EU pressing on with USB-C charger legislation on Thursday

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in iPhone
The European Commission will soon present a legislative proposal that could institute a common charger for mobile devices in the EU, possibly forcing Apple to ditch Lightning for USB-C.

Credit: AppleInsider
Credit: AppleInsider


European officials have been pushing for a common charging standard for some time, despite protests from Apple and others in the technology industry.

According to Reuters, the introduction of a legislative proposal implementing a common charging standard in Europe could come as soon as Thursday, Sept. 23.

In addition to a proposed harmonized charging port, the European Commission reportedly also wants the sales of charging hardware to be decoupled from devices.

EU lawmakers claim that a common charger would be more convenient for consumers and would be more environmentally friendly. Apple has argued against mandated charging standards, claiming that they would dampen innovation, annoy consumers, and create unnecessary electronic waste.

It isn't clear what type of port the EU would mandate, but it would likely be USB-C. In 2018, half the chargers sold with mobile phones have a USB micro connector, while 29% had USB-C with an increase since. At the time, 21% had Apple's proprietary Lightning format but this has also increased with time.

Although Apple does have USB-C ports on some hardware, Lightning is standard on its iPhone devices. While some rumors have pointed toward a USB-C iPhone being likely in the future, other reports suggest that Apple isn't adopting USB-C anytime soon, and may instead opt for an entirely port-less iPhone.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,673member
    The EU can do whatever they want to but the metric system is not the standard in the US and I doubt there will ever be a single world-wide standard for much of anything. USB is an Intel standard, meaning the EU is defining a no-substitute requirement for mobile phone chargers. I have to wonder how much Intel is bribing the EU. If Apple goes with a mag-safe charger and no physical charging port, I bet the EU will complain and try and sue Apple to provide a physical charging port. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    This makes no sense. Technology changes. Last time it was micro USB. Does this mean when such a legislation is passt does this mean there can never be a new technology? I mean someone needs to be the first to use the new standard would that company break the law?


    retrogustoviclauyycKTRaderutterwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 31
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,100member
    rob53 said:
    The EU can do whatever they want to but the metric system is not the standard in the US and I doubt there will ever be a single world-wide standard for much of anything. USB is an Intel standard, meaning the EU is defining a no-substitute requirement for mobile phone chargers. I have to wonder how much Intel is bribing the EU. If Apple goes with a mag-safe charger and no physical charging port, I bet the EU will complain and try and sue Apple to provide a physical charging port. 
    Dude. If you're gonna argue against anybody trying to establish a universal standard, it's really best you NOT bring up the metric system. 

    Because the United States' refusal to this day to adopt the metric system (only on the surface — any industry in a globalised world cannot afford NOT to be metric) is so utterly ridiculous and total luddite buffoonery that it demolishes whatever argument you might be trying to make. 
    elijahgcpsrocaladanianviclauyycOferavon b7FileMakerFellerchelinmuthuk_vanalingamHedware
  • Reply 4 of 31
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,758member
    Best Case: They go with USB-C and by the time it takes effect, Apple has already moved everything to USB-C
    Worst Case: They go with some weird local plug standard that is only made and used in Slovakia or some such place and the rest of the world is completely f-ed. 
    Let’s see what they do. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    Apple handled the micro-USB requirement by producing a micro-USB to lightning adapter and they already have a USB-C to lightning cable. Not sure if that would work in this case - harmonized charging port?

