After the European Union decided that USB-C will be the standard for charging mobile devices in its member countries, other countries around the world are beginning to adopt similar laws. One of the first to want to impose the standard is India, which has announced it will standardise device charging, choosing USB-C as the only accepted method.
Apple will be forced to offer USB-C in India too
Authorities in India say its citizens created 5 million tons of e-waste in 2021, trailing China and the US. So by standardising charging ports, fewer old chargers or cables will be thrown away as they will be compatible with all devices sold in the country.
This doesn’t affect most smartphone or accessory manufacturers, as they are already on USB-C. Apple is the company that suffers the most, as it currently controls access to the proprietary Lightning port and collects commissions from the sale of Made for iPhone accessories that use the standard. Then, cheap phone manufacturers still use the old micro-USB.
The reason India rushed to make this decision is to try to avoid the wave of devices with non-USB-C ports that could be diverted to its country after the EU bans other ports.
Apparently there are now talks in India to try to standardise smart watch chargers too. Each company in this market segment is developing its own solutions for charging wirelessly or on magnetic contacts, and some even use USB ports. Standardising these devices would again provide more interoperability between them, leading to fewer cables and chargers being thrown away at the end of a device’s life.
Fortunately, as with the EU, India also leaves room for future discussion if a new, better standard emerges. So USB-C won’t be the last charging standard, just the one for now and the near future.