EU law to require standard battery charger for mobile devices

December 19, 2013
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samsung galaxy s4 active aa usb cover

While most mobile devices today ship with the same microUSB battery charger, at least in Europe, where the EU insisted a few years ago that manufacturers comply with this particular demand, it appears that’s not enough for the European parliament.

A new EU law will be soon signed, and it will require all companies that sell mobile devices in the region to use the same standard battery charger. While it’s not clear what the standard will be, we’re most likely looking at microUSB chargers for the future, no matter what generation they’ll be – just recently, we heard that a new, reversible microUSB connector is going to replace the current one, so we would assume that’s going to be the new standard.

So far, there’s a provisional agreement on the common charger, which will likely be signed into law next March. From then on, EU members will have two years to adapt local laws, while manufacturers will get an additional year to comply.

The move, whose scope is to limit the “unnecessary waste and cost for consumers,” may negatively affect Apple, which has its own charger for mobile devices, the Lightning that replaced last year the old 30-pin dock connector. It’s unclear at this time whether Apple will be allowed to offer European customers adapters with their new iOS device purchases or whether it’ll have to change ports on the devices it sells in Europe.

Android device makers will probably be largely unaffected by the EU’s new proposed law, as many of the current devices already sell bundled with microUSB chargers.

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