The European Union will soon hold a vote to decide if it will enforce a mandatory, universal charging connector for all smartphones and other similar, small electronic devices. Arguments in favor of the new legislation include a reduction of e-waste and easy, interoperable charging for end-users. The introduction of USB Type-C has energized standardization talks as it incorporates many of the advantages (reversibility of connection, data transmission rates, and charging speeds) used to justify the existence of proprietary charging connectors.
A similar initiative, first introduced back in 2014, differed in that compliance was entirely voluntary. It also allowed the continued sale of phones with proprietary connectors as long as they used a standard USB port to connect to a charging adapter. Many in favor of the new regulation argued that the voluntary nature of previous measures had proven ineffective. Although the final language of the bill has yet to be approved, initial reports indicate that the EU is considering mandatory compliance this time around.
A majority of voting members approved an initial draft of the law, but it still needs to receive final approval from the EU Council at a future meeting. If finalized, this could be one more long-overdue nail in the coffin of Micro-USB. One notable objector to this push for standardization is Apple, which continues to use its proprietary Lightning connector on the iPhone.
- European Parliament News
- 9to5 Google
Members of the European parliament officially voted in favor of establishing a universal charging connection standard for all smartphones and small electronics sold in the EU. The next step for moving this vote forward would be to pass it into law, which TechCrunch reports is planned for Q3 2020. Once finalized, mobile device manufacturers will be forced to adopt universal solutions like USB-C.