EU to adopt common charging port for gadgets

April 26, 2022 |

The European Union’s push to establish a universal charging port standard for mobile devices has reached a significant milestone with the backing of an EU panel, setting the stage for an imminent assembly vote.

More than a decade ago, the European Commission proposed the concept of a single mobile charging port, envisioning a solution where phone manufacturers would collaborate to establish a common standard. However, progress was slow, prompting the Commission to introduce draft legislation last year, marking a pioneering effort globally.

Recently, the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee endorsed the Commission’s proposal, signaling widespread support within the EU for the initiative.

However, not all stakeholders are in favor of the proposed standardization. Apple, renowned for its Lightning cable used to charge iPhones, argues that the move could stifle innovation. In contrast, Android-based devices predominantly utilize USB-C connectors, aligning with the envisioned standard.

According to Alex Agius Saliba, a prominent figure leading the parliamentary debate, the move towards a universal charging port holds significant environmental benefits. With an estimated half a billion chargers for portable devices shipped annually in Europe, the adoption of a single charger standard could substantially reduce electronic waste, estimated at 11,000 to 13,000 tonnes per year.

The committee’s proposal extends beyond mobile phones, encompassing a wide array of devices such as tablets, headphones, e-readers, low-powered laptops, keyboards, computer mice, earbuds, smartwatches, and electronic toys. Central to the proposal is the adoption of the USB Type-C port as the standardized interface, ensuring compatibility across a diverse range of gadgets.

Despite the potential environmental advantages, Apple has expressed concerns about the proposal’s impact on consumers. The tech giant warns of the logistical challenges and environmental repercussions associated with transitioning consumers to new charging standards.

As the debate unfolds, the European Union faces a crucial decision that could shape the future of device connectivity and electronic waste management. With sustainability and innovation at the forefront, stakeholders must navigate the complexities of standardization while addressing the diverse needs of consumers and industry players alike.

Source: Euronews

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