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ICEA Welcomes Discussion on Common Charger for Devices

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The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) welcomed a positive discussion held under the Department of Consumer Affairs' auspices as the Department of Consumer Affairs met with industry representatives to assess the possibility of mandating a standard charger for most devices.

In June, politicians from the European Union (EU) came to an agreement requiring all upcoming smartphones sold on the market to include a universal USB-C connector. Simply put, every phone that enters the market after the fall of 2024, regardless of brand, must include a USB-C port. The law also holds true for Apple iPhones, which at the moment have a lightning port. Currently, reports indicate that Apple is developing iPhones with USB-C connectors. We can anticipate USB-C replacing the lightning port on iPhones around 2023 or 2024 given that some nations are considering implementing the standard charging policy.

The EU has already established a policy that calls for the use of universal chargers for mobile phones and other portable electronic devices, and the Indian government is anticipated to shortly establish expert committees to investigate this idea.

Singh expressed at the end of the meeting that the common charger policy is a ‘complex issue’. “India has a position in the manufacturing of chargers. We have to understand everybody's perspective — industry, the users, manufacturers and environment — before taking a final decision”

In an effort to alleviate the problem of e-waste and give consumers respite, the country may adopt a standard charger. After an hour-long discussion with stakeholders presided over by Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, it was reportedly decided to form an expert panel.

The meeting was attended by Electronics Products Innovation Consortium (EPIC) Foundation Chairman and HCL Founder Ajai Chowdhury; Manufacturers' Association of Information Technology (MAIT) President Rajkumar Rishi; India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo; Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) President Eric Braganza; and Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers' Association (IEEMA) President Vipul Ray.

Each attendee in the meeting expressed their unique viewpoints and assessed how moving to a standard charger will affect the market, customers, and the environment. Given that India is a charger maker and exporter to numerous nations, the majority of stakeholders agreed that it is necessary to assess the impact of the universal charger policy. Additionally, it was stated that if the policy were to be implemented, it shouldn't be imposed on them because many Indians use low-priced feature phones, and switching to a standard charger could raise the cost of these phones.

Singh expressed at the end of the meeting that the common charger policy is a ‘complex issue’. “India has a position in the manufacturing of chargers. We have to understand everybody's perspective — industry, the users, manufacturers and environment — before taking a final decision”.

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