Another Country Is Making USB-C Mandatory on Phones

The European Union recently passed a rule that will require phones, tablets, and other devices to have a USB Type-C port, to cut back on proprietary chargers piling up in landfills. It’s such a good idea that other countries are now joining the party.

India government officials have confirmed that USB Type-C will be the standard charging port for mobile devices, starting in March 2025. Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh told The Economic Times, “there is a global supply chain at play when it comes to chargers, therefore we have to align ourselves with the global timeline. The objective is to reduce the number of chargers per household thereby, minimizing the amount of e-waste generated.”

Related: The EU’s USB-C Phone Requirement Now Has a Deadline

As with the European Union’s new rules, the primary focus here is reducing electronic waste. If more devices use the same cables and chargers, then they can be reused across devices, instead of thrown away when a new device has a different charging method. The EU’s guidelines will go into effect on December 28, 2024, a few months before the proposed timeline for India.

India is the second-most populous country in the world (behind China), with over a billion residents, and it’s one of the most important markets for smartphones. Those are enough reasons alone for device manufacturers to switch everything to Type-C, or they risk losing a massive potential market.

Most of the attention around the European Union’s guidelines have centered around how it impacts Apple, as the company still sells iPhones, AirPods, and other devices with the proprietary Lightning connector. Historically, Apple has been much less successful in India than Europe, but that has changed in recent years. Market estimates claim the iPhone 13 was the most popular premium smartphone in the country in the third quarter of 2022, beating Samsung and OnePlus to take the top spot.

The timelines for India and the European Union are a bit distant, but rumors indicate Apple won’t run out the clock. Reports from earlier this year claim the iPhone 15 series will have USB Type-C ports, which should arrive on store shelves before 2024, let alone 2025.

Source: Business Standard, The Economic Times

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