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Monday, October 18, 2021

‘USB-C only’ – EU proposes same charger for all electronic devices to curb e-waste

BRUSSELS: The European Commission on Thursday proposed plans for the same charger port for all devices in the face of resistance from tech American multinational technology giant Apple.

The movement to adopt the same type of charger has become a bone of contention between the executive arm of the European Union and Apple. The European body claimed the same port for all devices will help to curb electronic waste while the world’s largest technology firm argues that the move would ‘slow innovation and create more pollution’ as it continued to use its lightning connector rather than the USB-C which saw in Android phones.

Furthermore, the proposal from the executive branch of the European Union also makes USB-C port for cameras, headphones, portable speakers along with consoles.

Reports cited that if member states and the European Parliament approved the proposal, the new standard will be enforced in two years. The parliament has already voted in favor of the ‘Go Green’ move on a common charger in early 2020.

Meanwhile, the proposal also added the latest fast charging and to sell chargers individually, other than the phone, in a bid to press consumers to keep buying chargers.

Rationalizing the proposal, the European Commission said, the move would save $293 million for consumers on annual basis. Some reports said more than 420 million mobile and other electronic portable devices were sold in the bloc in 2020 while an average consumer in Europe uses two regularly besides having an extra.

It further added that unused charges are estimated to produce around 11,000 tons of electronic waste per annum. Let it be known that the proposals cover only wired devices and, not wireless, chargers.

A statement issued by EU Executive VP stated “European consumers have been frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers”. She also mentioned that “we gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger”.

It all started in 2009, when smartphone giants Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Nokia signed a voluntary agreement to use a common standard. However, in the coming months, the industry gradually adopted Micro USB and, which was later replaced by, USB-C.

On the other hand, Apple never includes a micro USB port on iPhones as most devices from US tech giant came with micro USB to 30-pin adapter. The iPhone maker in a statement said we remain concerned that such 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.

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