European lawmakers are due to meet on June 7 as they attempt to reach an agreement on a common mobile charging port law, which would see all mobile devices sold in the EU be required to include USB-C ports for charging.
According to Reuters’ sources, the European countries and lawmakers are likely to strike a deal on common charging port connector for mobile phones, tablets and headphones.
The debate on the issue has been going on for more than a decade after iPhone and Android users complained about having to use separate chargers for their phones.
A law on standard charging port for mobile devices is meant to enable users to need just one cable to charge and transfer data across devices, possibly reducing electronic waste, saving money, and improving charger safety and interoperability.
Exemptions will apply to gadgets that are too small to have a USB-C connector, such as health trackers, smart watches, and some sports equipment. Larger devices in those categories will still be subject to the regulations.
Apple has slammed the idea, claiming that adopting the same charging standard would hamper innovation and would also produce a pile of electronic garbage.
Apple iPhones are charged via a Lightning connection, while Android smartphones use USB-C connectors.
Rumours have circulated in recent months that Apple is moving forward with its own plans to phase out Lightning connectors.
According to Bloomberg and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is testing iPhone 15 devices with USB-C connections. The iPhone 15 will debut in the autumn of 2023, while this year’s iPhone 14 series will continue to have Lightning connectors for communication and charging.
Next week’s move comes after the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee last month voted 43 to 2 in favour of the proposed law, called the Radio Equipment Directive, meant to force consumer electronics makers to include a USB-C connector on all devices sold in Europe.
“With half a billion chargers for portable devices shipped in Europe each year, generating 11,000 to 13,000 tonnes of e-waste, a single charger for mobile phones and other small and medium electronic devices would benefit everyone,” MEP Alex Agius Saliba said last month.
According to Reuters, the meeting next week will also review widening the scope of the proposal to laptops, which could impact other device makers such as Samsung and Huawei.
EU legislators also want wireless charging technologies to be standardised by 2025, but EU countries and the European Commission wants a longer lead-in period for technical reasons.
Obviously, the new law surrounding standard charging port will be restricted to the EU and consumers in other parts of the world will have to keep purchasing pricey, constantly-changing peripherals to charge their phones, until similar laws are introduced in those regions.