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

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  • Reply 21 of 129
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,825member
    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?
    You nailed it.

    The initiative is going on 12 years, and the solution seems to be the same as it ever was. Technology will migrate to the sweet spot, and today, is that sweet spot even a wired connection for charging anymore? 

    My speculation is that wired connections for phone charging are no longer necessary, so "fixing" that really isn't going to have much impact at all.
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 129
    seanjseanj Posts: 302member
    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?
    Given it’s the EU they’ll probably mandate phones should have RS232 ports for charging instead of something like USB-C…
    elijahgfastasleepkillroyJWSCwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 129
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,334member
    Everybody is wagging their tongues about USB-C. Watch these EU bureaucrats pick mini usb instead. And what about the next generation of connectors? Will manufacturers be forced to retain the EU ‘standard’?
    edited August 2021 killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 129
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 424member
    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. 
    I believe there is an order (or two) difference between the installed base of iPhones and laptops - i.e. Huge^2 ewaste.  As the article already said, Apple no longer bundles power supplies/cables with its iPhones and it's, perhaps, "seeding" its customer base with USB-C cables by making that the standard in iPads and MBs.  So in a year or two, when they change the connector on iPhone, its customers will already have some USB-C cables laying around.
    killroynadriel
  • Reply 25 of 129
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 628member
    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.
    Ignoring install base, the main advantages of Lightning are moderately more durable sockets, significantly more durable plugs, and it's a little simpler and cheaper to implement on the terminal end.

    Ignoring install base, the main advantage of USB-C for phones is that Apple doesn't own it, so a lot of other companies have been using it for new designs for a while.

    Standardization on one type of connector for phones from many manufacturers means consumers can switch platforms more easily, and manufacturers can stop including even the cables. Of course, this prevents further progress, as nobody is allowed to make and use a different connector. Depending on the actual wording of the proposed legislation, it could mandate USB Micro-B connectors on smart watches (many of which function as phones), which would be a huge step backwards for them.
    GeorgeBMackillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 129
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,714member
    Regarding Micro USB - @tmay is right - it's shit and belongs in the in the tech history dump. Between Lightning and USB C I prefer lightning. It's smaller, a more secure connection and for whatever reason I find it easer to plug a lightning cable in than a USB C cable. USB C is also coaxial, with a central tab on the female side making it more difficult to clear of debris, and giving a potential route for failure if the tab gets bent. 

    Having said that, 6 years ago Apple did away with USB A connectors on its laptops and justified the move by saying "USB C is the future" In the last couple of years they've put USB C ports on iPads and started shipping iPhones with lighting-USB C cables (although they never shipped a USB C charger to work with these cables.) I find it hard to see how Apple can justify their opposition in the face of their past statements and actions. On the whole, having a single standard for phones would definitely simplify things.

    Also, the article isn't clear - are they talking about a USB C port on the device itself or is just a cable sufficient? 
    edited August 2021 elijahgdewmekillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 129
    NsStfNsStf Posts: 1member
    As always in a comments to an EU related story … 
    - Bunch of people who hate the EU and so don’t care to read the actual proposition. They then complain with arguments that make no sense or are not even relevant. 
    - Complain about how “bureaucrats in Brussels” decide, while complaining how the politicians in Brussels are dumb (make up you mind). 
    - Non-EU people not understand what the EU is. It’s ok of course, just not super relevant 

    You know, it’s possible to complain about EU decisions without being hateful or uninformed…
    crowleymuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMackiowawawilliamlondonkiltedgreennadriel
  • Reply 28 of 129
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 661member
    Apple with it’s using USB-C for iPads but Lightning for others has no leg to stand on with this argument. 
    Kind of amazing to me that they even need a leg to stand on considering it's their fcuking product and they decide how to build it.
    edited August 2021 JWSCwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 129
    It looks Apple is using EU legislation to move iPhones to USB-C … and deflecting the backlash to the regulators for the move !
    MHO, they could have done this before but are using the regulations to be on the users side. Good marketing move.
    caladanianGeorgeBMackillroy
  • Reply 30 of 129
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,825member
    NsStf said:
    As always in a comments to an EU related story … 
    - Bunch of people who hate the EU and so don’t care to read the actual proposition. They then complain with arguments that make no sense or are not even relevant. 
    - Complain about how “bureaucrats in Brussels” decide, while complaining how the politicians in Brussels are dumb (make up you mind). 
    - Non-EU people not understand what the EU is. It’s ok of course, just not super relevant 

    You know, it’s possible to complain about EU decisions without being hateful or uninformed…
    My complaint is actually about timeliness. 12 years later, "voluntary" transition that appears to be working, EU completely ignores that wireless charging is becoming a "thing". Apparently too much latency in the EU to accomplish anything.

