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    California Takes Charge As the First State Across the Country to Mandate One Standard USB-C for All Devices

    2023-04-14

    Are you tired of cluttering a drawer with old chargers and tangled wires you can't even identify? Well, you could be in luck in the next few years.

    California is set to make history as the first US state to mandate that all electronic devices, including laptops and phones, be charged with the same USB-C cable by 2026.

    This mandate seeks to simplify our charging requirements and minimize electronic waste generated when technology becomes outdated following a version upgrade.

    Here's what happened

    On April 13 2023, the California State Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee in Sacramento unanimously passed AB 1659 (2023), a bill sponsored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D). 

    This legislation requires all phones and laptops manufactured from 2026 onwards to be compatible with USB-C charging cables.

    According to a legal podcast source, the move follows the European Union and India lead, which have already adopted similar policies. 

    The main motivations behind this legislation are reducing environmental and consumer costs, as unused or discarded chargers contribute to electronic waste.

    How does the USB-C mandate work?

    • Devices manufactured on or after 2026 must have USB-C charging ports
    • Wholesalers and retailers must offer products with or without a charging device
    • Packaging must indicate whether a charging device is included
    • Minimum and maximum power specifications must be listed on packaging or labels

    What Do Critics Say About the USB-C Mandate?

    Free market opponents of the mandate argue that it could stifle innovation and lead to more electronic waste.

    For example, Alex Reinauer, a tech policy research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, expressed concerns, and said "the USB-C mandate will create more e-waste in the long run by forcing existing charging cables into obsolescence."

    Will the USB-C Mandate Make a Significant Difference?

    Although most phones have already transitioned or are shifting to using USB-C ports, Apple remains a notable exception with its proprietary Lightning connector. However, Apple has indicated that it will comply with European law and shift to USB-C.

    With India and Europe already mandating USB-C, California's decision may lead to a gradual change. Still, it does highlight California's tendency to lead on tech issues like privacy rights and social media regulation.

    Share your thoughts

    What are your thoughts on this mandate? Do you believe California is making the right move by getting rid of electronic obsolescence? Or is this just another instance of increased regulation in the state?

    We'd love to hear your genuine opinions on this subject. Please leave a comment below and share this discussion with your friends and family on social media.

    Disclaimer: this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only.

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