Government to explore introduction of common charger for devices, meeting on August 17, ministry official says

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The government is considering introducing a common charger for a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets, and called a meeting on Aug. 17 to discuss the issue with industry, a senior Consumer Ministry official said on Tuesday.

The meeting with handset manufacturers and industry-specific organizations is planned to explore the possibility of ending the use of multiple chargers in India and reducing consumer exposure, alongside avoiding e-waste, the official said.

The European Union recently announced the introduction of a common charging standard for USB Type-C ports for small electronic devices by 2024. A similar demand also exists in the USA.

“If companies can serve in Europe and the US, why can’t they serve in India? Portable electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets should share a common charger,” the official told PTI.

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

Currently, consumers are forced to buy a separate charger every time they buy a new device because the connectors of the existing charger are incompatible.

In June, EU countries and EU lawmakers agreed on a single mobile charging connector for mobile phones, tablets and cameras. The agreement is a world first and came about after the companies could not agree on a common solution. The European Commission pushed for a single mobile charging port more than a decade ago.

iPhone smartphone users and Android phone users have long complained that they have to use different chargers for their devices. The former from Apple charges via a Lightning cable, while Android-based devices are powered via USB Type-C ports.

According to a 2019 Commission study, half of 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 had a Lightning connector.

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