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New EU proposal could force phone manufacturers to use USB-C, including Apple

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By Tekato Longkumer Updated: Sep 23, 2021 9:48 pm
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USB-C and Apple Lightning
Photo by Lucian Alexe on Unsplash.

Dimapur, September 23 (EMN): The European Commission on Thursday has announced plans to force electronic manufacturers to adopt USB-C charging ports on all devices including smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld gaming consoles.

The new rules might force Apple to finally ditch its proprietary Lightning Connector in favour of the USB-C connector adopted by most of its competitors.

The aim of the proposal is to reduce e-waste by encouraging consumers to reuse their existing chargers and cables when purchasing new devices. The proposal also wants manufacturers to disclose information regarding the charging standards supported by their devices and to unbundle the sale of chargers with electronic devices.

In a press release, the European Commission wrote, “Today, the Commission takes an important step against e-waste and consumer inconvenience, caused by the prevalence of different, incompatible chargers for electronic devices. Years of working with the industry on a voluntary approach already brought down the number of mobile phone chargers from 30 to 3 within the last decade, but could not deliver a complete solution. The Commission is now putting forward legislation to establish a common charging solution for all relevant devices.”

“With today’s proposal for a revised Radio Equipment Directive, the charging port and fast charging technology will be harmonised: USB-C will become the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogame consoles.”

The push for a standardised charging port for all electronic devices in the EU has been going on for at least a decade. However, despite reducing the amount of charging standards from over 30 down to just three, the consensus is that it is still shy of a “complete solution.”

“European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave the 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,” European Commission executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager said.

Apple in response to the proposal said, “We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world.”

However, the proposal does not cover devices using wireless chargers since the European Commission believes that “there is plenty of room for innovation on wireless.” With rumours suggesting that Apple could shift to portless iPhones, Apple might not need to conform to these rules entirely.

In order for these proposed rules to become law, the proposal needs to be passed by EU lawmakers and governments, so it could come into force around two years after that.

6139
By Tekato Longkumer Updated: Sep 23, 2021 9:48:18 pm