Sanders, Warren Apple put on notice with push global charger

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
picture: Kaitlin McGarry / Gizmodo

Apple in the spotlight again after a set of Senators publish a letter Thursday asks The US Department of Commerce To create a global charging standard for smartphones.

Signed by the senator. Ed Markey (D-MA), Sin. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the document urges the Department of Commerce to After the European Union By developing a plan to create a common charging standard. In contrast to the EU’s mandate for USB-C, these Democratic officials are broadly calling for a strategy and are leaving it up to the Department of Commerce to settle on a single global port.

The politician’s arguments echo those made by the European Union: that a charging standard could reduce e-waste, eliminate unnecessary costs for customers, and “return sanity and certainty to the purchase of new electronics”. Besides the environmental benefits, politicians say the “planned obsolescence” caused by the development of incompatible charging standards is costly and frustrating for consumers.

The letter is addressed to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who has not yet responded.

“The EU has acted wisely in the public interest by confronting powerful technology companies on this consumer and environmental issue,” the senators wrote. The United States should do the same. We urge you to coordinate with offices and agencies across the Department of Commerce to develop a comprehensive plan that will protect consumers and the environment by addressing the lack of a common US shipping standard.”

While the industry has largely fallen out of favor with using USB-C (with Apple being the big outsider) as a global standard, US senators claim the average consumer owns three cellphone chargers and 40% of owners say they “can’t charge their cellphones” Because the available chargers are not compatible. When a cable cannot charge their devices, it is discarded, adding to the 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste generated in 2017 alone, according to the letter.

Read between the lines here and you see it Apple may soon be required to switch from its Lightning connector to USB-C. As it stands, Apple is the only major technology company in the United States note adopting USB-C on its smartphones, opting instead for a special, long-lasting cable that enables MagSafe compatibility. This legislation will likely apply to smartphones, tablets and speakers, but if expanded, Apple MacBooks are clear, Because it actually charges via USB-C.

Critics, notably Apple, have called for the EU regulation by claiming that it could stifle innovation. The iPhone maker argues that moving to a common charger could do more harm than good, and forcing the transition from lightning to USB-C will create more electronic waste than it reduces. Apple noted that the industry has already narrowed down to two charging standards as a result of the EU’s voluntary policy in 2019.

The EU estimates That the USB-C mandate could save consumers €250 million per year and reduce electronic waste by 11,000 tons per year. He assures phone makers and consumers that legislation will be updated to keep pace with technological advances.

Enforcing a common charging standard might be little more than a formality if the rumors about Apple moving the iPhone to USB-C are true. Trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed earlier this year that the iPhone arriving in the second half of 2023 – most likely the iPhone 15 – will Get rid of the Lightning connector for USB-C. Another report claims Test to replace Lightning with USB-C is already going on.

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