December 5, 2021

EU introduces legislation that will revolutionize our devices

The European Union has introduced a piece of legislation that could revolutionize the way people charge their devices.

On Sept. 23, 2021, The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, announced that they were proposing a bill to force smartphones and other similar manufacturers to include USB-C charging ports onto their devices. 

This is a very consumer-friendly decision as this would mean that nearly all mobile devices would run on the same charging cable, no longer requiring you to ask all your friends if they have a thunderbolt cable, a micro-USB, or a different proprietary Apple cable. 

This move would require both Apple, Amazon, and other companies to use standardized USB-C ports on their devices at least in the European Union. 

USB-C Cable. Photo via Creative Commons.

It is highly likely that this move would force companies to standardize all their devices around the world to USB-C as well.  

This proposal would apply to:

  • Smartphones
  • Cameras
  • Handheld Video Game Devices
  • Tablets
  • Portable speakers
  • Headphones

However, not everyone is fond of this development. 

A spokesperson from Apple has commented on the proposal stating it “stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world. “

The requirement of a USB-C connector is only required if the device charges via a wire, as there are wireless charging options. A completely wireless charging device would not need a USB-C connector, and it is possible Apple could move towards that route with their devices following this move. 

Commissioner Thierry Breton said, “Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that.” She continues, “With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.”

Commissioner Thierry Breton. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

It was time for this change to happen, according to European consumers. 

“European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger,” Margrethe Vestager, European Commission executive vice-president, said. 

Currently, the European Commission hopes to enact this change in 2022.

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