EU parliament moves closer to law that would force iPhones to use USB-C ports

Daniel Sims

Posts: 665   +27
Staff
Why it matters: The European parliament has been seeking a common standard for electronic device chargers for over a decade. This week, it came one step closer to enacting such a policy, which would most notably affect Apple.

On Wednesday, members of the European parliament agreed almost unanimously in favor of a proposal to establish USB-Type C as the standard connection port on electronic devices. The European Commission introduced the proposal last fall.

The proposed Radio Equipment Directive aims to reduce confusion over the types of cables consumers use for different devices. Another goal is to cut down on electronic waste with platform-agnostic charging ports.

The preliminary proposal passed on a nearly unanimous 43-2 vote. If the European Parliament plenary session in May approves it, parliament members will hash out the final details with EU member governments.

Most manufacturers are already using USB-C, including Apple's iPads and MacBooks. Apple has resisted calls to give iPhones USB-C ports by suggesting there should instead be a mandated standard on the charger end of the cord. Apple's Lightning-to-USB-C cables would already meet such a standard.

If the proposal doesn't pass, you could always do it yourself. Last Fall, an engineering student successfully modded a USB-C port into an iPhone and published instructions for the procedure.

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psycros

Posts: 4,456   +6,641
Why is this a thing? I'm no fan of Apple's, but it seems like a massive overstep for a government body to be forcing companies that make devices to use a particular connection.

Because standardization is very much within the government's purview, particularly when it comes to matters of consumer and environmental protection. Apple is perhaps the single worst offender when it comes to unneccesary production of future e-waste due to proprietary standards and forced obscolescence.
 
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Dd663

Because standardization is very much within the government's purview, particularly when it comes to matters of consumer and environmental protection. Apple is perhaps the single worst offender when it comes to unneccesary production of future e-waste due to proprietary standards and forced obscolescence.
But where does it end? What if they decide to make it law that all devices need to have a user-replaceable battery with screwdriver-or-easier access? Sounds like a good thing, but could put artificial limits on the type of devices that can be made. What about outlawing all screw types except for the bog-standard Philips cross-head? What if a better connector than USB-C becomes a thing? What about magnet connections?

To me it is overreach. Standardization is good, but I don't think it should be forced.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,246   +2,798
TechSpot Elite
So this will apply to all laptops sold in the EU as well, right? Nope.

Every single non-USB-C laptop (read: loads) comes with a proprietary power supply with a non-removable cable thus guaranteeing maximal e-waste generation of far larger components than phones.

And Apple's chargers (the part with all the potential e-waste in it) have standard USB or USB-C connectors on them like all phone chargers, so you can charge any phone with them if you have your phone's cable. The only bit proprietary to Apple is the removable cable, a minimal part of the e-waste calculation.

This is all posturing and will result in little measurable change, if at all.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
Yet they do nothing about the fact that most Android device manufacturers abandon software support for their handsets less than a year after they launch.

Personally I don’t think should force anyone to do anything. They really aren’t qualified to make those decisions.
 

Usukosej

Posts: 183   +83
USB-C port, fine. Most use wireless charging anyway.

But app sideload, no, huge security risk. As we have seen tons of times on Android. Haha, hell even apps from the official play store contained mal- and spyware :joy:
 
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Fulljack

Posts: 103   +95
Yes, this is actually a very good. free market is cool and all until the big corporation screws you over and over again while also draining any soul's left from their workers. y'all act like regulation should be limited, while it is more common and often than not that corporate or business will try to screw you up, as it is in their best interest.

EU has single handedly force all phone makers (except Apple) to dump their shitty proprietary connector and moves toward micro usb. https://www.engadget.com/2010-12-29...lize-micro-usb-cellphone-ch.html?guccounter=1

sure, it creates e-waste, but that's on that corporation on why they didn't move to using type c connector despite has many years to do so.
 

Fulljack

Posts: 103   +95
USB-C port, fine. Most use wireless charging anyway.

But app sideload, no, huge security risk. As we have seen tons of times on Android. Haha, hell even apps from the official play store contained mal- and spyware :joy:

app sideload is a security threat because most of the time, people are oblivious and has terrible reading comprehension. I see smartphone today exactly as a PC, and imagine the roar if Microsoft try to ban 3rd party executable and must rely on Microsoft Store.
 

Usukosej

Posts: 183   +83
app sideload is a security threat because most of the time, people are oblivious and has terrible reading comprehension. I see smartphone today exactly as a PC, and imagine the roar if Microsoft try to ban 3rd party executable and must rely on Microsoft Store.
I don't see a phone as a "PC" tho. It just needs to work, and work well, with minimal bugs and with full backup and iCloud is superior to any Android solution in that sense. Complete phone backup 1:1. You can literally just take another iPhone and restore 1:1.

Windows "S" on some Surface has that tho; Only MS Store can be used.

There's a reason why SMS phishing ALWAYS target android. The link always point to an APK file. Aaand some users are stupid enough to install, even following the guide on how to enabled app sideload before doing it... :joy:

I don't understand why ANYONE would push for allowing app sideload. It's common knowledge that it's a huge security risk. Every security expert will tell you that.
 
