EU to impose USB-C as standard charger for all devices

Leonard Sengere Avatar
usb-c cable

The European Commission is proposing a common charger for all electronic devices. The move is meant to cut down on electronic waste and to reduce customer frustration. Definitely something I resonate with.

Currently, there are three main chargers – Apple’s Lightning for the iPhone, the aging and slowly being phased out MicroUSB and the new kid on the block – USB-C. The EU is proposing that USB-C becomes the common charger in all European Union member states.

This would force all device manufacturers to fit a USB-C port on all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogame consoles. If a device manufacturer wants to sell their device in Europe it would need to have a USB-C port.

This proposal will not be a problem for most manufactures who have been transitioning to USB-C the last few years. Manufacturers like Samsung, Google, Huawei, Honor, Sony and Xiaomi already use this port on all their flagship smartphones and on most of their other devices.

The real target – Apple

Apple is the only device manufacturer to be affected. They say the universal charger will stop innovation and create more pollution. Weird, coming from Apple whose Lightning cables can only transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds instead of the USB 3.0 speeds achieved by USB-C cables. The innovation has been on the USB-C side, not Lightning.

Apple has stubbornly stuck to its proprietary Lightning port on the iPhone. This has frustrated most customers whose other devices use USB-C – headphones, cameras, speakers etc. Even in Apple’s other devices USB-C is the standard port, all recent iPads and Macbooks have this port.

Some Apple fanboys actually like having a different charger to the rest of the masses. They won’t appreciate Samsung users being able to borrow their chargers. That right there is why Apple is resisting USB-C, it removes their exclusivity status. Too bad, fanboy. There is more that the EU is proposing though, you might like some of it:

Other proposals

  1. Harmonised fast charging: same thing happening with the chargers. Recently we talked about fast chargers and the frustrating number of fast charging standards. The EU wants to end this madness, no longer will devices using the same charging standard inexplicably have different charging speeds. The EU wants the customer to experience the same charging speed when using any compatible charger. Hallelujah.
  2. Unbundling the sale of the charger from the sale of electronic devices: I don’t like this one. This was started by Apple when they shipped the iPhone without a charger in the box, talking about reducing e-waste. It’s not about e-waste, it’s about profit. Removing the charger removes the charger’s cost for the manufacturer. The other Android manufacturers already followed suit so I guess the ball is already rolling on this one.
  3. Improved information to customers: the EU wants manufactures to spell out clearly all charging performance information to ensure customers purchase the correct chargers from the get go. This will decrease e-waste and improve customer satisfaction.

If this passes, it would affect the rest of the world, including us here in Zimbabwe. I am all for it, I’m sick of my headphones and kambudzi using MicroUSB and my phone and power bank using USB-C. Hopefully going forward, all the devices I purchase will have the same port.


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  1. Tihove

    Way to go (USB-C), if it goes that will be a sorry also for the spares manufacturer with all those microUSB ports in store…

    1. The Empress

      One Cable to rule them all.

    2. Leonard Sengere

      That is where the resistance will come from. Companies that stand to lose. Companies like Apple that will lose out on revenue from Lightning connector fees from manufacturers. It could be as high as $4 per connector at times. Hence the resistance.

  2. Again

    Terrible reporting as usual. Do your homework, this isn’t the first time the EU has tried to dictate charging regulations for the mobile industry. The last tune was circa 2011 and if they had had their way we would have all been stuck with micro USB right now. Regulating the industry stifles innovation.

    1. Kanye West

      have you gone and seen the 2011 posts? No. But you’re here bashing someone for writing a current article. Tf. Grow up. If it’s bad reporting don’t read his articles ka. You’re pathetic.

      1. Again

        Why defend mediocrity, this is the reason why publications like this fail to shine internationally…zero accountability. He can do better than that, just doing a little more research and making informed statements will go a long way.

        1. Leonard Sengere

          What’s wrong Again. Of course I’m aware of the 2011 push by the EU. You seem to assume a common charger would mean the end of innovation like Apple says. Why would you think this? USB-C will be the standard until a better solution comes along. Look at the history of USB, there is constant work to make sure the requirements of newer and more demanding devices are met. The USB Implementers Forum which maintains the USB standard is a non-profit whose resolve will only be made stronger with USB-C becoming the universal charger.

          We have seen the innovation on the USB-C side of things and almost every other manufacturer has adopted that standard. So what you mean to say is that Apple’s innovation will be stifled. Which innovation? Apple has been offering an inferior port on its iPhone for years and we are supposed to believe they are the gatekeepers of innovation. I suspect that you, Again, are an Apple fanboy, we all are fanboys of one thing or the other. Try to look at this objectively.


      People like you are not “civilized” of course everyone is free to air their opinions,but you should do so respectfully why complain about Techzim when you’re reading their articles.I definitely agree with the writer USB C is the way to go,I’m now used to it.

      1. Leonard Sengere

        I believe the specimen we are witnessing is called a Fanboy. Daddy Apple can do no wrong. Daddy Apple might have an inferior port for years but somehow forcing him to adopt a better standard would kill innovation. Apparently Apple was just about to surprise us.

        1. Blessing Mtetwa

          Apple is moving to type C gradually as you are seeing some of their new range ipad have type c which is more suprior to lighting port.
          As for innovation i believe Apple stopped it when the first Iphone was introduced as for now apple has taken a backseat and as long as their brand name is something to hold on to.

  3. The Nerd

    As I was listening to this news on BBC yesterday morning, something clicked in my mind: Techzim would very likely write about this. You are a trusted source of tech news and don’t feel flattered if I put you on the par with big names like the Verge or PCMag.

    1. Leonard Sengere

      Thank you The Nerd. We will try not to betray your trust.

  4. Blessing Mtetwa

    Apple is moving to type C gradually as you are seeing some of their new range ipad have type c which is more suprior to lighting port.
    As for innovation i believe Apple stopped it when the first Iphone was introduced as for now apple has taken a backseat and as long as their brand name is something to hold on to.

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