European politicians on the cusp of requiring USB-C in all smartphones

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European Union officials have voted to support a long-planned proposal to require Apple, and all technology firms, to adopt USB-C as a common charger, and add a new requirement for a standard for wireless charging.




The European Union has been pressing for manufacturers to all use the same chargers for their smartphones, and other devices, for more than a decade. EU plans for formally proposing new legislation were passed in January 2022, but have required further backing.

Now MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee have voted 43 to 2 in favor of supporting the proposals - and adding significant refinements.

According to an EU press release, the newly revised proposals include a call "for the interoperability of wireless charging technologies by 2026."

It's not clear what the proposals specifically address for wireless charging. The Qi standard is already effectively universal, and supported across a wide range of products.

"With half a billion chargers for portable devices shipped in Europe each year, generating 11,000 to 13,000 tonnes of e-waste, a single charger for mobile phones and other small and medium electronic devices would benefit everyone," said the EU's Alex Agius Saliba. "Ot will help the environment, further help the re-use of old electronics, save money, and reduce unnecessary costs and inconvenience for both businesses and consumers."

The revised proposals include requirements to improve communication with "dedicated labels." More significantly, the EU now wants the common charger and wireless charging requirements to apply to more devices including laptops and other electronics.

Previously, Apple has been among those objecting to the EU's plans to require a common charger.

"We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphone stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole," Apple said in 2020. "We hope the Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry's ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to customers."

The new vote approved these revisions to the existing proposals and the whole package must now go for a plenary vote in the European Parliament in May 2022. Following that, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee says it will "be ready to start talks with EU governments on the final shape of the legislation."

Final execution of any legislation won't happen until the text is finalized, and legal challenges are complete. Implementation will likely take years. The EU's implementation of micro USB as a standard was fully implemented after the introduction of USB-C to the marketplace.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,185member
    We all get the government we deserve.

    The upside is that this will drive manufacturers to adopt wireless charging even more quickly.
    Cesar Battistini Mazierotmay
  • Reply 2 of 70
    lukeilukei Posts: 370member
    Great, we have an energy crisis and these clowns want to drive adoption of incredibly inefficient and lossy wireless charging.

    Politicians don’t understand tech. Ever.
    williamlondonlkruppmagman1979iOS_Guy80viclauyycdocno42
  • Reply 3 of 70
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,919member
    Locking the industry in to a 9-year old technology whilst killing innovation & tech product diversity.
    lukeiwilliamlondonmagman1979Beatsviclauyyc
  • Reply 4 of 70
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,254member
    lukei said:
    Great, we have an energy crisis and these clowns want to drive adoption of incredibly inefficient and lossy wireless charging.

    Politicians don’t understand tech. Ever.
    Nothing about this seems to say that wireless charging is required, just standardised.
    darkvadermuthuk_vanalingamnadrielspheric
  • Reply 5 of 70
    fred1fred1 Posts: 965member
    Seems doable. 
  • Reply 6 of 70
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,492member
    JWSC said:
    We all get the government we deserve.

    The upside is that this will drive manufacturers to adopt wireless charging even more quickly.
    Do the EU clowns accept a device with nothing but wireless, or do they insist on a USB-C too? 
    lukeiwilliamlondonBeatsiOS_Guy80viclauyycJWSCtmaydocno42
  • Reply 7 of 70
    lukeilukei Posts: 370member
    If manufacturers are required to lock themselves into a 9 year old standard then they will move to Wireless only

    Pretty straightforward stuff

    crowley said:
    lukei said:
    Great, we have an energy crisis and these clowns want to drive adoption of incredibly inefficient and lossy wireless charging.

    Politicians don’t understand tech. Ever.
    Nothing about this seems to say that wireless charging is required, just standardised.

    williamlondondocno42
  • Reply 8 of 70
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,239member
    So when Apple stopped including chargers with their devices, everyone cried wolf.
    What they want is a charger and a cable with every new device yet expect e-waste to be reduced? Not sure how this regulation reduces e-waste.
    edited April 20 lukeimagman1979BeatsCesar Battistini MazieroJaiOh81
  • Reply 9 of 70
    Still cannot for the life of me figure out how this helps anything…. How often are people switching back and forth between iPhone to Android/other?  I could maybe see if the turnover was 100% every year, but it’s not…. I’m just not seeing where the “excess e-waste” is coming in here?  Heck, I was actually okay with ditching the charging cables and bricks with iPhones - we’ve had a standard plug for quite a while now, I don’t need new charging equipment every couple of years if the old ones still work fine!
    StrangeDaystwokatmewmagman1979viclauyyctmay
  • Reply 10 of 70
    M68000M68000 Posts: 461member
    lukei said:
    Great, we have an energy crisis and these clowns want to drive adoption of incredibly inefficient and lossy wireless charging.

