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

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  • Reply 41 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. 
    It switched to USB-C for laptops because now if the cord is damaged you don’t have to replace the entire charger.  Try putting a little more thought into your arguments. 

    Smartphones have already saved the world massive amounts of waste.  A manuals that took up binders now fit in an iPad,  people no longer by cd’s or cassettes, barcode scanners, DSLRs, video cameras, safety equipment, diagnosis equipment, the list goes on and on for how much smartphones divert waste from the landfill (not just e-waste)  
    edited August 13 tmayJWSCwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 42 of 129
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,708member
    tmay said:
    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...

    So once again you have nothing helpful or constructive to add....
  • Reply 43 of 129
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,708member
    zimmie said:
    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.

    Except for the part about watches I very much agree.

    I would add though that USB-C has the ability to improve data movement and flexibility -- it's why the USB protocol has been so dominant in the PC world.  And, that would bring the iPhone into better compliance with other modern computers.  Increasingly the iPhone is becoming less of a phone and more of a pocket sized computer and going to USB-C would only help that along.

    I think it would be a major step forward for the iPhone.   (But I'll need ear plugs to drown out the screams and cries of anguish WHEN it happens.)

    But, I think it is equally likely that Apple could make the iPhone completely wireless like the Apple Watch -- and that too would be a step forward (unless you have CarPlay, then you're screwed!)

    Either way, I think lightening will be joining the 30 pin connector.
  • Reply 44 of 129
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,708member
    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.

    Also:  Carplay
    MplsP
  • Reply 45 of 129
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,490member
    I'm sure what they mean by "charger" here?

    There once was a time when the "charger" was also tied to a cable that plugged into a specific type of port - that was and still is a huge issue with all electronics, not just phones! That's no longer the case on phones where modern modular chargers are almost universal, you just need the correct cable. Hell most computers, surge protectors, power supplies, and some in-wall receptacles allow you to use just your USB power cable to charge your device. Mandating the type of port on the device is ridiculous and it could very well halt innovation or at least force device makers to include multiple ports; one to support their standard, and a second to support some new innovative data port.

    The has only been a huge issue on non-iPhone mobile phones where they struggled for years to standardize and hopped from one connector type to another making previous chargers useless. The iPhone in its lifetime has had only two different port changes; first 5 years was iPod connector, since then, it's been Lightning connector.


    Like others have said... I think Apple will remove all ports from the iPhone and require wireless charging. However, that won't satisfy this new standard as it requires a non-standard charger.
    edited August 13 watto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 129
    So in our house we have to bin all of our lightning cables? That seems like a pretty big waste. I guess a market for lightning to usb-c converters might explode.

    More likely though in my opinion is that iPhones will go port-less before any law is passed making this issue moot.
    lkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 129
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,490member
    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 switched iPads and laptops to USB-C because it allowed for a higher power rate... which is needed to charge larger batteries and power higher energy hungry devices.

    Let's not forget that Apple uses Lightning to charge MANY other devices. Until they can all be replaced with a new port (USB-C is not that port), Lightning isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 129
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,498member
    zimmie said:
    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.

    Except for the part about watches I very much agree.

    I would add though that USB-C has the ability to improve data movement and flexibility -- it's why the USB protocol has been so dominant in the PC world.  And, that would bring the iPhone into better compliance with other modern computers.  Increasingly the iPhone is becoming less of a phone and more of a pocket sized computer and going to USB-C would only help that along.

    I think it would be a major step forward for the iPhone.   (But I'll need ear plugs to drown out the screams and cries of anguish WHEN it happens.)

    But, I think it is equally likely that Apple could make the iPhone completely wireless like the Apple Watch -- and that too would be a step forward (unless you have CarPlay, then you're screwed!)

    Either way, I think lightening will be joining the 30 pin connector.
    So once again you have nothing helpful or constructive to add....
    If noting your inability to use the correct nomenclature, after I had already cautioned you is not constructive, what is?

    It's Lightning, not Lightening.

    That is certainly constructive, but more correctly, instructive.
    edited August 13 ronnHedwareRayz2016kiltedgreennadrielwatto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 129
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,498member
    dee_dee said:
    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. 
    It switched to USB-C for laptops because now if the cord is damaged you don’t have to replace the entire charger.  Try putting a little more thought into your arguments. 

    Smartphones have already saved the world massive amounts of waste.  A manuals that took up binders now fit in an iPad,  people no longer by cd’s or cassettes, barcode scanners, DSLRs, video cameras, safety equipment, diagnosis equipment, the list goes on and on for how much smartphones divert waste from the landfill (not just e-waste)  
    How much energy is saved by digital charts for aircrew?

