The EU is moving ahead with push for a common charging standard after decisive vote

nanoguy

TS Addict
Staff member

This move invited a prompt response from Apple, who was arguably less than pleased about the development. The Cupertino giant argued the decision would inconvenience a lot of consumers and stifle innovation, but today the European Parliament voted 582-40 on the resolution to make it a reality.

In a public statement, the regulators explained that "without hampering innovation, the EU executive should ensure that the legislative framework for a common charger will be scrutinised regularly in order to take into account technical progress." MEPs reiterate that research and innovation are vital to improve existing technologies and come up with new ones.

Regulators are also urging the European Commission to adopt the new rules by July. By that date, manufacturers will have to follow a series of guidelines that apply to both wired and wireless charging technologies, by ensuring that they all follow a common standard. That includes third parties who make alternative charging solutions, such as Anker and RAVPower.

You'll no longer be forced to purchase new chargers with every new device, but MEPs noted that all measures taken towards decoupling those purchases "should avoid potentially higher prices for consumers." The idea here is to reduce waste and make devices less expensive as a result of manufacturers not including a charger in the box.

As for Apple, it has already switched most of its mobile devices to USB-C except for the iPhone, which still uses the proprietary Lightning connector. The company reportedly planned to remove the charging port on the iPhone by 2021 just like it did with the headphone jack, but the new EU directive has probably changed that.

This could be a good idea in the long run, but there are a few studies that show why forcing a single connector standard could be a harmful move at worst and offer limited benefits at best, falling short of the European Commission's aim to significantly reduce electronic waste and the carbon footprint of manufacturing cables and chargers.

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bviktor

TS Addict
However enjoyable it may be pissing Apple off, letting a bunch of lawyers and politicians dictate technology development is just always wrong.
Except these politicians don't "dictate technology development", they just want the involved parties to agree on a standardized one. And the rest of the world already agreed on USB-C. It's an open, royalty-free industry standard, maintained by USB-IF, of which Apple happens to be a member of btw. Apple uses exclusively USB-C ports on its laptops btw. And the iPad Pro. It makes no f*cking sense not to have a single connector for the rest of their product line.

A standard charging port allows the customer to switch brands without having to purchase new accessories every time. It protects you from vendor lock-in. It's better for your wallet and better for the environment as well.

Lightning is a walled garden. And please don't tell me how much superior it is, I already have a few months old Anker Lightning cable that only charges on one side. And if you dare to say I should stick to Apple cables, then please explain what the exact point of MFi certification is.

The one and only stakeholder who benefits from still pushing this stupid connector on a random subset of their products is Apple.

Attacking the EU in this matter is like... I don't know, Stockholm syndrome? What exactly do you like about having a proprietary (and expensive) connector that you can only use on your iPhone and iPad (sorry, some of your iPads), and literally nothing else in the World?

I'm not enjoying pissing Apple off, however, I will very much enjoy not having to carry around a Lightning adapter exclusively for my darn phone. While everything else is USB-C already.

The ultimate irony of it all is that Apple is actually using the USB Power Delivery protocol for charging - but via the Lightning connector. I just don't get it. What kind of sense does that make? This also means it's literally just swapping the d@mn port and it's done. No other changes need to be made. That's all the EU is asking of Apple.

Now, if only they could do the same with the Apple Watch and Qi charging... It just blows my mind, why on Earth does that thing also require its own darn special charger? It's so Apple.
 
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psycros

TS Evangelist
However enjoyable it may be pissing Apple off, letting a bunch of lawyers and politicians dictate technology development is just always wrong.
Surely you're joking. You really want to go back to the days of every manufacturer having their own proprietary cables, signaling standards, protocols, etc? Compatibility lock-in SUCKS. Apple only gets away with it because their the darlings of the fake counterculture, aka the limousine liberals.
 


I don't like what Apple is doing, but I don't want EU mingle with the tech industry either. Whatever they touch turns into s##t. The whole EU crap is going to turn into a joke of the past some day, akin to cross-country communism. Brexit was only a sign of things to come.
 

Plutoisaplanet

TS Maniac
The EU has already done this, but for charging ports of a different industry: EVs. They essentially forced Tesla to add a second charging cable to every stall of their existing (private) supercharger network. Now Tesla has to support multiple standards on its own vehicles.

