Apple’s iPhone is facing a sea change in the United States as a number of top senators fight for consumer rights.
The three Democratic senators, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey have expressed concerns about e-waste and usability, and want a better future for phone users – and for the planet. Landfills and disposal centers will continue to fill up with incompatible and obsolete products.
What exact change did they request? They want cell phone manufacturers in the United States to follow the standard set in the European Union by implementing a “common charger” in all their products. In the EU, the USB-C port must be included in all smartphones and tablets by 2024.
“Under new EU legislation, by 2024 European consumers will be able to use a single charger to power a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, portable speakers and e-readers. This policy has the potential to significantly reduce e-waste and help consumers who are tired of having to rummage through drawers full of tangled chargers to find a compatible charger or purchase a new one. The EU has acted wisely in the public interest by taking on powerful tech companies on this consumer and environmental issue. The United States should do the same.” Sanders wrote in his letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
Proprietary chargers, a la Apple’s Lightning cable, would likely be on the way out as part of this potential act – unless of course there’s a scenario where the Lightning charging port becomes the US standard (little likely).
Why is this possible? Well, the trio’s request is different from the EU standard. In Europe, as said above, the USB-C charger has been codified as a standard. In the United States, it remains to be seen which charger will become the new standard for all products as senators push for a common charger to be enshrined in law.
However, it’s highly likely that if this is enforced, it will be Apple’s iPhone that will face the most dramatic change – but one that will greatly benefit US-based citizens.
As well as the planet.
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