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ypsylon

Posts: 525   +544
Why is this a thing? I'm no fan of Apple's, but it seems like a massive overstep for a government body to be forcing companies that make devices to use a particular connection.
I agree that gov should steer clear from the user and technology, however in this instance I support the motion 101%.

Why? Because Lighting is a relic of bygone era. At most you get theoretical USB 2.0 transfer speed, with overhead much less than 480Mb/s. You can transfer hilariously low charge over it - like 5V at 1A=5W which is most common, while USB-C can deliver easily 65, 90 and up to 100W; can transfer not only data, but also video, audio, network and whatever other protocol in existence.

Transferring 100GB file from iPhone vs doing the same from iPadPro 2018 (so only 20Gb/s USB-C, not Thunderbolt) is like night and day. 40 minutes vs less than 2 minutes. Apple has audacity to advertise using iPhones as cameras, not only that, but 4K ProRes cameras -with latest models- where every minute generates dozens GB of data. Good luck transferring that over Lighting (or AirDrop). MEGA, OneDrive, DropBox, even stupidly expensive iCloud is required right now or you'll lose your mind.

And look no further than Apple to develop things which are useless everywhere else. Whole World uses M.2 drives, but... not Apple computers with it's own proprietary M.2-like connector. Phuck that with capital P. :p
 

Fearghast

Posts: 579   +496
It would be really nice to have a standard what ever device you are rocking - I myself am using USB-C on pretty much everything and for a long time.
It would be nice if the cables, their labels and power throughput would improve through.
200W USB-C cable with rock solid connectors ... chef's kiss.
 

bviktor

Posts: 1,057   +1,530
It would be really nice to have a standard what ever device you are rocking - I myself am using USB-C on pretty much everything and for a long time.
It would be nice if the cables, their labels and power throughput would improve through.
200W USB-C cable with rock solid connectors ... chef's kiss.
USB-PD EPR (Extended Power Range) bumps up charging to 240W. But I don't think it's been implemented yet, the specs have been finalized in 2021.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,793   +5,971
But where does it end? What if they decide to make it law that all devices need to have a user-replaceable battery with screwdriver-or-easier access? Sounds like a good thing, but could put artificial limits on the type of devices that can be made. What about outlawing all screw types except for the bog-standard Philips cross-head? What if a better connector than USB-C becomes a thing? What about magnet connections?

To me it is overreach. Standardization is good, but I don't think it should be forced.
Oh, please. If they can make hydraulic parts that handle pressures of over 250bar user servicable then they can make your iPhone repairable.
 

Fulljack

Posts: 103   +95
I don't see a phone as a "PC" tho. It just needs to work, and work well, with minimal bugs and with full backup and iCloud is superior to any Android solution in that sense. Complete phone backup 1:1. You can literally just take another iPhone and restore 1:1.

Windows "S" on some Surface has that tho; Only MS Store can be used.

There's a reason why SMS phishing ALWAYS target android. The link always point to an APK file. Aaand some users are stupid enough to install, even following the guide on how to enabled app sideload before doing it... :joy:

I don't understand why ANYONE would push for allowing app sideload. It's common knowledge that it's a huge security risk. Every security expert will tell you that.
yes, I know iCloud with it's "it just works(tm)" but frankly, I could do that too with Android with Google backup, connected to Google Drive and Google Photos. Also completely 1:1 backup, so what's your point?

if you really don't understand why people would push for app sideloading, then I ask, why stop at smartphone? why not pursue the same on Windows or Linux distros? and heck, even Mac allow sideloading unsigned apps lol.
 

Fulljack

Posts: 103   +95
USB-PD EPR (Extended Power Range) bumps up charging to 240W. But I don't think it's been implemented yet, the specs have been finalized in 2021.
wait until Q1 2023 (CES), hopefully many companies will showcase their 240W charger capable to charge their gaming laptop.
 

waclark

Posts: 704   +448
Because standardization is very much within the government's purview, particularly when it comes to matters of consumer and environmental protection. Apple is perhaps the single worst offender when it comes to unneccesary production of future e-waste due to proprietary standards and forced obscolescence.
While standardization can be good, I see no reason to standardize on the device side. I think Apple has it right, standardize on the charger side and let manufacturers determine the proper connection to the device.

I really don't see how this reduces e-waste. You'll still need a charging cable for you Apple devices. And you'll likely still get one in the box. You know what I have a plethora of? Micro USB and mini USB cables that I don't need.
 
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Dd663

I agree that gov should steer clear from the user and technology, however in this instance I support the motion 101%.

Why? Because Lighting is a relic of bygone era. At most you get theoretical USB 2.0 transfer speed, with overhead much less than 480Mb/s. You can transfer hilariously low charge over it - like 5V at 1A=5W which is most common, while USB-C can deliver easily 65, 90 and up to 100W; can transfer not only data, but also video, audio, network and whatever other protocol in existence.

