USB Type-C connector could become standard for all devices thanks to EU

ByLance T. Lee

Apr 21, 2022

The European Union has decided to take another step towards standardizing chargers for all electronic devices and USB Type-C happens to be the recommended option.

The EU responded in September 2021 that it wanted to force manufacturers to use a standardized charging interface for smartphones and tablets. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee voted 43 to 2 to extend the initial proposal to include additional devices such as laptops, consoles portable games, cameras, etc.

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USB Type-C could potentially become the universal charging standard

While many Android smartphones already use USB Type-C ports, Apple is still torn between using Lightning and Type-C. For laptops, fragmentation remains as some use Type-C ports while others use traditional barrel chargers.

The EU is concerned about the environmental impact of customers constantly buying multiple chargers, which irritates many consumers, and also raises the issue of being locked into a certain choice of devices.

“With half a billion chargers for mobile devices shipped to Europe every year, generating 11,000 to 13,000 tonnes of e-waste, a single charger for mobile phones and other small and medium-sized electronic devices would benefit everyone,” said the rapporteur. Alex Agius Saliba (MT, SOUTH DAKOTA).

However, the new proposal exempts certain devices, especially those that are too small to house a USB Type-C port. You can expect smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other smaller devices.

MEPs also expressed concerns about new wireless charging methods and called on the Commission to take similar action on these so that there can also be some interoperability in this section. They fear most manufacturers will end up using wireless charging systems to circumvent the proposal.

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The European Parliament will vote on the revised proposal in May. If the new rules are passed by Parliament, MEPs will then start negotiations with individual EU member states to enforce this new implementation.

Do you think it’s time for USB Type-C to become the standard charging port or are you happy with having different chargers? Let us know.


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