The European Union announced today that it will impose a universal charger for smartphones, which will lead to a collision with Apple and her widely used iPhone, AFP reported.
The European Commission considers that standard cable for all devices will reduce electronic waste, but Apple claims that the universal charger would slow down innovation and create more pollution.
The community is home to 450 million people, one of the richest consumers in the world, and the imposition of USB-C as a cable standard, once approved by member states and the European Parliament, would affected the entire global smartphone market.
“European consumers have long been frustrated that incompatible chargers are piling up in their drawers.“, said in a statement the Vice-President of the European Commission Margrethe Vestager.
“We have given the industry enough time to come up with its own solutions, now it is time for legislative action on a common chargershe insisted.
Currently, consumers have to choose between phones powered by three main chargers: “Lightning” for Apple phones, micro-USB, widely used on most other mobile phones, and the newer USB-C, which is increasingly used.
This range has been greatly simplified since 2009, when dozens of different types of chargers were connected to mobile phones, creating piles of e-junk when consumers switched brands.
They want a single charger for phones in the EU
MicroUSB has been approved by the European Commission as
The EU said that the current situation remains “uncomfortable” and that European consumers spend approximately € 2.4 billion a year on stand-alone chargers that buy separately.
Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, also rejected the industry’s argument that innovation would be harmed.
He told reporters that US technology giants “always make the argument that (EU law) is against innovation … He is not against innovation. It is for European consumers, it is not against anyone.”
Apple, which already uses USB-C connectors on some of its iPads and laptops, insists legislation to require a universal charger for all mobile phones in the EU was unjustified.
“We remain concerned that the strict regulation requiring only one type of charger, stifles innovation, not encourages it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world“, point out Apple.
Some in the industry argue that phones already in use with a legacy charger will lose their value in resale if it cannot be replaced, and will add to the digital waste oversaturation.