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EU proposes rule that would require a universal plug for cell phones, other electronic devices

Universal phone charger
Posted at 10:48 AM, Sep 23, 2021

LONDON — The European Union is unveiling plans that would require smartphone makers to adopt a single charging method for mobile devices.

The EU Commission proposed legislation Thursday that would mandate USB-C cables for charging, technology that many device makers have already adopted. The rule would apply to smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld video game consoles.

The main holdout is Apple, which has resisted the bloc’s efforts for a unified standard.

"We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world," Apple told the BBC.

Apple does use USB-C charging ports on some of its products, like newer iPad and MacBook models.

The push by the EU will certainly be cheered by the millions of people who have searched through a drawer full of cables for the right charger.

The EU says it would adopt the rule to cut down on the 11,000 metric tons of electronic waste thrown out every year by Europeans.

According to the BBC, the average person owns three cell phone chargers but only regularly uses two of them.

Late last year, Apple said it would stop including some charging equipment in iPhone and EarPods packaging to cut down on electronic waste.