We all know how much the European Union likes rules. Last week, the European Commission (the executive branch of the EU) proposed a new rule that would require all tech devices to use a standardized USB-C charging cable.
If (and most likely when) the legislation is passed, electronics manufactures will have two years to make all of their products USB-C compatible. So surely there’s a good reason for all of this, right? Since 2009, the EU has been trying to cut down on what it calls “e-waste” by minimizing the amount of charging cables its citizens throw out. The EU estimates more than 11,000 tons of charging cables are disposed of every year.
A decade ago, Europeans had over 30 different charges to choose from. Now, only about three standard cables are used. By lowering this number even further, the EU hopes its citizens will be able to manage with just one.
why it matters
You can probably guess what tech companies have to say about this rule. With its proprietary Lighting charging cable, Apple (AAPL) would have the biggest headache of them all. It's estimated the rule would cost them $1b.