Fast charging has become one of the dealbreakers when shopping for a new phone. A phone failing to have some form of fast charging is just currently not worth it. These days, there are phones capable of being charged to 100% in less than an hour. No one, at the moment, has the time or patience to wait more than three hours for a phone to get fully juiced.
In this arms race for manufacturers to have fast charging on their devices, different standards of the technology have cropped up that are unfortunately not transferrable from one manufacturer to the next. If you pick up your smartphone that has support for fast charging and use a charger from a different manufacturer, chances are the smartphone will not kick into fast charging as it does not support the fast charging technology from the different manufacturer.
This problem has already been identified by manufacturers in China and, as a result, they have come together to create a system that will allow for a unified fast charging solution that will work across various smartphones from different OEMs.
The Information and Communication Institute of China first pushed the idea of unification at the start of 2021, and fast-forward to the end of the year, the Guangdong Terminal Association has just been established. This association consists of the big hitters in the technology space in the country including Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Honor, and other leading companies.
According to the laid out plans, The Guangdong Terminal Fast-Charging Industry Association will coordinate and integrate industrial resources to promote standardization. The association has also been tasked to promote the industrial application of charging technology.
An important agenda that the association will be keen on achieving is reducing electronic waste and energy waste. Should the standardization of fast charging be fast-tracked, there will be no need for a user to buy a new charger, even when buying a smartphone from a different manufacturer. This will in turn bring down the number of chargers being manufactured and also being disposed of when their owners splurge on a new smartphone.
The association is yet to publicly announce whether it will set up a unified standard. However, the establishment of the association means that devices from China and their fast charging will be unified. This will allow Chinese brands to have their fast charging work uniformly across their devices.
The aim to reduce electronic waste is already making waves in the European Union, as they are preparing to force manufacturers operating in their market to have a universal charger that will work across all smartphones. In theory, this will force the likes of Apple, Samsung and other OEMs to use a common charger. Smartphones are not the only devices being targeted as headphones, video game consoles and cameras, among others, are also being looked at.
Whether the Chinese manufacturers will agree on a unified fast-charging system or they will find a way to make their different systems work on different smartphones is yet to be seen, but at the end of the day, consumers will enjoy another win.