Maybe next year, changes in European legislation regarding the charging standard will finally be approved. USB-C in all electronic devices could thwart Apple’s plans for the iPhone 14.
Last year we informed that the European Commission had prepared a draft amendment to the directive on “radio equipment”. These changes mainly concerned the pricing standard. The EC would like producers of electronic equipment sold in the territory of the European Union to have a single, standardized method of invoicing. The choice fell on USB-C, which did not particularly appeal to Apple, which has been focusing on its own solutions for years, and the Lightning port allows the company to save a fortune in cables, adapters and adapters.
USB-C would become a standard used not only in smartphones and tablets. This is also applicable to cameras, headsets, consoles and portable speakers, etc. And while many OEMs have long since switched to USB-C, the committees also want there to be no chargers in the boxes with the devices. It has also been in use for a long time – which is criticized by smartphone owners, for example. The charging technologies used in today’s phones force the replacement of the charger – for example, by offering more power or having a USB-C port. According to the European Commission, this is to improve consumer comfort and have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the production and disposal of chargers.
The USB-C standard is getting closer. Any changes coming next week?
The subject of USB-C chargers and cables came up again in April this year. The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee adopted its position on the amended directive by 43 votes for and 2 against. The final decision will now be taken by the European Parliament. According to Reuters, this could happen next week. Agency sources say the amendment will finally be approved on June 7, allowing the regulations to be introduced later this year. It’s unclear, however, whether they will apply from the day of their introduction – if they do, Apple could find itself in a difficult situation. In the fall, the iPhone 14 will debut, which according to all information available so far, will still have a Lightning port. This one is going to be much faster than before. This is due to the USB 3 interface for faster information transfer.
Changes to the charging standard in the EU. What will change?
Therefore, it is worth recalling how the Union wishes to unify this market:
- Harmonized charging port for electronic devices: the common port will be USB-C. Thus, consumers will be able to charge their devices with the same USB-C charger, regardless of the brand of the device.
- Harmonized fast charging technology will help prevent undue reduction in charging speed by different manufacturers. It will provide the same charging speed with any compatible device charger.
- Separate sales of chargers from sales of electronic devices: consumers will be able to buy a new electronic device without a new charger. This will reduce the number of unnecessary or unused chargers you buy. It is estimated that reducing the production and disposal of new chargers will reduce the amount of electronic waste by almost a thousand tons per year.
- Better consumer information: Manufacturers will need to provide relevant information on charging efficiency, including information on the power required by the device and whether fast charging is supported. This will make it easier for consumers to verify that their chargers meet the requirements of the new device or help them choose a compatible charger. Combined with other measures, this would help consumers reduce the number of new chargers they buy and save €250 million a year on the purchase of unnecessary chargers.
Alex Agius Saliba from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament explained a few months ago that the changes must be introduced quickly – i.e. link to the ever growing problem of electrical waste. Half a billion chargers for electronic devices that leave Europe each year generate between 11,000 and 13,000 tonnes of electronic waste.