In the future, a single charger should be enough to charge any mobile phone or tablet sold in the European Union. The European Commission today presented a proposal for rules that will require all manufacturers to adapt to the USB-C standard. According to the EU executive, the unification of the end of the charging cable should make life easier for customers and reduce the volume of electronic waste.
The proposal also envisages that manufacturers will not include a charger with each device, as has been the case so far. The plan, backed by a majority of MEPs, has previously been criticized by Apple, which is likely to affect more than the competition.
“More and more devices are being sold with more and more chargers that cannot be used on other devices or are not necessary,” Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in Brussels today. The new rules are to apply not only to phones or tablets, but also to electronic readers, cameras, speakers or wireless headphones.
The Commission has been working on converging charger standards for many years and has so far succeeded in reducing several dozen previously used terminals to three through negotiations with manufacturers.
If today’s proposal is supported by the European Parliament and the Member States, sales of types other than USB-C will end within a few years. Manufacturers will also sell chargers separately from devices.
MEPs have already called for the adoption of similar rules in last year’s resolution and can be expected to agree. On the other hand, Apple, in particular, has been using its own connector system for a long time. According to her, the proposal restricts consumers’ choice and hampers innovation.
“We are still concerned that strict rules governing only one type of connector hamper rather than encourage innovation, which will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” the US company said today, using terminals other than standards of other companies.
According to Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, the EU has given companies enough time to agree on harmonizing their chargers, but this has only been partially successful. The Commission has been working on unifying the charging standard for more than ten years.
“European consumers have been annoyed for a long time by a pile of incompatible chargers piled up in their drawers,” Vestager said. According to the commission, customers in the EU should save 250 million euros (6.5 billion CZK) a year by not buying unnecessary chargers. There will also be a significant reduction in electronic waste, of which chargers account for up to 11,000 tons per year in the Union.