7 in 10 consumers believe that mobile devices have different charging cables as it allows device makers to maximise sale of accessories
- ● 5 in 10 believe different charging cables are there due to lack of Government standards
- ● 9 in 10 want Government to drive standardisation of charging cables on priority as it will reduce inconvenience and make OEM brand charging cables more affordable
Aug 17, 2022, New Delhi: The European Commission has recently made a commendable move by passing a resolution that all smartphone makers will be required to support USB-C as a single charging standard for all mobile devices across the EU nations by 2024. Taking lead from that, the Department of Consumer Affairs is meeting with industry representatives soon to evaluate the possibility of mandating a common charger for most mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and wearable device. This move if implemented will make things easier for consumers. LocalCircles has been receiving feedback from consumers on the need for standardisation as well as the high price and poor availability of OEM brand accessories. As a result, most users in India end up buying generic chargers and charging cables. While some generic charging cables perform well, there are also counterfeit cables that are rampantly available across shops and online and they are dangerous to use. There are media reports rife about how fake mobile phone chargers when connected to the electric port either blasted and some even caused fire leading to consumer injuries. Many of them over time, cause damage to the mobile device as well.
To understand the consumer feedback, LocalCircles has conducted a national survey asking consumers about why they think that smartphone and table makers have different types of charging cables for different devices. It also attempted to understand if there is a need for the Government of India to introduce a uniform standard for charging cables. The survey received over 23,500 responses from consumers located in over 303 districts of the country. 68% respondents were men while 32% respondents were women. 43% respondents were from tier 1, 37% from tier 2 and 20% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
Majority consumers believe makers of smartphones and gadgets have different charging cables for different devices to maximise sales of accessories and due to lack of government standards
The question in the survey asked household consumers, “Why do you think smartphones and tablet makers many times have different types of charging cables for different devices?” In response, 32% said “To maximise sales of accessories”, 6% said “Consumer convenience and standards thinking is missing”, 13% said “Lack of government standards”, and 38% said “All of above”, and 4% cited “Other reasons” while 7% did not have an opinion. On an aggregate basis, the majority of consumers believe makers of smartphones and gadgets have different charging cables for different devices to maximise sales of accessories and due to lack of government standards. This question in the survey received 11,907 responses.
9 in 10 consumers demand that charging cables for smartphones and tablets must be standardised by the government
The following question asked household consumers, “How should charging cables for smartphones and tablets be standardised by the government?” In response, the majority, 78% of consumers said “All smartphones and tablets should have the same USB charging cable regardless of the company”, 9% said “All smartphones should have the same USB charging cable”, and 4% said “All smartphones and tablets from the same company should have the same USB charging cable”. Only 6% of consumers said “The current system is fine where different smartphones and tablets have different charging cables regardless of the company”. 3% did not have an opinion. This question received 11,796 responses.
To summarise, the findings indicate that majority of Indian consumers are unhappy that smartphones, tablets have different charging cables for different devices and believe that brands do the same to maximize sales of accessories. Since the charging cables made by brands are priced high, majority end up buying generic version. 9 in 10 consumers demand that Government of India create common standards for USB charging cables like the European Union as they believe standardisation will drive prices lower and make OEM brand charging cables more affordable.
LocalCircles will escalate findings of this survey to the Department of Consumer Affairs and other related stakeholders so standardisation of charging cables can be made a priority.
The survey received over 23,500 responses from consumers located in over 303 districts of the country. 68% respondents were men while 32% respondents were women. 43% respondents were from tier 1, 37% from tier 2 and 20% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.