The EU lawmakers have decided to have only one charging port to be used on all the devices irrespective of the brand or model of the cell phone and that is decided to be USB-C.
On Tuesday this week, made it mandatory for all the phone device makers that all the phones within the EU countries sold will come with a USB-C charging port by the second quarter of 2024. The new mandate will apply to all the devices recharged including tablets, phones, laptops, handheld gaming devices, headphones even digital cameras. the mandate has been approved to lessen the amount of e-waste. This will allow the consumers to purchase a device without the need for a new charger if they choose. This is surely going to make it easier to travel without the need of carrying various wires for all their devices.
This will be like a victory for the environment in many respects, according to the chief analyst, Ben Wood, as CCS insight. He also stated that it has become frustrating for the consumers to carry a charging wire for each device. Standardization around the charging ports has been a long time coming with several manufacturers who made the switch a long time back. It is not only going to reduce the waste but will also save energy requirements to charge the devices. Since the USB-C generally boasts a faster-charging speed and makes file transfer much faster as well.
This mandate won’t come easy to one major player in this industry. This ruling will bring significant issues for Apple since it has a very distinctive charging port and connector cable. All Apple devices are currently using Lightning ports which is an exclusivity to the brand. According to an estimate, there are more than 1 billion iPhones in the world, and every model released ever since 2012 uses this Lightning port.
This mandate is requiring Apple to make significant changes in its devices if it wishes to continue selling in the EU countries. The coming had it coming. It is already using USB-C ports for its MacBook and most iPad models. According to Bloomberg’s last month’s reports, Apple has already been working and testing out the new ports in its new iPhones. So, it is safe to say, we can soon see Apple devices with USB-C ports.
Apple will finally start following Jony Ive’s obsession with minimalistic designs and eliminating the need for charging ports in the first place to go completely wireless. Apple is already supporting wireless charging in the iPhone lineups through many dongles and accessories connected to the Lightning port of the device. Apple now openly has to prove that is not afraid to make big changes in its devices.
Apple has still not responded to this news. We are yet to wait for a response from the company on this mandate. This won’t be the first time the EU will be driving drastic changes in the tech industry. The GDPR, legislation in the online data privacy, caused redesigning of the user experience on the web. Last year, France laws caused the brands, including Apple and Samsung, to establish consumer repair programs that included a rating of repairability.
So, it is interesting how EU laws are often reshaping the boundaries of the tech industry. May it be the environmental issues or safety or repair guidelines. EU holds a market of 500 million consumers which means no major company can ignore follow it.
The UK government however says it is not currently looking to follow this mandate for the charging cable. Critics believe that it will have a significant impact on tech innovation as it would require design modifications within the device. Due to the post-Brexit arrangements, the EU mandate will apply to the areas of Northern Ireland according to the UK and EU officials.