Implementing Changes and Regulations in Tech

2021-10-16 by JamesD

According to a recent announcement from the European Commission, which is the executive branch of the European Union, there might be new plans that will be forcing electronics and smartphone manufacturers to include a common USB-C charging port on all devices. 

This new announcement is likely going to have the biggest impact on Apple, as the company has continued to utilize its own proprietary Lightning connector instead of the common USB-C connector that most of the competitors have already adopted. These new plans arrive  with the intention to cut down on electronic waste in the European Union, as the rule will allow consumers to reuse their existing cables and chargers when they purchase new electronic devices.

Aside from smartphones, this new rule is going to apply to many other electronic devices such as cameras, tablets, portable speakers, headphones, and video game consoles. Aside from that rule, many manufacturers will also have to make their latest fast-charging standards interoperable, which means a variety of devices will be able to utilize the same cables to charge batteries at a faster rate, as long as they support the feature. Manufacturers will also have to give information to their consumers about what charging standards their devices will support. Furthermore, according to the proposed rule from the European Commission, customers will be able to purchase new electronic devices without having to get a charger for those devices.

Although this proposal only talks about the devices that use wired chargers, and not any wireless chargers, according to Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner, there is also room to innovate in wireless charging and devices too. According to the proposed rule, the common USB-C port will only be mandatory for all devices that charge their batteries using a cable. However, if any devices charge exclusively in a wireless manner, such as future rumored portless phones from Apple, there won’t be a requirement to add a USB-C charging port.

For this revised Radio Equipment Directive proposal to turn into a law, it’s going to have to pass a vote in the European Parliament. If the proposal is passed, all manufacturers will have 24 months to implement the new changes. Early last year, the parliament already voted in favor of new rules of implementing a common charger, which means this latest charger proposal might have broad support from members.

Efforts aimed to get electronic device manufacturers to adopt the same charging standards date back to at least a decade ago. In fact, plenty of companies have gradually been adopting either a Micro USB in earlier years or a USB-C in recent years as a common charging port.

Additionally, according to the commissioner, as chargers that give power to some of the most essential electronic devices all come with different chargers that are either sold separately or aren’t interchangeable, the proposal was made to put an end to that. This way, all consumers in the European Union are going to use a single charger to charge all of their electronic devices, which will reduce waste and increase convenience.