The European Union refuses to surrender on the dream that at some point, all of us will use the identical rattling charger for all our units. Right now, the European Fee announced it plans to pressure all smartphones—and several other different sorts of electronics—to make use of USB-C because the one true charging normal.
The proposed plan has 4 components. The primary is that “USB-C would be the widespread port” so that buyers can cost their units with the identical charger, “no matter machine or model.” The European Fee says it goals to stop totally different firms from capping charging speeds, and companies can even be required to offer customers with details about charging efficiency, in addition to whether or not a tool helps quick charging. The concept right here is to coach customers so that they know whether or not their current chargers will work with a brand new machine. Lastly, the European Fee desires chargers to be unbundled from new units, so you should buy a new smartphone with out one more charger included within the field.
In its report, the commission notes that roughly 420 million smartphones had been bought within the EU in 2020, and customers personal roughly three chargers every. The result’s 11,000 tons of e-waste per yr.
Beneath the proposal, USB-C could be the usual charging port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, audio system, and different devices. Ought to the proposal be adopted by the European Parliament, firms would have about 24 months to make the change. Android telephones have lengthy used USB-C, however you may in all probability already guess which firm is the key holdout.
“We stay involved that strict regulation mandating only one kind of connector stifles innovation fairly than encouraging it, which in flip will hurt customers in Europe and world wide,” Apple mentioned in an announcement provided to multiple outlets.
Are we shocked? Not notably. Apple has lengthy opposed the EU’s efforts to ascertain standardized charging, citing inconvenience, innovation, and waste. That mentioned, Apple has in recent times adopted USB-C for many of its iPads. It did so for its MacBooks as effectively, although current rumors concerning the return of MagSafe this yr might complicate that, though Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman contends USB-C ports will nonetheless be included. Nevertheless, for its iPhones, Apple has caught with its proprietary Lightning cables.
However the commission isn’t shopping for Apple’s protection.
“European customers had been pissed off lengthy sufficient about incompatible chargers piling up of their drawers,” mentioned Margrethe Vestager, govt vice chairman of the European Fee. “We gave business loads of time to give you their options, now time is ripe for laws for a standard charger.”
If this proposal passes, Apple could also be pressured to totally embrace USB-C for iPhones. Or, it might do an Apple and simply up-finish the whole lot within the course of. Because the Verge notes, the fee’s proposal strictly refers to wired charging. So no, your smartwatch or different units that depend on wi-fi charging received’t be impacted. (Within the case of wearables, there’s a great cause why USB-C isn’t actually viable.)
Rumors floated round that Apple was engaged on a portless iPhone 13. That didn’t come to fruition, nevertheless it’s all the time potential that this would possibly spark Apple to dust off that idea again for the iPhone 14 or 15. Or, they may all the time do what they did when the EU pushed for micro-USB again in 2009, once they launched a Lightning-to-micro-USB dongle in Europe. If there’s one factor Apple loves, it’s forcing everybody to dongle it up.