Government Exploring Adoption of Common Charger for Devices, Meeting on August 17, Says Ministry Official

Laptops/Tablets

The government is exploring the adoption of a common charger for a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets, and has called a meeting on August 17 to discuss the issue with the industry, a senior consumer affairs ministry official said on Tuesday.

The meeting with mobile makers and sector-specific organisations has been scheduled to assess the possibility of ending the use of multiple chargers in India and reduce the burden on consumers besides preventing e-waste, the official said.

Recently, the European Union announced the adoption of a USB Type-C port common charging standard for small electronic devices by 2024. A similar demand is in the US as well.

“If companies can serve in Europe and the US, why cannot they do it in India? Portable electronic devices like smartphones and tablets should have a common charger,” the official told PTI.

If India does not push for this change, such products might get dumped here, the official added.

Currently, consumers are forced to buy a separate charger every time they buy a new device due to incompatibility of the ports of the existing charger.

In June, EU countries and EU lawmakers agreed to a single mobile charging port for mobile phones, tablets and cameras. The agreement is a world first and came after companies failed to agree on a common solution. The European Commission had pushed for a single mobile charging port more than a decade ago.

Users of iPhone smartphones and Android phones have long complained about having to use different chargers for their devices. The former from Apple is charged from a Lightning cable while Android-based devices are powered using USB Type-C connectors.

Half the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29 percent had a USB Type-C connector, and 21 percent a Lightning connector, according to a 2019 Commission study.


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