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European Parliament Votes For All Tech Companies To Use The Same Charger

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European Parliament Votes For All Tech Companies To Use The Same Charger

The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of forcing phone companies to introduce a uniform charger plug and socket on all their devices.

Whilst this obviously won't massively concern phone users in the UK, given what is to happen at 11PM tonight, it's still an interesting development.

It would almost certainly force Apple to rethink the way that they create the chargers for their iPhones, for example.

Naturally, a lot of the phone companies - Apple included - have opposed the proposal.

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However, the whole point of the thing isn't to wind Apple or the other technology companies up, but to help us out, really.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The European politicians reckon that having just one plug type to charge all of the devices would make life easier for consumers and mean that they no longer have to spend money buying a whole host of different cables and wires.

The current situation, MEPs argued, leads to 'e-waste and consumer frustration'.

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So, under the new proposed rules any company that wants to make a small or medium sized electronic device, which is a range that covers tablets, phones, e-readers, cameras, or wearable devices, including the Apple Watch - will have to have a 'common charger' that can be used for all other devices.

Whilst the motion puts forward the idea of a common outlet for all devices, it's not clear what form that would actually take.

It might be that it's the USB-C standard, or similar to that, which would require Apple to do away with the Lightning port that they use for many of their devices.

The vote passed by a whopping 528 votes for to 10 against.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

However, just because the motion has passed, doesn't mean that it's enshrined in law just yet. The motion calls for the European Commission to examine new legislation.

Interestingly enough, the Commission has already suggested introducing similar rules regarding all companies using the same charger.

As well as this, the motion suggests that all companies should ensure that they all use the same wireless charging standard.

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There's a bit less controversy about that, though. Most of the companies already use the Qi standard for that.

Ten years back, the European Parliament actually signed off on a voluntary agreement with the tech companies that said they'd work towards uniformity in chargers.

The politicians say that this agreement wasn't upheld, whilst the companies have said that - whilst there is still more than one type - there are significantly fewer, just the Lightning and USB-C really.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Europe, Interesting, Technology

Tom Wood
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