Home / Technology / News /  New EU law imposes single charger for all smartphones, tablets and cameras
Back

New EU law imposes single charger for all smartphones, tablets and cameras

FILE PHOTO: An AirPower wireless charger is displayed along with other products. (REUTERS)Premium
FILE PHOTO: An AirPower wireless charger is displayed along with other products. (REUTERS)

  • EU policymakers say the single charger rule will simplify the life of Europeans, reduce the mountain of obsolete chargers and reduce costs for consumers.

According to a new law passed by the EU parliament, all new smartphones, tablets and cameras will have a single standard charger from late 2024. The law was adopted with a vote 602 in favour, and13 against. It mandates smartphone, laptop and camera manufacturing companies to adopt a standard charger, atleast in Europe. Makers of laptops will have extra time, from early 2026, to also follow suit. 

While, most of the Android phones come with USB Type-C charging port, the move will have a impact on Apple mainly. The new measure will push Apple to drop its outdated Lightning port on its iPhones for the USB-C one already used by many of its competitors. The world's second-biggest seller of smartphones after Samsung, already uses USB-C charging ports on its iPads and laptops. 

Apple also offers wireless charging for its latest iPhones -- and there is speculation it might do away with charging ports for cables entirely in future models. But currently the wireless charging option offers lower power and data transfer speeds than USB-C.

EU policymakers say the single charger rule will simplify the life of Europeans, reduce the mountain of obsolete chargers and reduce costs for consumers.

It is expected to save at least 200 million euros ($195 million) per year and cut more than a thousand tonnes of EU electronic waste every year, the bloc's competition chief Margrethe Vestager said.

The European Union's 27 countries are home to 450 million people who count among the world's wealthiest consumers. Regulatory changes in the bloc often set global industry norms in what is known as the Brussels Effect. The EU move is expected to ripple around the world.

"Today is a great day for consumers, a great day for our environment," Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba, the European Parliament's pointman on the issue, said.

"After more than a decade; the single charger for multiple electronic devices will finally become a reality for Europe and hopefully we can also inspire the rest of the world," he said.

But it resisted EU legislation to force a change away from its Lightning ports on its iPhones, saying that was disproportionate and would stifle innovation.

However some users of its latest flagship iPhone models -- which can capture extremely high-resolution photos and videos in massive data files -- complain that the Lightning cable transfers data at only a bare fraction of the speed USB-C does.

The EU law will in two years' time apply to all handheld mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, headsets, portable speakers, handheld videogame consoles, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, mice and portable navigation systems.

People buying a device will have the choice of getting one with or without a USB-C charger, to take advantage of the fact they might already have at least one cable at home.

Makers of electronic consumer items in Europe agreed a single charging norm from dozens on the market a decade ago under a voluntary agreement with the European Commission.

But Apple refused to abide by it, and other manufacturers kept their alternative cables going, meaning there are still some six types knocking around.

They include old-style USB-A, mini-USB and USB-micro, creating a jumble of cables for consumers.

USB-C ports can charge at up to 100 Watts, transfer data up to 40 gigabits per second, and can serve to hook up to external displays.

(With inputs from AFP)

 

Catch all the Technology News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less

Recommended For You

Trending Stocks

×
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout