One thing that remains to be a problem with new smartphones is the constant change of chargers. It tends to get exasperating when new devices come with an altered charging port, rendering your old charging cables useless.
If you have experienced this frustration, you’d be glad to know that the U.S. might implement a policy that focuses on the ‘lack of interoperability standards for chargers and other device accessories.
Apple on a holdout
The authorities in the United States have been keeping an eye on EU lawmakers and their ban on proprietary charging cables. According to news sources, US Senators Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Elizabeth Warren have jotted down a letter to the Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
In the letter, they asked her department to put together a detailed policy to cut down e-waste by authorizing a mutual charger.
The senators wrote that proprietary charging standards, like Apple’s Lightning port’ are ‘expensive and frustrating for consumers.’ They added that it also adds to the already growing electronic waste.
It is important to mention that the EU took years to pass its charging port agreement, so we also might not see an immediate change in the US. If it successfully implements such a radical change, we might see the same charger for all smartphones and tablets in 2024, which will most likely be a USB-C. Many smartphone devices already have a USB-C charging port, but Apple is the only exception.
Apple has openly pushed back on the idea of a common charging, as the company thinks it limits ‘innovation’ and generates more e-waste. It is already expected that the company might have a USB-C port in the iPhone 14 and the entry-level iPad, set to release soon.
Similarly, the M1 MacBook Air comes with a USB-C port, while the iPhone 13 has lightning and so on, meaning that if Apple follows the ‘common charger’ idea, it would mean less clutter for users.
Regardless of the EU legislation, reports indicate that the company’s primary goal is to make the iPhone completely port-less. We could expect Apple to do this, as it has a history of removing ‘essential’ features (the headphone jack) from its smartphone devices.