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewstibbe/2013/05/30/u-s-air-force-will-save-50m-with-ipad-electronic-flight-bags/?sh=21d948cb69a8

    Lots and lots. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 129
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,498member
    aderutter said:
    So in our house we have to bin all of our lightning cables? That seems like a pretty big waste. I guess a market for lightning to usb-c converters might explode.

    More likely though in my opinion is that iPhones will go port-less before any law is passed making this issue moot.
    A couple years ago, I threw out a whole lot of cables, wall adaptors, and what not accumulated from years of PC's, Mac's and whatnot. 

    One thing that I hate about USB.ORG is that there are so many variants of USB Type C cables, dependent on power capacity and bandwidth. In the future, I'll probably only be purchasing USB 4 cables, for everything, knowing that they will outlast the devices connected through them. Seems expensive, but with WiFi 6, there really isn't as much need for wired connections, so fewer cables required overall.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 129
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,959member
    tmay said:
    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.
    There was a huge reduction in e-waste simply due to the harmonisation angle. Consumers also won out on cost. 

    Before the MoU those propietary chargers with fixed cabling were piling up unused once users had changed brands. A connector or cable breaking meant having to get a whole new charger (often at exorbitant cost).

    Harmonisation brought detachable cables, cheaper chargers, more flexibility for consumers and the use of safer materials (RoHS).

    The actual e-waste that was generated was dealt in the second half of the decade without needing to go to landfill. It was illegal. WEEE was responsible for that.

    Those are massive strides.

    The new impact assessment marks an attempt to detail market realities and improve on the current situation which is of course a massive improvement over what we had 12 years ago.


    GeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 52 of 129
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,883member
    This proposal will probably block developments of new port technologies. Why would a company spend resources to improve on USB C if there is no guarantee the EU will approve its use in the future?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 53 of 129
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,813member
    So the EU pushes this through mandating USV-C chargers.
    What happens when Apple and others are wireless charging only? Are they going to be in violation because they don’t ALSO have a USB-C plug?
    What happens when in ten or more years when it has been replaced by something better, but the EU is still requiring USB-C? 

    tmay
  • Reply 54 of 129
    Sounds good to me, drag them kicking and screaming to use USB-C.  Apple should have moved to USB-C several iterations of the iPhone ago, they're only sticking to the ghastly lightning connector because they get $$$ on licensing. 
  • Reply 55 of 129
    This is so dumb.  You can go find adapters that go from micro usb or sub C to lightning for around $5 each lots of places.  Any law change is more likely to increase E-Waste than the current situation.  It will also slow innovation.  A simple and cheap adapter is the fix.  Maybe ask the manufacturer to include an adapter that is quality and will protect the phone from being damaged by whatever charger is on the other end of it, would be the best, instead of making companies change their phone internals 
  • Reply 56 of 129
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,959member
    DAalseth said:
    So the EU pushes this through mandating USV-C chargers.
    What happens when Apple and others are wireless charging only? Are they going to be in violation because they don’t ALSO have a USB-C plug?
    What happens when in ten or more years when it has been replaced by something better, but the EU is still requiring USB-C? 

    As with legislation, these situations get reviewed over time. That is exactly what is happening in this instance. 
    GeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 57 of 129
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,959member
    docbburk said:
    This is so dumb.  You can go find adapters that go from micro usb or sub C to lightning for around $5 each lots of places.  Any law change is more likely to increase E-Waste than the current situation.  It will also slow innovation.  A simple and cheap adapter is the fix.  Maybe ask the manufacturer to include an adapter that is quality and will protect the phone from being damaged by whatever charger is on the other end of it, would be the best, instead of making companies change their phone internals 
    Did the previous MoU and changes stifle innovation? No.

    Neither will the outcome of this review.

    However, it will help to harmonise the industry and benefit consumers. 
    HedwareGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 58 of 129
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,840member
    It switched its laptops to USB-C creating huge ewaste.
    Explain.
  • Reply 59 of 129
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,840member
    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?"
    What? Lightning is a connector, and has always used a USB-A or USB-C connector at the other end.
    ronnRayz2016
  • Reply 60 of 129
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,840member
    MplsP said:
    started shipping iPhones with lighting-USB C cables (although they never shipped a USB C charger to work with these cables.) 
    The 11 Pro came with an 18W USB-C charger.
    ronnGeorgeBMac
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