Transferring 100GB file from iPhone vs doing the same from iPadPro 2018 (so only 20Gb/s USB-C, not Thunderbolt) is like night and day. 40 minutes vs less than 2 minutes. Apple has audacity to advertise using iPhones as cameras, not only that, but 4K ProRes cameras -with latest models- where every minute generates dozens GB of data. Good luck transferring that over Lighting (or AirDrop). MEGA, OneDrive, DropBox, even stupidly expensive iCloud is required right now or you'll lose your mind.
I'm not arguing that Lightning is better than USB or anything like that. I don't own any Apple products whatsoever. I just don't believe it's the government's place to be passing legislation like that. It should be Apple's responsibility to improve their products, not the EU's.

I'm not arguing against regulation wholesale, either, since I recognize that it's necessary in some instances to prevent abuse of the system by corporations. I just don't think that connector-type falls into that category.

Oh, please. If they can make hydraulic parts that handle pressures of over 250bar user servicable then they can make your iPhone repairable.
Sure, they could make iPhones repairable, and it would be a good thing if they did. I have no problem with that. But I'm sure people who buy Apple products appreciate the seamless form factor they tend to feature, something that wouldn't be possible if targeting repairability. And I don't believe that forcing devices to have a certain degree of repairability will really do much to help the environment and curb waste, because most users probably wouldn't bother repairing them anyway, even if it were possible. They'd just throw it out and get a new one. I mean, some people regularly replace their perfectly functional phones every time a new "flagship" comes out. Now that's wasteful.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,793   +5,971
Sure, they could make iPhones repairable, and it would be a good thing if they did. I have no problem with that. But I'm sure people who buy Apple products appreciate the seamless form factor they tend to feature, something that wouldn't be possible if targeting repairability. And I don't believe that forcing devices to have a certain degree of repairability will really do much to help the environment and curb waste, because most users probably wouldn't bother repairing them anyway, even if it were possible. They'd just throw it out and get a new one. I mean, some people regularly replace their perfectly functional phones every time a new "flagship" comes out. Now that's wasteful.
Are you a paid shill? Your account is brand new and all of your posts are defending billion dollar corperations.

You don't have to change form factors. What Apple needs to do is not serialize parts to make phones irrepairable. Fixing iPhones is actually pretty easy, but Apple doesn't provide parts and you can't use "salvaged" parts because replacing the battery does things like disable the fingerprint sensor. These are software locks that disable features when you do things like CHANGE A BATTERY.
 

Fulljack

Posts: 103   +95
I just don't believe it's the government's place to be passing legislation like that. It should be Apple's responsibility to improve their products, not the EU's.
the point is not to change the connection type to USB 3.x, but to use standard connector for all device, hence reducing e-waste by making you to only need 2 cables at most, type-c to type-c and usb to type-c.

Health standard also improves products by making it safer and cleaner. is it also not EU's, or any government place?

classic anti-big government action while forgetting that all the improvement since 19th century are because government start enforcing limits to corporatism.

Imagine if child labour are still legal because people like you believes that since government doesn't help much, corporation should keep the kids off the street through works, providing salary for them to survive.
 
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Dd663

Are you a paid shill? Your account is brand new and all of your posts are defending billion dollar corperations.
Lol, no. And I'm not trying to defend Apple, I don't even like Apple. If they cut their average product price in half I might start considering buying their products. I just don't jump on the corporation hate-bandwagon when I don't have a reason to, assuming you're also referring to the Windows 11 thread.

You don't have to change form factors. What Apple needs to do is not serialize parts to make phones irrepairable. Fixing iPhones is actually pretty easy, but Apple doesn't provide parts and you can't use "salvaged" parts because replacing the battery does things like disable the fingerprint sensor. These are software locks that disable features when you do things like CHANGE A BATTERY.
That's obviously not cool, and maybe legislation to prevent obviously anti-consumer stuff like that could be good. But maybe also it's not needed when there's another alternative: don't buy Apple products. If Apple wants to be anti-consumer, then vote with your wallet. The weird thing is how people keep buying Apple products despite all this.

Anyway, I was thinking more about screws vs. glue, where glue is used to provide a seamless form factor but is less reparable than when screws are used.

Imagine if child labour are still legal because people like you believes that since government doesn't help much, corporation should keep the kids off the street through works, providing salary for them to survive.
I already stated that I have no problem with government regulation in some cases, when it's warranted. Child labor is clearly one such case. But outlawing specific connection types isn't anywhere near the same level of importance or justifiability as child labor restrictions.
 

Fulljack

Posts: 103   +95
I already stated that I have no problem with government regulation in some cases, when it's warranted. Child labor is clearly one such case. But outlawing specific connection types isn't anywhere near the same level of importance or justifiability as child labor restrictions.
in that case, you simply didn't see the value of using one connector instead of many different types. EU did not outlaw lightning, though. EU force everyone to use type-c connection for charging. if Apple wants to keep using lightning, then they should make iPhone with dual connector, one with type-c and one with lightning. while it's dumb, EU won't have a problem because the option to use type-c is there, therefore they didn't "outlawing specific connections".