    Apple doesn't want to change to USB Type C from Lightning since they are rumored to be working on deprecating cable connections entirely. Charge Apple a nominal "fee" per unit for dragging its feet, but otherwise, the EU should get out of the way.
    edited August 2021 ronnGG1seanjkillroyJWSC
  • Reply 31 of 129
    One of the more obvious ploys by our overlords to keep us bickering and placated.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 32 of 129
    doggonedoggone Posts: 330member
    This is dumb.  Most phones charge by USB.  I can use any USB charger to charge my iPhone.  USB-C charger are the best because they can work for both PCs and mobile devices.
    If they are talking about the adapter cable then I favor USB-C.  Like the lightning cable it is reversible.  Maybe a bit less robust than lightning but still pretty tough.  The other good thing about a USB-C cable is that it can be used in all compatible devices including PC for charging and also for data transfer.  Therefore it has multiple uses and reduces the number of cables you would need for your devices.  I would be happy if iPhones used USB-C instead of lightning, although I mostly charge wirelessly now.

    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 33 of 129
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,714member
    igorsky said:
    Apple with it’s using USB-C for iPads but Lightning for others has no leg to stand on with this argument. 
    Kind of amazing to me that they even need a leg to stand on considering it's their fcuking product and they decide how to build it.
    also kind of amazing that you completely  missed the entire point. 
    muthuk_vanalingamkiowawawilliamlondonnadriel
  • Reply 34 of 129
    Option A: USB C because, frigging DUH!
    Option B: No connectors at all. All wireless.
    There is no option C.
    BTW, I think that the next thing for iPhones will be all wireless. Xcode allows this option already. There are some software issues with the feature currently but Apple can correct those. For the most part it's working nicely if you have a WiFi 6 router. Of course if you are in a noisy wireless environment (like a college dorm where every room has a router) then you may still prefer wired. I hope Apple is forced to switch to USB C. I hate lighting. it's slow and harder to plug in cables that USB C.
    edited August 2021
  • Reply 35 of 129
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,916member
    Option A: USB C because, frigging DUH!
    Option B: No connectors at all. All wireless.
    There is no option C.
    BTW, I think that the next thing for iPhones will be all wireless. Xcode allows this option already. There are some software issues with the feature currently but Apple can correct those. For the most part it's working nicely if you have a WiFi 6 router. Of course if you are in a noisy wireless environment (like a college dorm where every room has a router) then you may still prefer wired. I hope Apple is forced to switch to USB C. I hate lighting. it's slow and harder to plug in cables that USB C.
    Option B is already in place for the Watch and it seems to me that is where Apple wants to go for the iPhone anyway -- it's just a matter of time. 

    The connector has to be one of the main fail points on the iPhone. 
    tmayseanj
  • Reply 36 of 129
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,039member
    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. 
    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. 

    That is because apple product communicate with the charger, and they are using proprietary technology in their chargers. Whether it is USB-C or lightening. Apple does not want to share their technologies with the masses. This is why apple tends to get better performance from their products and batteries since the are controlling the end to end and the protocols. I have used third party chargers with the various apple product and I have seen performance difference and charge times. Apple sees you are using a non apple charger they appear to go into a default charging and powering mode. They do this to protect your Apple products. 
    ronnJWSC
  • Reply 37 of 129
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,515member
    tmay said:
    NsStf said:
    As always in a comments to an EU related story … 
    - Bunch of people who hate the EU and so don’t care to read the actual proposition. They then complain with arguments that make no sense or are not even relevant. 
    - Complain about how “bureaucrats in Brussels” decide, while complaining how the politicians in Brussels are dumb (make up you mind). 
    - Non-EU people not understand what the EU is. It’s ok of course, just not super relevant 

    You know, it’s possible to complain about EU decisions without being hateful or uninformed…
    My complaint is actually about timeliness. 12 years later, "voluntary" transition that appears to be working, EU completely ignores that wireless charging is becoming a "thing". Apparently too much latency in the EU to accomplish anything.

