European supervisors are going to investigate whether things are going fast enough with the introduction of the universal mobile phone charger. They have the suspicion that the smartphone manufacturers alone do not make enough effort to bring the future to consumers. The EU has been working on it for almost ten years.
Not only because it is pleasant for consumers, but also because the waste mountain (at least the electronic) should be significantly reduced. The manufacturers do not really do their best, according to European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. And if it makes a lot of pressure it could still cost money .
Declaration of intent not worth anything
In 2009, fourteen companies signed a voluntary agreement in which they promised to supply a general charger with smartphones that would be on the market from 2011 onwards. That included Samsung and Huawei, but also Apple. We all know how much that last promise is, but the other manufacturers have not kept their word. To be honest, micro usb has been the standard for everything for years (except for Apple of course) and now it seems that usb-c is the next standard. Then we are only talking about the connection option.
Meanwhile charging smartphones has become a lot more complicated, with fast chargers, wireless charging via Qi and other variants on the same idea, but to what extent the EU should play a role in this is not entirely clear. That you should be able to hang every phone on every charger and that a degree of charging takes place is something that we probably can all agree on, but you can not go much further than that without compromising the individual innovations of companies. .
Apple in the spotlight?
It would be potentially bad news for Apple, because they have scraped part of their billions of valuations (you can not earn everything with tax avoidance ) by anyone force to buy endless adapter cables for their phones. Vestager is in any case planning to see what the EU can do, she says to Reuters . “In the light of the disappointing progress of the voluntary approach, the committee will shortly start a study to evaluate the costs and benefits of various other options.” This will show whether action needs to be taken. Then Apple may hope that the EU leaves it, otherwise they will only be able to earn on the headphone adapters for iPhones that are no longer supplied from the new models.