It looks like 2022 will not be an easy year for Apple: a group of Democratic senators sent a letter to the US Department of Commerce asking the country to regulate that all smartphone manufacturers adopt the same entry standard.
In the document, Senators Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders urge the institution to create ways to ensure a common charging method for all devices. The request follows the same steps as the regulation in Europe, after the European Union stipulated the USB-C standard on all tablets and smartphones from 2024.
“The EU acted wisely in the public interest when facing powerful technology companies in relation to this market and environmental problem. The United States must do the same”, sign the senators.
The request directly criticizes unique standards for specific branded devices, such as the Lightning standard used in Apple devices. When migrating from one brand to another, consumers would also have to renew cables and chargers, which generates an unnecessary amount of electronic waste.
Default may not be USB-C
The senators used arguments similar to those of regulators in the European Union to defend the standardization of inputs on electronic devices. In Europe, the single-entry decision would ultimately eliminate the need for smartphone makers to include chargers in their devices. Instead, the chargers would be sold individually.
At the time of approval, critics of the project pointed out that the restriction would prevent innovations in the sector, arguing that particular standards could better meet the needs of their devices in developing, for example, faster charging.
However, unlike Europe, which chose the USB-C standard as the norm for devices from the beginning of the bill, US senators did not stipulate an entry as a rule. Instead, they ordered the Commerce Department to “create its own strategy” to resolve the issue. As a result, it is possible for electronic devices to have standards that are incompatible across international markets, for example.
If approved, the new standard will be another blow to Apple’s plans. the company of Cupertino may have to abandon its proprietary entry, already optimized for its devices, to adopt two different standards, depending on the market.
To date, the Commerce Department has not responded to the letter or made any decisions regarding the senators’ position.
With information from The Verge