    Apple doesn't want to change to USB Type C from Lightning since they are rumored to be working on deprecating cable connections entirely. Charge Apple a nominal "fee" per unit for dragging its feet, but otherwise, the EU should get out of the way.
    This is not a correct interpretation of events.

    In 2009 the proposal and MoU was to reduce the insane amount of different chargers on the market, make life easier for consumers and reduce costs and e-waste.

    At that time there were over 30 different chargers on the EU market.

    Fast forward to 2019 (basically two years ago, not 12) and another impact assessment was initiated.

    What this article is about is that report. It is a new assessment which covers the current state of affairs and tackles basically all the issues touched on in the comments here. 

    I linked to that assessment earlier on and it is painfully obvious that few people here (if any) bothered to take a look.

    In that decade, the charger map changed for the better. In that context, the move can be considered a success. It also had an impact worldwide. Just like RoHS and WEEE.

    Current wireless charging technologies will not displace wired charging any time soon and Apple is directly responsible for shipping a 10 year old design (with its 5W charger) and contributing to unnecessary e-waste with a product that without out has sat in cupboards unused. 


    edited August 2021 muthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMackiowawa
  • Reply 38 of 129
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,825member
    avon b7 said:
    tmay said:
    NsStf said:
    As always in a comments to an EU related story … 
    - Bunch of people who hate the EU and so don’t care to read the actual proposition. They then complain with arguments that make no sense or are not even relevant. 
    - Complain about how “bureaucrats in Brussels” decide, while complaining how the politicians in Brussels are dumb (make up you mind). 
    - Non-EU people not understand what the EU is. It’s ok of course, just not super relevant 

    You know, it’s possible to complain about EU decisions without being hateful or uninformed…
    My complaint is actually about timeliness. 12 years later, "voluntary" transition that appears to be working, EU completely ignores that wireless charging is becoming a "thing". Apparently too much latency in the EU to accomplish anything.

    Apple doesn't want to change to USB Type C from Lightning since they are rumored to be working on deprecating cable connections entirely. Charge Apple a nominal "fee" per unit for dragging its feet, but otherwise, the EU should get out of the way.
    This is not a correct interpretation of events.

    In 2009 the proposal and MoU was to reduce the insane amount of different chargers on the market, make life easier for consumers and reduce costs and e-waste.

    At that time there were over 30 different chargers on the EU market.

    Fast forward to 2019 (basically two years ago, not 12) and another impact assessment was initiated.

    What this article is about is that report. It is a new assessment which covers the current state of affairs and tackles basically all the issues touched on in the comments here. 

    I linked to that assessment earlier on and it is painfully obvious that few people here (if any) bothered to take a look.

    In that decade, the charger map changed for the better. In that context, the move can be considered a success. It also had an impact worldwide. Just like RoHS and WEEE.

    Current wireless charging technologies will not displace wired charging any time soon and Apple is directly responsible for shipping a 10 year old design (with its 5W charger) and contributing to unnecessary e-waste with a product that without out has sat in cupboards unused. 


    Here's the study of what happened with the previous MOU;

    https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/4b3e4ea8-4f44-4687-96e4-cd3264407c5b/language-en/format-PDF/source-search

    Macrumors story,

    https://www.macrumors.com/guide/eu-charging-standard-proposals-and-apple/

    How Did the EC's Earlier Approach Play Out?

    The European Commission's efforts to establish a common charging standard for smartphones span more than a decade. In 2009, the EC estimated that 500 million mobile phones were in use in all EU countries. It found that the chargers used often varied according to the manufacturer and model, and that more than 30 different types of chargers were on the market. 

    In a bid to harmonize standards, the EC negotiated a 2009 Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by 14 tech companies including Apple, Samsung, Nokia, and other prominent smartphone manufacturers.