    Politicians don’t understand tech. Ever.
    Yeah,  it may not be as efficient as wired.  But,  it is starting to look like gallium nitride chargers will replace current stuff.  That will make up for it a little bit.  with both wired and wireless charging becoming more efficient?   This looks like it could be a huge win for the people that run the Qi organization. 
  • Reply 11 of 70
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 870member
    I wish they'd hurry it up.  It's insane that Apple is still using proprietary ports in 2022, and if it takes legislation to force them to stop, then the world needs that legislation.
    fred1pscooter63nadrielelijahgcroprkingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 12 of 70
    MK67MK67 Posts: 4member
    My Mac use USB-C and so does the iPad.
    I see no reason why moving the iPhone to USB-C would be a problem or would stop innovation.
    Please enlighten me why, I am curious…
    twokatmewmuthuk_vanalingamnadrielcroprkingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 13 of 70
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,254member
    lukei said:
    crowley said:
    lukei said:
    Great, we have an energy crisis and these clowns want to drive adoption of incredibly inefficient and lossy wireless charging.

    Politicians don’t understand tech. Ever.
    Nothing about this seems to say that wireless charging is required, just standardised.
    If manufacturers are required to lock themselves into a 9 year old standard then they will move to Wireless only

    Pretty straightforward stuff
    Not sure what this even means.  Every manufacturer apart from Apple (that I'm aware of) currently ships with a USB-C port.  Why would this legislation push them to add wireless charging when their products are already compliant?
    nadriel
  • Reply 14 of 70
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,990member
    darkvader said:
    I wish they'd hurry it up.  It's insane that Apple is still using proprietary ports in 2022, and if it takes legislation to force them to stop, then the world needs that legislation.
    The world? Since when should the world determine what a company wants to use with their product. If the EU demands something, make them pay for the product instead of the manufacturer or us. 
    twokatmewmagman1979BeatsM68000designr
  • Reply 15 of 70
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,254member
    So when Apple stopped including chargers with their devices, everyone cried wolf.
    What they want is a charger and a cable with every new device yet expect e-waste to be reduced? Not sure how this regulation reduces e-waste.
    No, this legislation doesn't require the power brick or cable to be included, just that USB-C is the port.
    forgot usernamenadriel
  • Reply 16 of 70
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 377member
    Stupid move. Just consider where we'd be today if they'd made the same decision eight years ago and mandated micro-USB.

    Technologies advance quickly. Legislation, however, ...
    StrangeDaysstompytwokatmewmagman1979Beatsdesignrtmay
  • Reply 17 of 70
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,122member
    darkvader said:
    I wish they'd hurry it up.  It's insane that Apple is still using proprietary ports in 2022, and if it takes legislation to force them to stop, then the world needs that legislation.
    Rubbish. The proprietary innovation that is Lightning was an inspiration to the industry to make something better with USB, which before USB-C had stood still for a very long time and pretty much sucked.

    In the free world, companies are allowed to make things that work best for them and see what happens. Customers loved products using the proprietary 30-pin and Lightning interfaces. The market spoke very clearly. iPods and iPhones would have been poorer products had they been forced to use existing-ports only.
    edited April 20 Beatsraybopscooter63M68000JWSCtmay
  • Reply 18 of 70
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,002member
    Apple has options. I don't know which option Apple will adopt.

    1. Stop using Lightning worldwide on iPhones/iPads, replacing it with USB-C everywhere.
    2. Stop using Lightning in Europe, replace it with USB-C there, but use Lightning everywhere else in the world. Apple could sell its USB-C iPhones in Europe with only the maximum amount of storage, making them more expensive, to help cover the costs of the port conversion.
    3. Stop selling any iPhones with physical ports (at least in Europe.) Just sell models in Europe with only wireless charging, which is already an option in all iPhones. And definitely don't charge less for iPhones without USB-C ports!
    4. Stop selling iPhones in Europe. However, Apple might be able to skirt the rules by leasing iPhones (with Lightning) in Europe rather than selling iPhones there. I'm not sure if the new rules apply to leased products.
  • Reply 19 of 70
    darkvader said:
    I wish they'd hurry it up.  It's insane that Apple is still using proprietary ports in 2022, and if it takes legislation to force them to stop, then the world needs that legislation.
    Yes, keeping the same port since 2012, is totally nuts. (Sarcasm) how many different ports have android phones used over the same time period? Yes, having the lightning port and MFI program to protect customers from faulty cables or ones that introduce spyware into their phones is so evil.  Darn that dastardly Apple🙄
    Beatsmike1
  • Reply 20 of 70
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,132member
    Should the EU do this? No I generally don’t want government dictating this sort of thing. 
    Should Apple have already moved to USB-C? Oh yeah. 
    pscooter63MplsPchasmforgot usernamejeffharriskingofsomewherehot
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