A group of Senate Democrats are urging the Department of Commerce to establish uniform charger standards and “restore sanity and certainty” to purchasing electronic devices. The recommendation follows the European Union (EU) passing new rules concerning what type of charging port companies use with mobile devices.
Earlier this month, the EU passed new rules that will require all companies to begin utilizing USB Type-C as the only charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras by the fall of 2024. The move was made in order to cut down on electronic waste and to (hopefully) save consumers a little money. Now a group of Senate Democrats have issued a request with the US Department of Commerce to follow in the steps of the EU and develop a comprehensive strategy to address the issue here in America as well.
In a letter addressed to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), along with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), strongly urged the department to follow in the footsteps of the EU, by requiring a universal charging port across all mobile devices. The Senators pointed to the fact that it is often “expensive and frustrating” for consumers to have to switch between different types of chargers.
“In our increasingly digital society, consumers frequently must pay for new specialized charging equipment and accessories for their different devices,” the Senators said in the letter. “This is not merely an annoyance; it can be a financial burden.”
The move would most certainly affect Apple, which has been holding on tightly to its lightning port as its preferred charging method for some of its devices. While the company has made to switch to USB-C on its iPad models, it has yet to do so on its iPhones. It has been reported, however, that Apple has been testing the more universal charging port on the iPhone, but you should probably not expect to see that change until at least 2023.
The move by the European Union should be enough to push Apple to fully embrace USB-C as its only method of charging its devices, but having the United States join in on requiring the changes would surely seal the deal.
As the letter points out, “This policy has the potential to significantly reduce e-waste and help consumers who are tired of having to rummage through junk drawers full of tangled chargers to find a compatible one, or buy a new one.”