A group of Democratic senators has urged the US Department of Commerce to follow European legislation requiring all mobile device manufacturers in the region to use the USB-C charging connection standard.
Senators Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders signed a letter to US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, demanding that the department draft a strategy for a universal charger law, which would mandate a common charging port across all mobile devices in the US.
“We urge you to follow the EU’s lead by adopting a comprehensive policy to reduce unjustified consumer expenses, mitigate e-waste, and bring logic and certainty back to the process of purchasing new devices,” the letter said.
The senators claimed that proprietary charging connections, like as Apple’s Lightning, cause unneeded e-waste and are an example of “planned obsolescence,” which is “expensive and frustrating for consumers, and fosters the growth of electronic waste.”
Unlike the EU regulation, however, the request was for the department to design “a complete approach,” meaning that instead of codifying USB-C, the agency may adopt its own charging port standard.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple has been pushing back against the EU’s required USB-C standard, alleging that it will lead to greater e-waste proliferation and hamper innovation. The Verge supported the latter assertion, claiming that it would prevent smartphone manufacturers from developing quicker charging standards in the future.
Regardless, according to the Bloomberg story, Apple is already planning to streamline USB-C starting with the iPhone 15 in 2023. Nonetheless, the EU law introduces another topic for discussion: a portless iPhone.