Europe, according to the legislation the European Commission proposed. If adopted, new rules would require Apple to fall into line with its major rivals by adopting USB-C.

New legislation would cover smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld gaming consoles. In addition to a requirement for devices to use USB-C, the directive would impose a law standardising fast charging technology and give purchasers the option on whether to have a charger supplied with a new device.

The EC has been pushing use of a single charging port since 2009, when most manufacturers still used their own specific ports. Up to this point it has relied on pledges made by vendors which reduced the number of alternatives from 30 to three.

“European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger. This is an important win for our consumers and environment, and in line with our green and digital ambitions,” said Margrethe Vestager, EC executive vice president for a Europe fit for the Digital Age.

The EC’s common charger push is part of a drive to cut e-waste. It estimates disposed of and unused chargers estimated rack up 11,000 tonnes annually. Its proposed rules have to be cleared by the European Parliament and European Council before becoming law. If adopted manufacturers will have two years to comply.

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