The European Union would like to have a standard and singular charging port for all types of smartphones. The European Commission is determined to cut down on electronic waste being created by obsolete cables and thinks that having one type of charging port for all smartphones will help accomplish this. Consumers would no longer have to go out and buy a new charger every time they upgrade their phone. According to reports, European regulators plan to vote on the matter on a yet to be determined date.
This is not a new argument. Back in 2009, the European Commission asked for smartphone makers to harmonize their charging systems. At the time, there were more than 30 types of charger on the market. In 2014, the European Parliament issued a new directive for single charger use. Today, there are just three types of charging ports in use in the E.U.
Nearly 1 billion consumers currently use the Apple lightning port. The cable is used to charge and sync many Apple devices, such as the iPhone. If European lawmakers get their way, Apple could be forced to abandon its Lightning connector cable. A new cable would be the tech company’s third in 13 years.
Two other charging cables – USB-C and micro-USB – are used on Android devices. The majority of newly-manufactured Android phones already feature USB-C ports. Adopting Apple’s or Android’s port as the standard will be sure to anger the other side. Adopting a new standard and making everyone change over risks creating the huge amounts of electronic waste that the move was meant to avoid.
Another possible option would be to remove charging ports and cables entirely and use wireless charging instead. New developments have made the technology now able to compete with traditional charging methods. Apple and many of its rivals, including Huawei and Samsung, have already released products that charge their devices wirelessly.