    " also wants the sales of charging hardware to be decoupled from devices." Done!  :D
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 31
    DAalseth said:
    Best Case: They go with USB-C and by the time it takes effect, Apple has already moved everything to USB-C
    Worst Case: They go with some weird local plug standard that is only made and used in Slovakia or some such place and the rest of the world is completely f-ed. 
    Let’s see what they do. 
    This thread is a farce…
    EU requires charge to be common, not particular shape or colour. 
    Apple has no right to complain. Most of the accessories are bluetooth nowadays or has usbc option. Lightning is environmental disaster. 
    Ofer
  • Reply 7 of 31
    With only a few exception exceptions, Apple already only sells chargers with USB-C ports. What we don’t know yet is if or when the EU might mandate USB-C ports on phones and other mobile devices. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 31
    DAalseth said:
    Best Case: They go with USB-C and by the time it takes effect, Apple has already moved everything to USB-C
    Worst Case: They go with some weird local plug standard that is only made and used in Slovakia or some such place and the rest of the world is completely f-ed. 
    Let’s see what they do. 
    By the time the EU implements this “standard” Apple will have moved to will have moved to a wireless port less phone. That utilizes usb-c as the standard adapter plug.  EU can pass a law that says all charging PORTs need to be universal and start with USB-C. But it can’t take Apple to task if they decide to ditch the port all together and go wireless.   I think this doesn’t hinder future technology. It just gives the commission more power to choose the roadmap for future technology adoption.  If EU implements this and Apple moves wireless, then I bet Samsung and others will follow Apple to get around the port issue. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 31
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,388member
    rob53 said:
    The EU can do whatever they want to but the metric system is not the standard in the US and I doubt there will ever be a single world-wide standard for much of anything. USB is an Intel standard, meaning the EU is defining a no-substitute requirement for mobile phone chargers. I have to wonder how much Intel is bribing the EU. If Apple goes with a mag-safe charger and no physical charging port, I bet the EU will complain and try and sue Apple to provide a physical charging port. 
    Whilst USB was invented by Intel, it isn't an Intel "standard" nor is it controlled by any one entity. 

    From WIkipedia: "In 2015, the seven-person board of directors, led by USB-IF President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Ravencraft, consisted of representatives of AppleHP Inc.Intel CorporationMicrosoft CorporationRenesas ElectronicsSTMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments."

    But yes, I wouldn't be surprised if the EU mandated a USB-C charging port on all mobile phones, meaning Apple couldn't have a portless iPhone in the EU.
    edited September 21 FileMakerFellerAlex_Vcurtis hannah
  • Reply 10 of 31
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,904member
    Ho hum. Seems like Apple has been able to drag this out long enough to milk Lightning for all it's worth and will be onto USB-C when absolutely necessary.
    Ofer
  • Reply 11 of 31
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,388member
    DAalseth said:
    Best Case: They go with USB-C and by the time it takes effect, Apple has already moved everything to USB-C
    Worst Case: They go with some weird local plug standard that is only made and used in Slovakia or some such place and the rest of the world is completely f-ed. 
    Let’s see what they do. 
    The legalisation stipulates specifically USB-C.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,061member
    spheric said:
    rob53 said:
    The EU can do whatever they want to but the metric system is not the standard in the US and I doubt there will ever be a single world-wide standard for much of anything. USB is an Intel standard, meaning the EU is defining a no-substitute requirement for mobile phone chargers. I have to wonder how much Intel is bribing the EU. If Apple goes with a mag-safe charger and no physical charging port, I bet the EU will complain and try and sue Apple to provide a physical charging port. 
    Dude. If you're gonna argue against anybody trying to establish a universal standard, it's really best you NOT bring up the metric system. 

    Because the United States' refusal to this day to adopt the metric system (only on the surface — any industry in a globalised world cannot afford NOT to be metric) is so utterly ridiculous and total luddite buffoonery that it demolishes whatever argument you might be trying to make. 
    Actually, the metric system is used here more than you think. Most everything that designated as Imperial, other than imperial measuring systems themselves, is already metric. For us, they’re designated as imperial, but look at the numbers, and you’ll realize that it’s a conversion from the metric.

    congress stated in ‘66 that the country should proceed moving to metric as quickly as possible in order to enhance industry as well as scientific progress. That statement, by the way, was made in 1866, not 1966.

