One to charge them all: EU demands single plug for phones

Tech News

FILE – In this Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 file photo, The app Smart Voting is displayed on an iPhone screen in Moscow, Russia. Big Tech companies that operate around the globe have long promised both to obey local laws and to protect civil rights while doing business. But when Apple and Google capitulated to Russian demands and removed Smart Voting, a political-opposition app from their local app stores, it raised worries that two of the world’s most successful companies are more comfortable bowing to undemocratic edicts — and maintaining a steady flow of profits— than upholding their stated principles.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

LONDON (AP) — The European Union unveiled plans Thursday that would require smartphone makers to adopt a single charging method for mobile devices.

The EU Commission proposed legislation Thursday that would mandate USB-C cables for charging, technology that many device makers have already adopted. The main holdout is Apple, which has resisted the bloc’s efforts for a unified standard. iPhones come with the company’s own Lightning charging port, though the newest models come with cables that can be plugged into a USB-C socket.

The push by the EU will certainly be cheered by the millions of people who have searched through a drawer full of cables for the right charger. But the EU also wants to cut down on the 11,000 metric tons of electronic waste thrown out every year by Europeans.

The commission said the typical person living in the EU owns at least three chargers, and use two regularly, but 38% of people report not being able to charge their phones at least once because they couldn’t find a compatible charger. Some 420 million mobile phones or portable electronic devices were sold in the EU last year.

“Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that,” Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, said. “With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.”

Under the proposed law, which must still be scrutinized by the European Parliament, phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld video game consoles, headsets and headphones sold in the European Union would all have to come with USB-C charging ports.

After attempting for more than a decade to cajole the industry into adopting a common standard, the EU’s executive Commission is pushing the issue.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Download Our App

Don't Miss