Single USB-C charger: the United States wants to follow Europe

US lawmakers support the idea of ​​forcing Apple to switch to USB-C for its terminals. Within the EU, a single charging solution has already been decided by MEPs. It should be in place no later than fall 2024.

Following the European Union’s decision to require all smartphones and small electronic devices to use USB-C for charging, US lawmakers are urging the Department of Commerce to adopt a similar strategy. Currently, proprietary methods such as Lightning, produced by Apple since 2012, require users to own multiple types of cables.

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Senators Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren (both Democratic – for Massachusetts), and Bernie Sanders (Independent – for Vermont) called on the Department of Commerce to ” coordinate with Commerce Department offices and agencies to develop a comprehensive plan that will protect both consumers and the environment by addressing the lack of a common US charging standard.”

Apple in the sights of the United States

The approach is clearly aimed at Apple and its flagship product, the iPhone. Although the letter mentions smartphones, tablets, headphones and e-readers, by far the biggest device is the iPhone, which uses the proprietary Lightning cable rather than USB-C. The senators point out that the average consumer owns about three mobile phone chargers, while 40% of consumers say they have been unable, at least once, to charge their mobile phone due to a lack of compatible chargers. That’s why they want to establish “uniform standards for charging accessories” that, if adopted, would force the iPhone to switch to USB-C. Apple already uses USB-C on most of its other devices, including the Mac and iPad, and rumors indicate that even the entry-level iPad will switch to USB-C this fall. That leaves only the iPhone and a handful of accessories that still use Lightning technology.

The senators say the policy “has the potential to dramatically reduce e-waste and help consumers who are tired of having to rummage through drawers full of tangled chargers to find a compatible charger or buy a new one.” However, by the time it makes its way through legislative bodies, it may no longer be relevant as the European Union is expected to adopt its own USB-C rules later this year.

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