EU to propose common charger for all smartphones, ignores Apple's protest

Posted:
in iPhone
The European Union's long-running plan to harmonize chargers for smartphones, and other devices, is reportedly set to be formally proposed and could become legislation.




Despite Apple's arguments against the need for a legally-mandated common charger standard, the EU is drafting legislation on the issue. The EU continues to maintain that a common standard would reduce electronic waste, while Apple says that switching to this new standard would create more e-waste.

According to Yahoo! Finance, a source familiar with the EU's plans says that legislation will be proposed in September. There are no further details, but the proposals will presumably follow the EU's previous recommendations.

In 2019, those included suggestions for different ways of achieving a common charger. It's possible that a manufacturer will be required to adopt a connector to make their charger compatible with others.

The EU's push to a common charger began around 13 years ago. At point, companies including Apple, signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding, agreeing to work on harmonizing chargers.

This failed to happen, so the EU believes that if companies won't make the move themselves, they will have to be required to.

Apple ceased shipping a power adapter with the iPhone in 2020. However, the issue for Apple is that it uses its own proprietary Lightning connector for iPhones, and the EU is more likely to recommend the USB-C, or USB 2.0 micro-B, commonly used by other vendors.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 129
    Apple with it’s using USB-C for iPads but Lightning for others has no leg to stand on with this argument. It switched its laptops to USB-C creating huge ewaste. Apple likes to argue both sides of the coin when it comes to its costs. Very disingenuous. 
    avon b7applemindedbaconstangGeorgeBMacJapheymuthuk_vanalingamshareef777elijahgcaladanianPetrolDave
  • Reply 2 of 129
    Well, for us in the UK, this is no longer a problem, we can keep lightning cables! 👍
    seanjwilliamlondonaderutterJanNLkillroywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 129
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,802member
    What a waste of time and resources. Chargers have been nearly universal for years since separate cables became the norm. They don't have anything better to do than to try and dictate the type of cable being used.
    KTRlongpathronnJanNLdocbburkkillroymattinozwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 129

    Why does the connector in the phone iPad etc even matter? it’s about the charger and as different countries have different standards on the AC side the EU can have whatever it wants.

    In order to standardise on power output levels and voltages it may mean having to use a more powerful adaptor than is strictly necessary and wasting energy in the form of heat.

    Having said all that, modern power supplies are really quite efficient, It's probably only a problem in power hungry devices.

    williamlondonJanNLkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 129
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,080member

    Why does the connector in the phone iPad etc even matter? 


    The EU continues to maintain that a common standard would reduce electronic waste
    muthuk_vanalingamMplsPkestral
  • Reply 6 of 129
    riverkoriverko Posts: 132member
    And why stop with phones? Why not electric shavers etc. I bought two different Philips shavers, each with different connector… that’s ok? 
    j2fusionrob53caladanianronnroundaboutnowPetrolDavewilliamlondonkillroyArchStantonapplguy
  • Reply 7 of 129
    Apple already uses usb-c/thunderbolt on its laptops, macs, and on the iPad Pro and air.  Unclear why it can’t bring Usb-c to iPhone as well. 
    edited August 13 caladanianPetrolDavewilliamlondonkiltedgreenkestralchemengin1gatorguy
  • Reply 8 of 129
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,080member
    riverko said:
    And why stop with phones? Why not electric shavers etc. 
    Sounds pretty good to me.
    muthuk_vanalingamMplsPcaladanianronnkiltedgreenkestralnadrielchemengin1jony0
  • Reply 9 of 129
    KTRKTR Posts: 189member
    riverko said:
    And why stop with phones? Why not electric shavers etc. I bought two different Philips shavers, each with different connector… that’s ok? 
    Good point.  Tell those lawmakers( clowns ) that 
    ronnkillroyJWSCkestraljony0
  • Reply 10 of 129
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,682member
    So what advantages does Lightening offer over USB-C / thunderbolt?
    likewise
    So what advantages does USB-C / thunderbolt offer over Lightening?

    At one point Lightening was clearly superior to USB(-A).  But I suspect that the answers today will show Apple has been dragging its feet and falling behind.  The question is:   "Why?"

    One possible answer is that Lightening gives Apple greater control over the iPhone -- you can only do those things Apple says you can do -- much like its control over Apps.   One can argue that Apple should have no control -- but that comes with collateral damage.
    elijahg
  • Reply 11 of 129
    crowley said:

    Why does the connector in the phone iPad etc even matter? 


    The EU continues to maintain that a common standard would reduce electronic waste
    This is not possible because it means that the EU must develop new standards of connector (for each and every type of device) no matter what the required specs are.

    There is no requirement for them to get involved the the connecting leads - just the power supply, that is where the majority of waste is.

    I don't consider this is a problem, it's just that it will have some unintended consequences with more energy being wasted in the equipment.
    longpathwilliamlondonkillroyJWSCwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 12 of 129
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,080member
    crowley said:

    Why does the connector in the phone iPad etc even matter? 


