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Politicians want one phone charger to rule them all by 2017

European politicians are ruling in favour of having a single standard for smartphone chargers in place by 2017.

We’ve all had charger trouble at one point or another; scrambling through a box of cables looking for the right connector or running out of juice before finding a lead with the right shape on the end. Long standing iPhone users will remember all too well the move from the older 30-pin connector to the reversible Lightning connector that arrived with the iPhone 5, but such troubles could soon be history.

On Thursday last week, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of bringing a new regulation into power that would require all smartphones to use a common charger standard by 2017, ending a process that was set into motion back in 2009. The idea being that implementing such a requirement would help cut down on excessive electronic wastage that mobile devices currently heavily contribute too.

device connections

MEP Barbara Weiler stated, “This serves the interests both of consumers and the environment… It will put an end to charger clutter and 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste annually.”

Although at this stage this potential new law is still only in its draft stage, Europe’s council of ministers has already unofficially given its backing towards the standard, suggesting that it’ll have little trouble finding final approval.

The new law will require that smartphone manufacturers offer up microUSB support for charging as standard, with European member states having until 2016 to implement this new law in their respective country and manufacturers having until 2017 to fully comply with it.

In truth, most smartphone manufacturers already use microUSB as the primary connection type on their smartphones, however one obvious exception is Apple who for the moment heavily pushes is proprietary Lightning connector standard instead. Despite no word from the American phone maker on adhering to the new ruling, it was one of the first company’s to sign the original agreement.

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