After many rumors, the European Commission has formalized its position on the charger issue: they must all be USB-Chargers, without exception.
The European Commission has published its proposal to reform the Radio Equipment Directive, which, among other things, includes a clear indication to all consumer electronics manufacturers, including Apple: the USB-C charging port must become the standard for most devices. If nothing changes on Android, it is a blow to the heart of Apple.
In Cupertino, they prefer the Lightning port to USB, and this standard is still the one used on the latest arrivals, the iPhone 13. For users, this means one thing: if you switch from iPhone to Android or vice versa, you can throw away the charger. If you have both Android and iPhone, however, you need to have two chargers. In both cases, the environment is lost because end-of-career battery chargers are electronic waste in all respects.
The most modern and powerful ones, such as those with GaN, are even more difficult to dispose of. The proposal of the European Commission now goes to the European Parliament. Then there will be a transition period, and finally, if there are no changes, Apple will have to adapt.
EU Single Charger: What Changes
At the end of the legislative process, net of any unlikely changes. Today, USB-Chargers will become the standard for charging smartphones, tablets, cameras and camcorders, headphones, portable speakers, and portable battery-powered game consoles.
But not only that: the manufacturers will have to guarantee the same charging speed with all the chargers from all the competing manufacturers. Today, smartphones with ultra-fast charging, on the other hand, charge at low power if powered with non-original chargers or chargers from different manufacturers, even if these chargers have the same power as the original ones.
Consumers eventually will have to be allowed to buy a device even without the charger, which will probably eliminate all magazines from all sales packs of smartphones and tablets on the market.
EU Only Charger: When It Arrives
All this will not come immediately; on the contrary: perhaps it will come too late. The Commission’s proposal will be discussed and possibly amended by the European Parliament. After final approval, a two-year transition period will give hardware manufacturers time to adjust their products.
But not only that, to arrive at the single charger, it will also be necessary to modify another European directive, the so-called ” Ecodesign,” which concerns not the devices to be recharged but the battery chargers themselves. The modification of the Ecodesign directive will begin by the end of the year and, of the Commission, will travel hand in hand with the new Radio Equipment Directive.
Hopefully, it will take about three years before we see the only charger in the consumer electronics market. It will be USB-C, assuming that USB-C still exists in three years.