The European Union has proposed having a common charging port for mobile phones, tablets, and headphones to reduce e-waste. An EU executive claims the move will also lead consumers to save 250 million euros ($293 million) annually, as they won’t have to buy a separate charger for every new device.
The EU proposes the USB-C connector as the default charging port for smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, speakers, and handheld gaming consoles. The proposal also wants chargers to be sold separately from devices. This will force consumers to re-use their old chargers and help reduce environmental waste.
The European Commission specifically mentioned that it was not targeting Apple with this move. Instead, it is being forced to make this move as the industry has failed to reach a consensus despite over a decade of talks.
Apart from a common charging port, the EU is also proposing a common fast charging standard. Almost all OEMs have their own fast charging variations, which are not interoperable with each other. The EU wants all OEMs to work together on a universal fast charging solution compatible with any charger.
Apple has already issued a statement against the proposal, saying it believes this regulation will stifle innovation.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Proposal to “de-couple” the purchase of a phone and a charger
Argues that will also save on money & waste
— Jessica Parker (@MarkerJParker) September 23, 2021
For the EU’s proposal to become a law, it must receive majority votes in the European Parliament. Once passed, companies will have 24 months to comply with the law.
EU’s proposal could have far-reaching consequences. It could force Apple to switch its iPhone lineup and the AirPods to USB-C. Initially, this could be a pain point, but it would open the door to a broader set of accessories and interoperability for iPhone users.