Kiwis expected to be affected by EU moves to standardise chargers

Source: 1News

The European Union’s move to mandate a universal charger for all new devices is expected to affect consumers globally, including in New Zealand.

The EU is making USB-C chargers the standard for all new portable devices from 2024 and for laptops from 2026.

Technology commentator Paul Spain said Europe’s move will shift the market without any need for a law change in New Zealand.

“That European Union mandate will be strong enough to have a global impact."

However tech giant Apple has opposed the move, saying it will stifle innovation. It uses its own proprietary "lightning cable" on its portable devices. But Spain doesn't buy that argument.

“The benefits of USB-C far outweigh any downsides of standardising.”

There are more than 50 chargers on the market for a variety of different devices from earbuds to cameras and phones.

The EU’s move is aimed at easing consumer frustration and tackling e-waste. Globally, 50 million tonnes of e-waste is thrown out each year.

The owner of ITRecycla in Lower Hutt, Kevin Ruscoe, said standardisation was a “brilliant move".

“We want to try and reuse stuff as much as we possibly can and save it from 'death row'," he said, pointing to a large machine that helps recycles old electronics.

Ruscoe now expects the USB-C to become the norm internationally.

“Now that the Europeans have done this, Apple will be forced to lift their game,”

But the tech giant could still throw a curveball and jump straight to purely wireless charging, bypassing a switch to the new wired standard, according to Spain.

“If they’re going to make a change at some point to wireless entirely, then when they’re under pressure to make a change that would seem like the right time to do it."