The European Commission today announced a proposal that would require smartphone OEMs to equip all devices with a USB-C port. That wasn’t the only requirement, and the proposal also states that manufacturers must stop including a charger inside the box. Needless to say, the one company that is still using a different standard than the rest of the industry is Apple, which is still relying on the lightning connector on iPhone and iPads.
Apple started using USB-C on most of its devices, except some Beats headphones, its own audio devices, iPhones, and the more affordable iPad range. The new iPad mini 6 is the latest Apple product to join the USB-C club. If the EU implemented the proposal, it would force Apple to use USB-C on all of its devices and accessories or face fines. In case of Apple, we speculate that the company would likely pay the fines instead of giving in and comply with the proposed legislation.
The second part of the proposal recommends phone manufacturers to stop shipping chargers inside the box. The EU wants to reduce its e-waste by almost a thousand tonnes yearly. Apple was a pioneer when it removed chargers from the box, and Samsung, Google, and other large OEMs have followed their steps since.
“Unbundling the sale of a charger from the sale of the electronic device: consumers will be able to purchase a new electronic device without a new charger. This will limit the number of unwanted chargers purchased or left unused. Reducing production and disposal of new chargers is estimated to reduce the amount of electronic waste by almost a thousand tonnes yearly.”
Even if the proposal goes ahead, it would likely take very long to implement. The document itself states that it could take as long as two years to adapt, so we are still a few years away from having a standardized charging port on all electronic devices. Let’s just hope that we won’t move onto a new, improved standard by then.