Tired of searching for the right phone charger? The EU wants all devices to use the same one


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LONDON (AP) — On Thursday, the European Union unveiled plans that would require smartphone makers to adopt a single charging method for mobile devices.

The EU Commission proposed legislation that would mandate USB-C cables for charging, a technology that many device makers have already adopted in the exception of Apple, that has resisted the bloc’s efforts for a unified standard

Apple’s iPhones come with the company’s own design – Lightning charging port- though the newest models come with adapted cables that can be plugged into a USB-C socket.

EU wants to cut down on the 11,000 metric tons of electronic waste thrown out every year by Europeans.

A typical person living in the EU owns at least three chargers and uses two regularly, said the commission but 38% of people report not being able to charge their phones at least once because they couldn’t find a compatible charger.

“Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary,” Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, said. “We are putting an end to that.”

Some 420 million mobile phones or portable electronic devices were sold in the EU last year.

“With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste,” Breton said.

Under the proposed law, which must still be scrutinized by the European Parliament, phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld video game consoles, headsets, and headphones sold in the European Union would all have to come with USB-C charging ports.

After attempting for more than a decade to cajole the industry into adopting a common standard, the EU’s executive Commission is pushing the issue.

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