They didn’t use the standardized charging port originally because the standard wasn’t complete by the time they released vehicles with fast charging. So in the end, other EVs still can’t charge on their network, and Tesla customers are no better off. The cost of doing business increased only for Tesla with no real benefit for anyone.

I have an iPhone and no complaints about the lightning port. Charging cables are as cheap as for other devices, and I just plug them into USB-A anyways. These are just needless regulations that raise the cost of doing business.
 

Shadowboxer

TS Maniac
So what happens when someone makes a better charger?

I don’t see anything good about this. They aim to reduce e waste but now everyone who uses an iPhone is going to end up completely replacing all their current working cables.
 
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p51d007

TS Evangelist
If you look at the lightning cable, it's basically a "male" usb-c cable, with the port, being a "female" port.
On a regular usb cable, it's basically a "female" end, and the port on the device, it the "male" end.
Apple, just wants to continue to overcharge for their lightning products.
USB...one of the craziest named things. UNIVERSAL....usb-a, b, c, mini, micro and so on ;)
 

dangh

TS Booster
...
This directive is about a charger, not a cable.
Additionally, they as well want to standardize wireless chargers.

We have standard wall plugs, standard dvd readers, standard power in electrical lines, standard petrol and so on. This is nothing weird to have a standard charger. This will make simple to sell devices without a charger, just with a cable if needed. No need to another device to change the current.

That is great thing, in addition with 100% 'right to repair'.
 

Red999

TS Rookie
Apple said it was courageous to remove headphone jack in iphone.
but it seems they are chicken on replacing lightning with USB C
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
So what happens when someone makes a better charger?

I don’t see anything good about this. They aim to reduce e waste but now everyone who uses an iPhone is going to end up completely replacing all their current working cables.
I think you are misunderstanding something. It's the port here that's being standardized. The charger itself is free to change. Samsung has already had multiple iterations of it's USB-C charger so in effect this wouldn't change anything for a majority of android devices.

People with an iPhone don't have to replace cables until they upgrade and in which case, they were likely to do anyways.

In addition, this law also requires vendors to have an option when purchasing a phone without a charger, so that people don't end up with a ton they don't need.

I hope when this is implemented they take and continue to take advice from players in the industry on keeping the charging standard current without creating unnecessary waste. USB-C should be good as a charging standard for awhile.

Resist them Apple...or don't sell there.

Europe isn't worth your soul.

Not one damn bit.
Apple can't afford to simply give up the EU market to android. Their shareholders would kill them.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
If you look at the lightning cable, it's basically a "male" usb-c cable, with the port, being a "female" port.
On a regular usb cable, it's basically a "female" end, and the port on the device, it the "male" end.
Apple, just wants to continue to overcharge for their lightning products.
USB...one of the craziest named things. UNIVERSAL....usb-a, b, c, mini, micro and so on ;)
I remember when USB first came out I kind of disliked it. It has certainly made things easier over the long run now to the point where I can't imagine having to deal with a bunch of competing data ports again.
 

Danny101

TS Evangelist
The PC industry was made better through standardization in large part credited to IBM and Intel. Everyone has benefited from that. I don't understand the disgruntlement with the EU doing this. The EU really shouldn't have had to do it. The industry trade associations should have handled it already.
 

Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist


I don't like what Apple is doing, but I don't want EU mingle with the tech industry either. Whatever they touch turns into s##t. The whole EU crap is going to turn into a joke of the past some day, akin to cross-country communism. Brexit was only a sign of things to come.
GDPR was a long overdue cleanout of Silicon Valley anti-privacy BS they just bribed Congress to get away with for too long. Loot boxes is another moral crapfest that the EU is starting to clean out because the US has no balls to do anything that stifles wads of cash to wall street.

Brexit isn't about EU stifling innovation. It is about UK controlling their borders, domestic job market and industries in the long term. If UK could maintain membership in the EU for access to the trading bloc but control their domestic job market I think that would be ideal but the EU won't allow membership and policed borders so here we are.
 