    having said that, the British, now that Brexit is there have stated that they’re going back to imperial, which really, is completely stup if they really do it, if even in a limited way.
    caladanianAlex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,061member
    DAalseth said:
    Best Case: They go with USB-C and by the time it takes effect, Apple has already moved everything to USB-C
    Worst Case: They go with some weird local plug standard that is only made and used in Slovakia or some such place and the rest of the world is completely f-ed. 
    Let’s see what they do. 
    This thread is a farce…
    EU requires charge to be common, not particular shape or colour. 
    Apple has no right to complain. Most of the accessories are bluetooth nowadays or has usbc option. Lightning is environmental disaster. 
    That’s ridiculous! The EU is constantly making rules that defy common sense. This goes hand in hand with the upcoming rule that doesn’t allow chargers to be sold with, and packaged with smartphones. That’s also dumb, though Apple began to comply, and other phone companies have been following.

    so the socket on the phone matters? It doesn’t. Apple supplies a lightning to USB C cable, and that all they should have to do. As with rechargers, it’s inane. So the EU believes that since we all have old chargers, we don’t need new ones, and so the old ones will be thrown away. This way, we’ll have to use the old ones so that we don’t have to pay for new ones. How dumb is that? Anybody here have a charger from an old phone, iPhone, Samsung phone or any other that is 5 watts? How many of you will want to use that with your new phone with a much bigger battery and faster charging time?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,388member
    For once, I'm partially behind the EU on this. Whilst lightning was 100x better than USB micro (and the Dock Connector) back in the iPhone 5 days in 2012, lightning is not superior to USB-C in most cases. In fact, Apple co-designed the USB-C connector. The only major drawback of USB-C is the slim "tongue" in the USB-C port on the device can get broken off without huge difficulty. However as usual, the EU's reasoning for this is crap: "reducing waste" is the driver, but phones come with USB->Lightning/USB-C cables anyway, so mandating a specific port isn't going to stop excess cables being thrown away, unless someone is switching from iOS to Android. 

    A couple of more minor drawbacks of USB-C itself:
    • There are at least 4 different types of USB-C cable: charging only, USB 2.0 over USB-C, USB 3.2 over USB-C, and Thunderbolt (or USB 4) over USB-C. Having such a variety of cables with no way to distinguish them is stupid. 
    • Replacing all existing lightning cables with USB-C ones could be wasteful, though no more wasteful than dock connector to lightning. 

    Major advantages though: 
    • Potential for faster charging as USB-C is 65w+
    • USB 3.2, which is why the iPad Pro/mini has USB-C. Right now, iPhones and the iPad 9 are limited to USB 2.0 speeds. Pretty abysmal 20MB/sec.
    • One cable with identical ends to rule them all (sort of, see above)
    • Any charger will charge any phone
    • Everyone will have a USB-C cable in a pinch, whereas only some people will have lightning
    • Easier for device manufacturers to waterproof (as no moving parts in the device port, unlike lightning)
    Apple probably doesn't want to switch because of licensing on Made for iPhone cables and accessories. Instead of being hardware incompatibilities, Apple will have to force software incompatibilities with USB-C Android accessories. And those incompatibilities will eventually be cracked by various Chinese accessory makers.

    edited September 21 caladanianOferFileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingamnadrieladerutter
  • Reply 15 of 31
    The British are not going back to imperial, we are discussing the possibility to remove the law that makes it an offence to quote prices in Pounds and Ounces. 

    The EU is a crazy place, they claim that standardising USB-C is to cut down on electronic waste, at the same time allowing France to force Apple into providing a charger with the supply of a new iPhone. 


    elijahgaderutterwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 31
    The Apple chargers NOW are USB-C. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    DangDave said:
    With only a few exception exceptions, Apple already only sells chargers with USB-C ports. What we don’t know yet is if or when the EU might mandate USB-C ports on phones and other mobile devices. 

