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Brazil is also considering making USB-C chargers mandatory for iPhones

Brazil is also considering making USB-C chargers mandatory for iPhones

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Following an EU ruling on the matter and rumblings in the US

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Charging sockets in electrical appliances
Photo by Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/picture alliance via Getty Images

Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel has launched a public consultation on a proposal to make USB-C chargers mandatory for all smartphones sold in the country.

It’s the latest example of lawmakers and regulators turning to USB-C as a common charging standard for phones. The EU passed a law on the matter earlier this month, making USB-C mandatory for a range of electronic gadgets (including smartphones) by the end of 2024, and in the US some Democrat politicians are pushing for similar legislation.

“Aware of the aforementioned movements in the international market, Anatel’s technical area evaluated the topic and presented a proposal with a similar approach for application in the Brazilian market,” said Anatel in a blog post (English translation via Google Translate).

USB-C is already the standard for new Android devices

Given that USB-C has become the default charging standard for new Android phones, such legislation would have the largest effect on Apple, which still uses its proprietary Lightning standard for the iPhone. It’s long been rumored that the company is testing USB-C iPhones, though, and it’s already adopted this standard for many of its tablets and laptops.

In documents supporting the public consultation, Anatel said the advantages for making USB-C mandatory were primarily reducing e-waste and increasing convenience for customers. Disadvantages included higher costs to enforce the regulation and the possibility the law would discourage companies from developing new, better standards.

When EU politicians were asked about similar drawbacks, they said the law could be updated as new technology became available. “Don’t think we’re setting something in stone for the next 10 years,” Thierry Breton, commissioner for the EU’s internal market, told reporters. “We have a standard that is being developed, and we have a dedicated team that will keep a close eye on all this and adapt as time goes by. We will evolve.”

Anatel says its public consultation will run until August 26th.