Apple vs. Passy: a new round of the battle for the common charger

The European Commission has issued a directive for a single standardized USB-C device on the idea, launched in 2008 from an article in “24 hours”

All smartphones sold in the EU must have chargers of one type – USB-C. This statement from the European Commission (EC) was quoted yesterday by the BBC, explaining that manufacturers will be forced to produce a universal charger for mobile phones and tablets in order to reduce waste and encourage consumers to reuse their old chargers. devices when buying a new electronic gadget.

In this next round of the battle for a common charger, which began in 2008 with the article by Solomon and Gergana Passy in “24 hours”, the technology giant Apple also took an active part.

The iPhone maker has warned that such a move by the EC would hurt innovation, as the company’s billions of smartphones use a custom charging port of another type called Lightning.

“We remain concerned that

the strict


requiring only

a kind of




rather than encouraging them, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world, “Apple told the BBC, adding that they intend to achieve carbon neutrality for their devices by 2030.

At the same time, many phones running the Android system still come with USB micro-B charging ports, although manufacturers such as Samsung and Huawei have already switched to the more modern USB-C standard and are producing their high-end smartphones precisely. with such a connector as desired by the European Commission.

The new iPad and MacBook models also use USB-C chargers.
The changes will be applied to the charging port on the body of the device, while the other end of the cable connected to the plug can be USB-C or USB-A.

Only 3 years ago about

half of


devices for



sold in the EU,

were with USB

micro-B connector With a USB-C charger were 29%, and 21% – with Lightning connector. This was established by an EC study for impact assessment in 2019.

The rules now proposed by the commission will apply to smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, handheld video game consoles. The European Commission also intends to standardize fast charging speeds.

EU politicians have been fighting for a common standard for more than a decade, with a European Commission study estimating that discarded and unused charging cables generate more than 11,000 tonnes of waste a year.

In the last

year in the EU are

were sold

about 420 million


phones and others




According to research, each has about three mobile phone chargers, two of which he regularly uses.

In 2009, there were more than 30 different chargers, while now most models adhere to three – USB-C, Lightning and USB micro-B.

Having a common charging standard would be a victory for common sense in the eyes of consumers, says Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight.

Although Apple has its arguments for keeping the Lightning charger, as the iPhone has a billion users, some of the company’s products, including Mac and iPad, already support USB-C connectors.

Professional observers in this market segment believe that

can pass

several years,

before these

suggestions to

come into force

The European Commission directive must be discussed by the European Parliament and national governments. MEPs and Member States can propose amendments to the proposal and only after the EC adopts these amendments will the directive be adopted.
The EC hopes that this will happen in 2022, after which Member States will have two years to transpose the rules into national law, and manufacturers will have 24 months to change the chargers they produce.
“We have given the industry enough time to come up with its own solutions, now is the time for legislative action on a common charger. This is an important victory for our consumers and the environment, and in line with our green and digital ambitions, “said Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President of the European Commission.

Bulgaria can be the EU’s eco-designer

Dr. Solomon Passy

When pursuing the objectives of the Paris Agreement or EU green policies, there are two types of solutions: difficult, expensive and slow, as well as easier, cheaper (or free for the taxpayer) and relatively quick.

The first are, for example, the solutions for “greening” of energy, the second are the solutions for standardization: chargers of different types and for different devices, TV and other remotes, etc., etc.

There are a third type of solutions that become more expensive with the delay, sometimes incredibly. This is our proposal for European policies against soil degradation.

That is why, if we prioritize type two solutions (easy, cheap, fast), the results (which can also be fast, even lightning fast) will give us a breath of fresh air to impose difficult solutions.

History has shown that reasonable standardization yields fantastic results that far exceed the resources invested in them.

The general charger for mobile phones gives Bulgaria an excellent opportunity to position itself as a “green standardizer” or “eco-designer” of the EU, as long as the Bulgarian authorities show imagination.



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