EU to regulate all smartphones have a common charger
The proposal of the European Commission is that all devices have a common charger, to reduce the amount of electronic waste.
The days when Mini USB and Micro USB ports dominated all of our smartphones and electronic devices are long gone. The rule today is the USB-C port, which has almost become a standard in the world of technology. Almost. The EU wants to propose, by means of new regulation of law, that there is a charging standard.
The idea of the EU is that the same charger can be used in a smartphone, in a tablet, in a camera, in headphones, and in any consumer electronic device that requires charging. Apple, however, has long refused the idea of standardizing a charging port because, according to the company, standardizing this technology could “risk innovation in being more energy efficient in its products.”
However, that does not rule out that, somehow, they are already working on eliminating the Lightning port used by all iPhones. In fact, the most likely, because the precedent exists.
Apple does not refuse to use USB-C ports in its products. Their MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops have basically eliminated all sorts of ports except USB-C for half a decade now. In addition, several years ago they also began to eliminate the Lightning port on the different iPad models, replacing it with a USB-C.
However, on the iPhone, it has been more complicated, at least so far. The Lightning port came as a replacement for the now archaic 30-pin connector used by early iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch, at a time when USB-C was still not used in consumer electronic devices. Regulatory or not, Apple is going to ditch the Lightning port sooner rather than later, replacing it perhaps with USB-C, or perhaps no port at all but solely on the basis of wireless charging, which would be a considerably risky and controversial decision. But it’s Apple, they sometimes do things like that.
According to the European Commission, “with more and more devices on the market, more and more chargers are being sold that are not interchangeable or necessary. We want to put an end to that.” According to the commission, this measure is not directed at Apple or any other company, but rather is something general. Every year the European Union discards about 11,000 tonnes of chargers, according to official data. With their proposal, they hope to reduce this considerably.
The regulation would not only be limited to standardizing the USB-C charging port, but would allow manufacturers to sell phones with or without a charger included in the box, or just with the cable (something that several manufacturers are already doing). Ideally, the same charger that you might use for your tablet would work for your smartphone, your camera, and even your laptop alone (the Nintendo Switch does have USB-C, thankfully). Once these measures are approved, the authorities could implement them about two years later.