The European Commission proposes to remove the chargers from all boxes for smartphones
In a new press release from the European Commission, legislation is being presented by the European Commission to standardize charging on all consumer devices. It also plans to “harmonize” a fast charging standard and “separate the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices”. This proposal will apply to “smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and portable video game consoles”.
The Commission officially proposes four things:
- A harmonized charging port for electronic devices: USB-C will be the common port.
- Harmonized fast charging technology: will help prevent different producers from unduly limiting the charging speed and will help ensure that the charging speed is the same when using any compatible charger for a device.
- Ungrouping the sale of a charger from the sale of the electronic device: the Commission says EU consumers already have an average of three chargers and will only use two.
- Improved information for consumers: OEMs will need to provide information on charging speeds and whether the device supports fast charging.
According to the European Commission, European consumers spend 2.4 billion euros per year on stand-alone chargers not included with the devices. In addition, around 11,000 tonnes of electronic waste is made up of discarded / unused chargers each year. The European Commission hopes that the proposed legislation could potentially save consumers € 250 million per year on unnecessary charger purchases.
The fast charge normalization is interesting. Many Chinese phone makers all use different fast charging standards to compete with each other, but most will support some form of USB-C Power Delivery fast charging. OEMs should therefore provide information on fast charging so that they are aware of the charging speeds they can expect from the charger they already have at home.
iPhone 12 Pro with Lightning to USB-C cable included
The proposed legislation will affect Apple the most. They should switch from Lightning to USB-C. Apple has been rumored for years to make this change, and while Apple’s MacBook and iPad have already switched to USB-C, its two most popular product lines: the iPhone and AirPods. , continue to use the Lightning cable. It would hurt Apple’s sales of chargers and cables, so Apple isn’t giving in without a fight.
Even so, the proposed legislation still has to be approved by the ordinary legislative procedure (co-decision): it has to be adopted by the Parliament and the Council of the EU. Once (and if) the legislation is approved, a 24 month transition period will be given to OEMs to transition to new EU laws.