What the rule says?
The European Parliament on Tuesday passed a rule standardising the charging port on electronic items. It has selected USB Type-C — better known as USB-C — as the standard port.
So, by the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras sold in the EU must have a USB-C port. But the deadline for the laptop has been set for 2026.
The European Parliament has said, “Regardless of their manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port.”
These rules have been in the making since 2014. Yet, its adoption has picked pace only in recent years. Unlike its previous iterations, the USB-C has a small oval port with no fixed up or down orientations. Its symmetrical connector makes it easy to plug in.
Apple is among the most affected with the new norms. It has been given a two-year window in which it needs to move its devices to USB-C. It launches new iPhone models in September every year.
How will it help the environment?
The European Parliament said that disposed of and unused chargers account for about 11,000 tonnes of e-waste annually in the EU. Imagine the worldwide figure, and how this new rule, if implemented across the globe, will help in reducing the e-waste.
What exactly is USB-C?
Unlike its previous iterations, the USB-C has a small oval port with no fixed up or down orientations. Its symmetrical connector makes it easy to plug in. Besides, it is among the industry-standard connectors capable of transmitting both data and power on a single cable. Moreover, it supports fast charging (100W) required by large electronic devices such as laptops and offers super-fast data throughput. Not just data and power, USB-C also supports sending simultaneous video signals – up to 8K resolution.
The limitations of USB-C
USB-C is good, but its utility depends on implementation. You may already have a USB-C port on your device but still cannot use all features and functions such as host device charging and video out. It is because different manufacturers use USB-C for different utilities. Moreover, there are different protocols and standards related to USB-C.
When can India have a single charger?
India too is mulling the idea of a single charger for all electronic devices. The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs has written to industry players to come up with a plan for having one cable for charging all your devices.