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A USB-C port to dominate them all: the European Union approves the proposal for the single charger in mobiles and other devices

The idea that all mobiles use the same charging port is not new. In 2009 we actually believed that the Micro USB port would be the only one with which we would charge our phones, but nothing of that. However and as we anticipated a few hours ago, it is now when the European Commission has passed legislation to use a standard loading port for these devices.

Actually the measure also wants to be extended to other products such as tablets, headphones, cameras or speakers, and the protagonist of this proposal is the USB-C connector that many manufacturers already use but that has a clear opponent: Apple.

Chargers will no longer be included in the mobile box

The objective of the European Union with this legislation is to reduce the problem of electronic waste, and with the choosing a single loading port for these devices there will also be other relevant measures.

For example, the tendency not to include a charger in the mobile box. The idea here is to reuse chargers that we already have at home, although that could prevent us from being able to take advantage of the maximum fast charging capacity in new devices offered by the manufacturer. To do this we will have to purchase these chargers separately.

Apple has faced those proposals for a long time, and in 2020 they highlighted how a study showed that such a proposal stifled innovation. The study, of course, was paid for by an Apple that continues to bet on the Lightning port on its mobiles although it has already adopted the USB-C port on several of its iPads, such as the recent iPad mini.

The popularity of the USB-C port is increasingly evident, and even its main rival in Android devices, the Micro USB port, is giving way inexorably. We have a good example in the new Kindle Paperwhites from Amazon that for the first time are charged through the USB-C port and not through the Micro USB.

In addition to the proposal for harmonize the charging port and use the USB-C as a common port, the Commission also proposes the harmonization of fast charging technology. This will “prevent individual manufacturers from unreasonably limiting the charging speed and will help to ensure that the charging speed is the same when using a compatible charger for a device.”

The European Commission gives a two-year margin for its adoption

As those responsible for this initiative indicate, “the European Parliament and the Council must now adopt the proposal”, and if everything runs its course there will be “a transition period of 24 months from the date of adoption“which” will give the industry enough time to adapt. “

The objective of the proposal is that this measure is implemented in 2024, which leaves some margin of action for manufacturers to prepare for that future in which we will finally stop having to deal with several cables with different ports to charge our phone.

According to the EC, approximately 420 million mobile phones and other portable electronic devices were sold in the European Union in 2020, and on average, “consumers own about three mobile phone chargers, of which they use two on a regular basis. “

In the EU they reveal that even so users tend to have problems due to incompatibilities when using the available chargers, and that not only causes annoyances, but also the deleted and unused chargers “represent 11,000 tons of electronic waste per year“.

More information | European Comission