The European Commission, an arm of the European Union, wrote that the legislation would make USB-C “the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and handheld videogame consoles.” Additionally, the suggestion would “unbundle” charger sales from electronic devices, meaning customers won’t always get a new charger with their electronic gadget. The main purpose of this new legislation would be to stop customers from growing a currently all-too-common stockpile of different chargers and cables, ending up in massive amounts of e-waste.
Are your chargers piling up in a drawer?
We propose a common charger for mobile phones and other similar electronic devices.
A single charger will be more convenient for people and will reduce electronic waste.
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) September 23, 2021
The proposal, which is called the Radio Equipment Directive, still has some steps to go through before it can be approved into law. It first needs to be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council. If approved, companies in the tech industry will have two years before the law goes into force, giving them time to improve product designs. It’s also worth seeing that despite this law only affecting Europe, it could very well make USB-C the worldwide standard unless companies want to create different variants of their products just for Europe.
While USB-C is somewhat common already, Apple is one of the lone major companies holding out from adopting the charging format completely. While Apple’s newer iPads and MacBooks use USB-C, iPhones, including the upcoming iPhone 13, still use the company’s proprietary lightning cable The company has already spoken against the EU’s proposal, with Reuters reporting that the company remains “concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world.”