Before smartphones became as popular as they are today many – if not all – manufacturers used proprietary ports for everything from headphones to chargers.
Thankfully that thinking changed and for the most part having a micro-USB or USB Type-C cable was all you needed to juice your handset up by 2019.
Unless you use an iPhone.
That may change in the not too distant future however as the European Parliament has suggested the European Commission force manufacturers to adopt a single charging method.
The EU has been pushing for manufacturers to adopt a single charging solution since 2014 with the Radio Equipment Directive, but it hasn’t gone all that well.
“The Commission’s approach of ‘encouraging’ industry to develop common chargers fell short of the co-legislators’ objectives. The voluntary agreements between different industry players have not yielded the desired results,” the European Parliament said.
Seeing as the carrot hasn’t worked, the European Parliament now appears to be opting for the stick.
“MEPs called for a renewed effort to develop a common charger for certain categories of radio equipment, in particular mobile phones, because it would simplify their use and would reduce unnecessary waste and costs,” states a press release.
Members of parliament have now amended a draft law to state that the “ability to work with common chargers will be an essential requirement for radio equipment”.
However, the European Commission would ultimately need to decide the specifics of this proposal and highlight what radio equipment would need a standardised port.
The bad news for manufacturers is that the draft law was approved. The good news is that it could be three years before we start to see this take effect.
“Member states will have two years to transpose the rules into their national laws and manufacturers will have an additional year to comply,” states the European Parliament.
In addition to that, while it may make sense to just manufacture all handsets to comply with regulations, firms such as Apple could just start releasing phones specifically designed for the EU.
This happens for China already and with increasing regulations being given to manufacturers by the EU, bespoke handsets for the region make a degree of sense.[Source – European Parliament]