The European Union’s (EU) executive branch, the European Commission, recently put forward a motion that would make it mandatory for all smartphone and electronic device manufacturers to fit their future products with a USB-C port, as a means of ensuring a common charging and file transfer port across the board. The EU’s revised Radio Equipment Directive proposal also aims to reduce the amount of electronic waste that comes from bundling each device with a new charging adapter or cables.
While this proposal is less likely to affect future production and sales of Android devices – major brands like Samsung are already starting to ship out their flagship devices without an included adapter – it is Apple that will clearly feel the sting of the proposal, as its continues to ship out iPhones with its proprietary Lightning connector port.
That isn’t to say that Apple may not be open to the idea of using a USB-C port; the company from Cupertino began implementing the port with its iPad series back in 2018, and has continued doing so with all future variants of its tablet series.
Are your chargers piling up in a drawer?
We propose a common charger for mobile phones and other similar electronic devices.
A single charger will be more convenient for people and will reduce electronic waste.
— European Commission (@EU_Commission) September 23, 2021
The EU further explains that the proposal will force manufacturers to make their fast-charging standards interoperable, as well as provide customers with information over which charging standards their device will support. It should be pointed out that the proposal only speaks about wired, and not wireless chargers, and that there is still a lot of room for innovation with regards for the latter medium.
In the mean time, the EU will still need a majority approval for the proposal within the European Parliament. Once approval is gained, manufacturers will be given 24 months to comply with the new rule, lest they be slapped with fines in the future.