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Universal mobile charger on the way for EU Universal mobile charger on the way for EU Shutterstock

European Union finds a universal solution for mobile phone chargers – Apple putting up resistance

Written by  Jan 27, 2022

EU member states agreed on Wednesday on a common position on a single charger for electronic devices, on the basis of which they will negotiate with the European Parliament on the final text of the law.

On the 23rd of September last year, the European Commission proposed a solution for charging electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets, which should all have a USB input slot type C, which is a key step for the final introduction of a universal charger.

The Commission has proposed an amendment to the directive that USB Type C should become the standard charging slot for smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld video game consoles.

Good news for consumers and the environment 

The unique USB-C slot will allow consumers to charge devices with the same USB-C charger, regardless of device brand. Clearly great news for consumers.

The proposal provides for the sale of chargers separately from electronic devices, which means that a new charger will not necessarily be included when buying a new device. This should reduce the amount of electronic waste. Again another great idea and one that falls in line with reducing waste.

A common solution for charging electronic devices should significantly reduce the number of chargers that accumulate in consumer homes and bring significant savings. According to Commission estimates, EU consumers could save € 250 million a year on unnecessary charger purchases. It should also reduce the amount of electronic waste by about a thousand tons per year.

Since 2009, the Commission has been trying to solve the problem of a single charger for electronic devices, which has led to a significant reduction in the number of different chargers and charging solutions from around thirty to three today.

American Apple digging their heals in 

In order to obtain a universal charger, it is necessary to ensure full interoperability on both sides of the cable: the electronic device and the plug for external power. The Commission announces that it will propose an amendment to the regulation in this regard, which would enter into force at the same time as the new directive.

Sadly, the biggest resistance to the universal charger has been coming from the American manufacturer Apple for years.

Most phones sold today use micro-USB charging slots, but not Apple’s iPhone, which can’t be charged with a charger made for the most commonly used Android products.