    According to the MoU, phone makers agreed to adopt a micro-USB connector standard for smartphone chargers in the European Union that would allow full charging compatibility with mobile phones to be placed on the market.

    The plan was for new phones to be sold with micro-USB chargers for a period of time, after which phones and chargers would be sold separately in order to allow customers who already owned chargers to continue using their existing ones. 

    There was considerable speculation about whether Apple would be able to meet the requirements of the micro-USB standard. At the time, Apple used a proprietary 30-pin dock connector compatible with both the iPhoneiPad, and iPod touch.

    However, the wording of the MoU offered Apple a loophole: For those phones that did not have a USB micro-B interface, an adapter was allowed under the agreed terms. And that's exactly what Apple did. In 2012, Apple introduced the ‌iPhone‌ 5 with a new Lightning proprietary connector to replace its 30-pin connector, and additionally offered a separate Lightning to micro USB adapter to comply with the 2009 EU agreement.

    Consequently, Apple ultimately wasn't required to abandon its proprietary connector or include a separate micro-USB interface directly on the device for charging purposes.

    Why Was the 2009 MoU Considered a Failure?

    A progress report provided by the MoU signatories in February 2013 indicated that 90 percent of the new devices placed on the market by the signatories and other manufacturers by the end of 2012 supported the common charging capability. But that statistic was so high only because it took into account the fact that Apple offered a Lightning to micro-USB adapter.

    One member of the Commission would note: "The perception among the citizens and the European Parliament is that the common charger does not really exist, and looking at what we find among the most popular smartphones, we have to agree with them. The future MoU must be clear in its outcome, we cannot afford to admit adaptors." 

    The lack of progress frustrated the Commission, and in 2014, the European parliament passed the Radio Equipment Directive, which called for a "renewed effort to develop a common charger." The directive gave the commission the power to directly set technical standards by means of a delegated act – in this case, a legislative act implementing EU rules.

    By 2016, the Commission acknowledged that micro-USB had become dated and that USB-C had become the de facto standard across most devices. The Commission was advised by MoU facilitators that all manufacturers were ready to sign a new agreement in line with different approaches but keeping the solution of using solely USB-C connectors – except Apple.

    Why is Apple Against the Idea of a Common Charger?

    In 2016, Apple supported the adoption of USB-C as a standardized interface at the power source (i.e. the charging plug), but remained against conforming to a standard on devices themselves. The company argued that conforming to a device-side standard would cost it up to €2 billion and hamper innovation, largely based on the claim that iPhones were too thin to house a USB-C port. 

    Apple even commissioned a study by Copenhagen Economics outlining the potential consumer harm from a mandatory move towards a common charger. 

    The study concluded that it would cost consumers €1.5 billion if common charger rules became law, outweighing the €13 million associated with environmental benefits. The study also claimed that 49 percent of EU households rely on different types of chargers, but only 0.4 percent of those households experience any significant issues.

    Apple's stance on the issue left the Commission deadlocked, but in 2018 the Commission agreed to continue working with manufacturers in order to achieve a suitable voluntary agreement. However, a year later the Commission concluded that its previous voluntary approach and the new MoU still allowed manufacturers to use adaptors with proprietary solutions and would not result in full charger harmonization.


    In essence, the EU was able to drive the bulk of the market to Micro USB, including iPhone with adaptor, but phones were still delivered with charging devices. The net effect is that there wasn't much reduction in e-waste, and not much actual benefit to consumers.

    Apple doesn't ship a charger with the iPhone. Apple and 3rd parties have chargers and separate cables available that resolve the bulk of the e-waste issue. At the same time, wireless charging is now potentially a bigger e-waste issue, and yet, the EU doesn't even acknowledge it. 

    Forcing Apple at this point in time to add USB Type C doesn't appear to actually solve any real e-waste problem.
    edited August 2021 ronnJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 129
    Once the EU gets its way, EU will be legally stuck on USBc even as technologies move ahead, say to USB-d. 15 years later, EU will make a new legislation to catch up with the world.

    It will also be very tempting to standardize wireless charging too, with equal results.
    tmayJWSCwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 129
    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. First I thought: “well, the ampere/watts are too different”, but with USB-C for example, I believe there are standards in how to charge an arbitrary device.
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