U.S. Senator Reiterates the Need for a Common Mobile Charging Cable


Senator Elizabeth Warren has reiterated her stance that consumers should not have to continue to buy new and different charging cables for their mobile devices.

In a Tweet, Senator Warren (D-MA) says that coalescing around a single charging standard would result in fewer expenses, less hassle, and less waste.

“Consumers shouldn’t have to keep buying new chargers all the time for different devices,” she says. “We can clear things up with uniform standards—for less expense, less hassle, and less waste.”

Warren’s tweet resurfaces a call she and senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) pushed for in a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo last month. The three Senators argue that the consumer electronics industry’s largest players have hurt consumers by failing to establish a uniform charging accessory standard and forcing them to frequently change their charging accessories instead.

“This planned obsolescence is expensive and frustrating for consumers, and drives the proliferation of electronic waste,” the senators wrote.

“The lack of interoperability standards for charging and other device accessories also results in e-waste and environmental damage. As specialized chargers become obsolete with the introduction of new products, or as consumers change the brand of phone or device that they use, their outdated chargers are usually just thrown away.”

The push for a common charging cable follows successful legislation in the European Union that will require all smartphone manufacturers that sell in Europe to use the common USB-C port by 2024. While Warren, Markey, and Sanders’s letter does not specify USB-C, it has been generally believed to be the best solution to bring all manufacturers under the same charging cable umbrella.

“We cannot allow the consumer electronics industry to prioritize proprietary and inevitably obsolete charging technology over consumer protection and environmental health,” the three argue.

While Apple is not specifically called out in the senators’ letter, the Silicon Valley giant is one of the few remaining manufacturers in the mobile device space that has not fully transitioned to USB-C across all devices. While some iPads and all of its new laptops can be charged with USB-C, the iPhone continues to use the proprietary Lightning connector.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.