    The EU continues to maintain that a common standard would reduce electronic waste
    This is not possible because it means that the EU must develop new standards of connector (for each and every type of device) no matter what the required specs are.
    Going to need elaboration or an example because that doesn't make any sense to me.  The EU doesn't have to develop anything, USB-C exists, and is appropriate for all mobile consumer electronics, smartphones certainly, and tablets too.  What isn't possible?
    ronnGeorgeBMackestralnadriel
  • Reply 13 of 129
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,497member
    So what advantages does Lightening offer over USB-C / thunderbolt?
    likewise
    So what advantages does USB-C / thunderbolt offer over Lightening?

    At one point Lightening was clearly superior to USB(-A).  But I suspect that the answers today will show Apple has been dragging its feet and falling behind.  The question is:   "Why?"

    One possible answer is that Lightening gives Apple greater control over the iPhone -- you can only do those things Apple says you can do -- much like its control over Apps.   One can argue that Apple should have no control -- but that comes with collateral damage.
    Lightning, not Lightening...
    roundaboutnown2itivguykillroynadrielwatto_cobrajony0Detnator
  • Reply 14 of 129
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,802member
    crowley said:

    Why does the connector in the phone iPad etc even matter? 


    The EU continues to maintain that a common standard would reduce electronic waste
    This is not possible because it means that the EU must develop new standards of connector (for each and every type of device) no matter what the required specs are.

    There is no requirement for them to get involved the the connecting leads - just the power supply, that is where the majority of waste is.

    I don't consider this is a problem, it's just that it will have some unintended consequences with more energy being wasted in the equipment.

    That's why this whole idea is stupid. The initiative started before smartphones were common, when every brand of phone had a different connector and the power cables were not detachable. These days, virtually any appropriate power supply will charge any device. Only thing that matters these days is the cable. Who cares if the adaptor has a USB A, USB C, Micro USB or Lightning connector.. It certainly doesn't matter what connector is on the phone itself.

    They'd be better off mandating minimum quality standards for power adapters. Improve safety for users and this would actually minimize waste as they wouldn't be thrown away so often.
    dewmeronnPetrolDavekillroyJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 129
    j2fusionj2fusion Posts: 143member
    riverko said:
    And why stop with phones? Why not electric shavers etc. I bought two different Philips shavers, each with different connector… that’s ok? 
    This!

    How about all the battery powered tools that all take different batteries even though there are only a couple of manufacturers of cells. 
    applguykestralnadrielwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 16 of 129
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,497member
    The European Union's long-running plan to harmonize chargers for smartphones, and other devices, is reportedly set to be formally proposed and could become legislation.




    Despite Apple's arguments against the need for a legally-mandated common charger standard, the EU is drafting legislation on the issue. The EU continues to maintain that a common standard would reduce electronic waste, while Apple says that switching to this new standard would create more e-waste.

    According to Yahoo! Finance, a source familiar with the EU's plans says that legislation will be proposed in September. There are no further details, but the proposals will presumably follow the EU's previous recommendations.

    In 2019, those included suggestions for different ways of achieving a common charger. It's possible that a manufacturer will be required to adopt a connector to make their charger compatible with others.

    The EU's push to a common charger began around 13 years ago. At point, companies including Apple, signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding, agreeing to work on harmonizing chargers.

    This failed to happen, so the EU believes that if companies won't make the move themselves, they will have to be required to.

    Apple ceased shipping a power adapter with the iPhone in 2020. However, the issue for Apple is that it uses its own proprietary Lightning connector for iPhones, and the EU is more likely to recommend the USB-C, or USB 2.0 micro-B, commonly used by other vendors.

    Read on AppleInsider
    USB 2.0 micro-B is complete shit, and shouldn't even be in consideration for personal electronics. 
    longpathelijahgcaladaniannetroxroundaboutnowPetrolDavewilliamlondonkillroyapplguykestral
  • Reply 17 of 129
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,956member
    It's a good idea to read the 2019 EU Impact Assessment to get an idea of what is happening here:

    https://op.europa.eu/en/web/eu-law-and-publications/publication-detail/-/publication/c6fadfea-4641-11ea-b81b-01aa75ed71a1


    nadriel
  • Reply 18 of 129
    The EU institutions are populated with people struggling to justify their jobs, so they come up with dumb and hurtful ideas that they hope will make them look busy. They will now mandate USB C, preventing any better solution to be developed.

    It will not prevent any waste, this is ridiculous, most new phones sold are wirelessly chargeable, making that legislation obsolete before it is even written. Will it mean that phone suppliers will be mandated to keep a useless charging connector? Isn't that electronic waste? Will the next step be to forbid Magsafe because it is different to Qi?
    tmayigorskydewmewilliamlondonkillroyJWSCArchStantonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 129
    When Apple goes with no charging/data port, will wireless charging tick the box of equality/uniformity? Maybe the new argument is that they already have the ability to be charged in the same way..?
    applguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 129
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,080member
    StephaneB said:
    The EU institutions are populated with people struggling to justify their jobs, so they come up with dumb and hurtful ideas that they hope will make them look busy. They will now mandate USB C, preventing any better solution to be developed.

    It will not prevent any waste, this is ridiculous, most new phones sold are wirelessly chargeable, making that legislation obsolete before it is even written. Will it mean that phone suppliers will be mandated to keep a useless charging connector? Isn't that electronic waste? Will the next step be to forbid Magsafe because it is different to Qi?
    Charging and data connectors are not useless are not going away any time soon, with or without legislation.
    No.
    No.
    ronnindieshackkiltedgreen
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