Universal charger: check the front of the no

Caricabatterie universale: spunta il fronte del no thumbnail

It seemed a very reasonable proposal, democratic, ecological and easy to implement. And above all, it would have made life much easier for consumers.

Yet the recent idea of ​​the European Union to adopt a single charging standard for all electronic devices on the market has already seen the birth of a fierce front of the no. Represented, just to name, by giants like Apple.

Because? What could be the reasons that lead to oppose such a far-sighted simplification proposal?

In the meantime, let’s see in more detail the position of the European Union with respect to the single charging standard. And then we discover the doubts raised by companies that do not look favorably on the possible birth of a universal charger.

The universal charger: the EU proposal

On Thursday 22 September the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal for the single charging standard.

The universal charger would be the latest move in a simplification process that has already been underway for some time. Suffice it to say that in the last ten years the different chargers for mobile phones on the market have gone from 30 to 3.

The proposed standard is USB-C. That, to be clear, of most smartphones on the market. Or, to make it even simpler, the one that no longer has an upper and a lower side.

The advantages of the universal charger

We have already listed the advantages at the opening of the article: who among us has not wasted precious minutes looking for the suitable charger for that particular device, and was then forced to ring the bell at the neighbor or buy a new one?

But there is more. The EU proposal also contains the meritorious idea of ​​having devices and chargers sold separately. If we go towards the universal charger, what sense would it have – let’s say – to have seven devices and as many chargers at home? The trade in the latter would drop significantly, and the aid that would thus be offered to the health of our planet would not be of little consequence.

We have repeatedly addressed the issue of environmental damage caused by electronic waste. Well: it has been calculated that the annual global savings on unnecessary magazines could even reach the figure of 250 million euros.

The electronic charger: here is the front of the no

The EU proposal for a universal charger, one would instinctively say, can only make everyone agree. First of all the consumers.

On the contrary, already a few hours after the legislative proposal there were several voices that welcomed this project with skepticism. And one is curiously represented by a consumer association, Consumerism.

The position of Consumerism

Luigi Gabriele, president of Consumerismo, initially praised the environmental benefits that would derive from the implementation of the proposal. “The introduction of a single loader on the European territory will produce undeniable advantages on the environmental front, considering that there are 51 thousand tons of waste deriving from the loaders alone. Each EU citizen produces about 16.6 kg of electronic waste every year, which is not always disposed of correctly and contributes to polluting the environment ”.

Ma then, here is Gabriele showing the reverse of the coin. “However, this is only an apparent advantage, because mobile phone manufacturers could make up for the lower profits deriving from the EU decision by increasing the retail prices of their products and thus recouping them from consumers. Not surprisingly, the first company to take action against the universal charger was Apple, with a special study according to which the measure would result in an increase in costs for consumers estimated at 1.5 billion euros “.

battery charger

Apple’s position

And we come to the point of view of Apple, cited by the president of Consumerismo, on the subject.

The top management expressed themselves like this: “We are concerned that strict regulation requiring only one type of connector will stifle innovation rather than encourage it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world. We will engage with stakeholders to find a solution that protects consumer interests as well as the industry’s ability to innovate and bring exciting new technologies to users. We share the commitment to protect the environment. We look forward to continuing engagement with stakeholders to help find a solution that protects consumer interests as well as the industry’s ability to innovate and bring exciting new technologies to the user. ”

The response of the European Union

European Commissioner for the single market Thierry Breton explained that the proposal put forward by the EU “is not against anyone, Apple or others, but it represents an important step to increase practicality and reduce waste ”.

According to the Commission’s calculations, “the reduction in the production and disposal of new chargers will reduce the amount of electronic waste by almost a thousand tons per year”.