Jdowe

TS Rookie
So much ignorance here and hate against the eu.
I seriously do not want an American system where companies lobby their corrupt us politicians and do the he’ll they like.
US system stinks your whole food industry is riddled with poisonous chemicals because their are 0 regulations. 0 worker rights and a health system which lets you die if you can’t pay for it or worse you have insurance but they decide they won’t pay for it.
Never thought I find stupid Brexit little brainless morons on a technology site.
The eu has a lot of flaws but far superior in protecting its citizens while the American system could not care less about its citizens health or the environment .
The EU is right you won’t to sell your shitty iPhones obey the fking rules or pee off.
Their are far superior phones and technology then Apple hence why they had to ban huwai .
If you can’t keep up with technology ban them little pathetic self serving muppets .
 

Glenn Jocher

TS Rookie
The cost of doing business increased only for Tesla with no real benefit for anyone.
This is incorrect. There is tremendous benefit to Tesla vehicle owners, who now have access to all third party charging networks via the CCS connector (Ionity, etc.). We can thank the EU for compelling Tesla to adopt this universal standard, and soon we can thank them for compelling Apple likewise.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Nope. Its opposite. It is about standard charger, not a cable.
No, it's 100% a standard port. They are forcing all phones to use the same port.


"It's an effort to reduce e-waste being generated in Europe -- but Apple last week argued that being forced to change iPhones from Lighting to USB-C connectors would cause "an unprecedented volume of electronic waste," as it would make the company's accessories obsolete. "

FYI saying "Nope it's the opposite. It is about the standard charger".

Maybe people seem to confusing the port with the "Charger" part of the cable. It doesn't make any sense to regulate the part that takes house voltage and outputs it to something your phone can use. It does make sense to regulate the port that connects to. The goal, as has been stated many times, is to reduce waste and you do that by having everyone using the same port.

Here's another example:

"“We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole,” Apple said "

Notice how they specifically mention the connector? They are talking about the port. This is apple saying this directly.
 

tmetravler

TS Rookie
Except these politicians don't "dictate technology development", they just want the involved parties to agree on a standardized one. And the rest of the world already agreed on USB-C. It's an open, royalty-free industry standard, maintained by USB-IF, of which Apple happens to be a member of btw. Apple uses exclusively USB-C ports on its laptops btw. And the iPad Pro. It makes no f*cking sense not to have a single connector for the rest of their product line.

A standard charging port allows the customer to switch brands without having to purchase new accessories every time. It protects you from vendor lock-in. It's better for your wallet and better for the environment as well.

Lightning is a walled garden. And please don't tell me how much superior it is, I already have a few months old Anker Lightning cable that only charges on one side. And if you dare to say I should stick to Apple cables, then please explain what the exact point of MFi certification is.

The one and only stakeholder who benefits from still pushing this stupid connector on a random subset of their products is Apple.

Attacking the EU in this matter is like... I don't know, Stockholm syndrome? What exactly do you like about having a proprietary (and expensive) connector that you can only use on your iPhone and iPad (sorry, some of your iPads), and literally nothing else in the World?

I'm not enjoying pissing Apple off, however, I will very much enjoy not having to carry around a Lightning adapter exclusively for my darn phone. While everything else is USB-C already.

The ultimate irony of it all is that Apple is actually using the USB Power Delivery protocol for charging - but via the Lightning connector. I just don't get it. What kind of sense does that make? This also means it's literally just swapping the d@mn port and it's done. No other changes need to be made. That's all the EU is asking of Apple.

Now, if only they could do the same with the Apple Watch and Qi charging... It just blows my mind, why on Earth does that thing also require its own darn special charger? It's so Apple.
Damn good point my friend! Perfect logic, it's always been a pain in the ### when I buy tech and having to separately having to buy accessories to carry around like a cable repair man so I can be sure I have the right cable for this and that... Could not have said this better!
 

Ozmiz

TS Rookie
I have long wished there was an open industry standard for phone chargers.

To me it was always a little suspicious that every time Samsung, iPhone, etc, would come out with a new phone, you would have to purchase a new charger every single time.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
It was finally time to force Apple to do it. Apple was just using its different ports/cables to make it harder for people to switch thus locking them into the ecosystem. (and to sell expensive crappy peripherals and cables)
 
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