Smartwatches may need to unify around a universal charger. After Europe and smartphones, India has announced its intention to impose a common charger on wearable manufacturers.
From 2024, all smartphones, tablets and digital cameras sold in the European Union will have to adopt USB-C charger. The European Parliament has in fact decided to introduce new legislation to fight electronic waste. Back to the wall, Apple will have to draw a line under the Lightning port of its iPhones. From the iPhone 15, which is scheduled for release in the fall of 2023, the Californian brand should switch to USB-C.
Inspired by the example of Europe, India plans to standardize the world of phone chargers. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), an agency of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, wants smartphones, computers and tablets sold in India to all be equipped with a USB-C port. Unsurprisingly, the agency chose to force the switch to USB-Cwhich is already the dominant standard, in order to ” reduce e-waste ». India has approached big names in the industry to gather their expertise.
“During the last meeting, a broad consensus emerged among stakeholders on the adoption of USB Type-C as a charging port for smartphones, tablets, laptops “Says Consumer Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh to Indian media PTI.
India wants a single charger for smartwatches
Unlike the European Union, India also aims toimpose the universal charger on watches and other connected bracelets. The Indian government has indicated its intention to appoint ” a common charger for wearables. The ministry has not yet decided on the standard that will be chosen to facilitate the charging of all connected watches.
Currently, most connected watches are equipped with a proprietary charger. Unlike the telephone market, there is no no dominant standard yet in the sector of watches and other wearables. For example, Apple, the industry leader, uses its own magnetic charger on Apple Watches. A similar but different solution is found on Samsung’s Galaxy Watch. For its part, the Fitbit brand is counting on another proprietary charger, in the shape of a clip with a pin connector. Finally, there are more different chargers on the wearable market than on the phone market.
What about the rest of the world?
For its part, Europe has chosen not to not include smartwatches in its legislation. On its website, the European Commission states that it has set aside “smartwatches and fitness trackers were not considered for technical reasons related to their size, conditions of use, etc.”
On the other hand, devices such as headphones, in-ear headphones, portable speakers, wireless mice and keyboards and portable navigation systems, will have to comply with the law. De facto, AirPods and accessories for Macslike mice and keyboards, will also be forced to switch from Lightning to USB-C.
If the Indian authorities end up requiring a single charger for all connected bracelets, manufacturers will be ordered to review their copy. In the event of refusal, the manufacturers would find themselves excluded from the Indian market, which represents 30% of world sales. According to CounterpointIndia is the most important market for wearable manufacturers.
De facto, accessories sold in the rest of the world, including Europe, will eventually have to opt for the same universal charger, despite the exception decreed by European law. Note that the Indian legislation could wait several before being ratified. The transition of connected watches and bracelets is not for now.