EU AGREES ON A SINGLE CHARGER FOR ALL SMARTPHONES

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A European Union mandate set to begin in 2026 will require all new smartphones, tablets and laptops to use a common charger.

The policy is an attempt to address the well-known consumer frustration of having so many chargers— some for Apple devices, others for portable speakers or hand-held gaming systems. It brings an unusual level of involvement by a government regulator into product design decisions.

By 2024, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, hand-held video game devices, headphones, portable speakers, keyboards, mice, earbuds and other portable devices will need USB-C charging ports, announced the EU. By 2026, the law will also apply to laptops.

“This new law will make the lives of European consumers easier and will be better for the environment,” said Bulgarian MEP Andrey Kovatchev, one of the negotiators.

It is time to put an end to the piles of cables hat we all have in our drawers and save about 11,000 tons of electronic waste per year,” he added.

The law stipulates that all devices must be compatible with a USB Type-C charging port by late 2024. 

Apple against the measure

The move is a major blow to tech giant Apple, which has refused to abide by a voluntary bid by the EU to reduce the number of chargers on the market that begun in 2009.

Apple, which uses its “Lightning” charger for most mobile devices, contested the law as unnecessary.

What do you think about this new law?

By Wanjiru Mbaru

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