    That’s my take. The charger bricks are all USB-C dating back a bit from Apple. That’s actually had me stumble as my older Anker batteries have the older USB-A ports. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    elijahg said:

    Apple probably doesn't want to switch because of licensing on Made for iPhone cables and accessories. Instead of being hardware incompatibilities, Apple will have to force software incompatibilities with USB-C Android accessories. And those incompatibilities will eventually be cracked by various Chinese accessory makers.

    Apple gets at least 4$ for every cable/device/adapter sold with lightning port/plug-in. Thats actually luxury business for them - not surprising they dont want to switch to usb-c.

    BTW. Making usb-c port not compatible with android/macbook/ipad pro/pc accessories will be own goal and heavily criticised dick move by everyone. 

    melgross said:
    DAalseth said:
    Best Case: They go with USB-C and by the time it takes effect, Apple has already moved everything to USB-C
    Worst Case: They go with some weird local plug standard that is only made and used in Slovakia or some such place and the rest of the world is completely f-ed. 
    Let’s see what they do. 
    This thread is a farce…
    EU requires charge to be common, not particular shape or colour. 
    Apple has no right to complain. Most of the accessories are bluetooth nowadays or has usbc option. Lightning is environmental disaster. 
    That’s ridiculous! The EU is constantly making rules that defy common sense. This goes hand in hand with the upcoming rule that doesn’t allow chargers to be sold with, and packaged with smartphones. That’s also dumb, though Apple began to comply, and other phone companies have been following.

    so the socket on the phone matters? It doesn’t. Apple supplies a lightning to USB C cable, and that all they should have to do. As with rechargers, it’s inane. So the EU believes that since we all have old chargers, we don’t need new ones, and so the old ones will be thrown away. This way, we’ll have to use the old ones so that we don’t have to pay for new ones. How dumb is that? Anybody here have a charger from an old phone, iPhone, Samsung phone or any other that is 5 watts? How many of you will want to use that with your new phone with a much bigger battery and faster charging time?
    Well, they are all hypocrites - Apple, Samsung and EU bureaucrats.  In theory they do this for environment, in practice its only for show. What about trees that will need to be cut to make charger boxes? All they need to do is let us  decide if we want new charger or not. 
  • Reply 19 of 31
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,342member
    Another case of the EU commission being technologically inept. Are they really going to mandate that all devices use a standard port for charging? Wouldn't it make more sense that all chargers have a standard port? And the device makers only need to supply the right charging cable. 

    I have thrown away more chargers, not because they can no longer be use to charge newer devices, but because the cable or connector became damaged from just wear and tear or cats and puppies, chewing on them. And the cable can not be replaced and are difficult to repair. 

    On the other hand, I still have over a hand full of over 15 year old Apple chargers, with USB ports on them, that came with all the various iPods I've own and many I still have. These iPods came with a USB to 30pin cable, that plugged into the USB port on the charger.  (I still have a couple with a Firewire port, that came with the early iPods that uses Firewire. ) The charger brick themselves very rarely fails. I still use these to power up and charge other newer devices, using the right adapter cable. No need to ever throw them away. (Though they might now be underpowered for many newer devices.) Plus without a permanently attached cable, they are very easy to store away. The only thing that gets thrown away, are the damaged cables.    
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 31
    tshapi said:
    DAalseth said:
    Best Case: They go with USB-C and by the time it takes effect, Apple has already moved everything to USB-C
    Worst Case: They go with some weird local plug standard that is only made and used in Slovakia or some such place and the rest of the world is completely f-ed. 
    Let’s see what they do. 
    By the time the EU implements this “standard” Apple will have moved to will have moved to a wireless port less phone. That utilizes usb-c as the standard adapter plug.  EU can pass a law that says all charging PORTs need to be universal and start with USB-C. But it can’t take Apple to task if they decide to ditch the port all together and go wireless.   I think this doesn’t hinder future technology. It just gives the commission more power to choose the roadmap for future technology adoption.  If EU implements this and Apple moves wireless, then I bet Samsung and others will follow Apple to get around the port issue. 
    I would like that.
    watto_cobra
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