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EU rules force USB chargers to be the universal

The European Commission proposed a new rule that will force manufacturers to create universal USB-C chargers for all phones and other small electronic devices.

This new rule aims to decrease waste by encouraging people to re-use their chargers when purchasing a new phone or other devices.

The proposal said that all smartphones and other small devices sold in the EU market must come with USB-C chargers.

Apple commented on this new rule stating that such a move would have harmful effects on innovation.

Apple is considered the leading manufacturer of smartphones that use a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-customized Thunderbolt connector.

The company told the BBC that they continue to be concerned that such strict regulation would harm innovation instead of encouraging it. The firm added that overall, it could harm customers in Europe and worldwide.

Apple also stated that by 2030, it aims to make every device carbon neutral.

Overview

Most Android phones have already moved to the more modern USB-C standard, while some still come with USB micro-B charging ports.

New MacBook and the iPad models use USB-C charging ports, which are also used for high-end phones from Samsung and Huawei (popular Android manufacturers).

Where would changes apply? They could apply to the device body (smartphone) in the charging port where the end of the cable connects to a plug, which could be USB-A or USB-C.

A Commission impact assessment research in 2019 found that in 2018, most of the chargers (about half of them) coming with smartphones had a USB micro-B connector in the EU, while 28% had a USB C connector and 22% a Lightning connector.

 

These new proposed rules will apply to:

  • smartphones
  • tablets
  • cameras
  • headphones
  • portable speakers

Other products are smart-watches, earbuds, and fitness trackers.

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