USB-C should become standard in cell phones, tablets and co

Released on 23.09. 2009

  • A USB-C (lr), an Apple Lightning and a Micro-USB cable (lr) are next to each other . Photo: Mohssen Assanimoghaddam

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Consumers have been waiting for years for standardized chargers for cell phones, tablets and co. Now things are getting serious: The EU Commission is putting forward a proposal that offends Apple.

Brussels (dpa) – According to the will of the EU Commission, European households should only need one cable for charging cell phones, tablets or headphones in the future.

The Brussels The authority presented a legislative proposal on Thursday, according to which the charging sockets in electrical devices should be standardized. The USB-C connection, which many companies such as Samsung and Motorola are already using, should become the common standard. The standardization would be a nuisance, especially for Apple with its in-house Lightning connector.

annoyed ยป, said EU Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager. At the same time, the environment benefits from a standardization of the charging sockets, because significantly less electronic waste is generated. Consumers should save millions of euros a year through the proposal of the EU Commission 250

With its advance, the authority is putting an end to voluntary cooperation with industry after years of hesitation. Already 2009 agreed 14 Cell phone manufacturers – including Apple – under pressure from the EU Commission in a voluntary commitment to a uniform standard for power supplies. When it comes to sockets in smartphones and tablet computers, there were still three of the dozen types that were once left: the now outdated Micro-USB, the newer USB-C and the thinner Lightning connectors from Apple.

According to the Commission’s proposal, the USB-C sockets are to become standard in smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and hand-held consoles. The agency also suggests that consumers should be able to buy new devices without a charger in the future – after all, power supplies are lying around in most households anyway. Fast charging technology is also to be standardized in all devices.

It will take some time until all of this is a reality. First of all, the EU Parliament and EU states have to negotiate on this. The new rules must then be converted into national law before manufacturers are to be granted a transition period of two years.

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