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EU’s Decision On Single Charging Port Soon: Good & Bad Side Of The Deal
The European Commission first proposed the use of a single mobile charging port over 10 years ago but last year proposed draft legislation after OEMs were unable to agree on a common solution. iPhone and Android users have been long complaining about being forced to use different chargers for their phones.
While Android phones have made a shift to USB-C connectors, Apple still uses its proprietary Lightning cable to refuel its phones. In 2018, half of the chargers that were sold that were bundled with phones had a USB micro-B connecter, while 29% featured a USB-C connector. As for iPhones, 21% of the chargers used Lightning connectors, as per a 2019 Commission study.
A Vision Beyond Smartphones
According to lawmaker Alex Agius Saliba, who is leading this case at the European Parliament, said he hopes the assembly might vote on his proposal in May this year, enabling him to approach EU nations on a final decision.
"A deal by the end of the year is doable. This is our ambition," he told Reuters during an interview. His proposal could impact Huawei and Samsung and other OEMs, as his vision goes beyond smartphones."This would be a totally missed opportunity if we only focus on smartphones," Agius Saliba said.
Saliba wants e-readers, low-end laptops, mice, keyboards, earphones, smartwatches, and other electronics to facilitate a single mobile charging port, while the Commission's list features smartphones, headphones, and tablets.
Agius Saliba also wants the Commission to align wireless charging systems within two years and that the legislation should be effective just six months after it is adopted. This will give OEMs a short deadline instead of two years.
What Makes USB-C The First Choice?
The best word to describe it is convenience. USB-C is reversible, which means unlike the Micro-USB featured on old phones, users can stick a USB-C cable either way; so, no more fumbling around while plugging in your devices.
The new rule also means that any charger will be able to fuel up any brand's phone at the same speed. The rule also requires brands to provide consumers with adequate information about the charging standards of their devices and charger support. This will enable buyers to purchase any device without a charger in the box in the EU's jurisdiction.
Apple Sees A Flaw In It
Apple, on the other hand, has warned the EU that pushing for a common charging solution could create hurdles for innovation and might result in a huge pile of e-waste of consumers being forced to switch to new chargers.
It'll be interesting to see if this move will force Apple to adopt USB-C charging for iPhones - something which is already been brought to the latest iPad Mini as well as the iPad Air and the iPad Pro, which were launched earlier.
If the new proposal is enacted, there are chances that Apple might go port-less for future iPhones through MagSafe, the company's wireless charging system that uses magnets. The whole idea of this technology bypasses the need for a Lightning connector. Though iPhones still have a port, it has stopped shipping the wall adapter and earphones in the box.