Should Mobile Phone Makers Come Up With One Common Charger?

9th August 2018

More than 51,000 tons of electronic waste is created from old chargers in the EU every year.

EU regulators are planning to study whether there is a need for action in the push for a common mobile phone charger, EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said.

The European Commission has been pushing for a common charger for nearly a decade, citing the fact that more than 51,000 tons of electronic waste is created from old chargers every year.

That’s not to mention the inconvenience that having different chargers causes to consumers – IPhone and Android users have long complained about having to use different chargers for their phones.

In response to EU pressure, 14 companies including Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Nokia signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2009, agreeing to harmonise chargers for new models of smartphones coming into the market in 2011.

Some of the companies subsequently signed letters of intent in 2013 and 2014 after the MoU expired in 2012.

The EU executive said it was not happy with the status quo.

“Given the unsatisfactory progress with this voluntary approach, the Commission will shortly launch an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options,” Vestager said in an 1 August response to a query from an MEP.

Such studies help the Commission decide whether there is a need for action and analyse the impact of various options.

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