The European Union wants all mobile devices on a universal charging standard

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

As outlined in a recent newsletter posted on the European Parliament’s website, the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive called for a common charger to be developed that would fit all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices.

The Commission ultimately "encouraged" the industry to adopt change but that hands-off approach has not yet produced the desired results.

The truth is, most decent Android phones have already switched to a unified standard in USB-C. The few remaining stragglers that still use something like micro-USB largely do so for cost-cutting measures. But should such legislation pass, the company with the most at stake would be Apple as its line of iPhones continue to utilize the proprietary Lightning connector.

Of course, timing could make all of this a moot point. Apple is largely expected to move away from the Lightning connector in the not-too-distant future, perhaps as early as 2021. There’s even talk of port-free Apple devices that could rely solely on wireless charging but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

The newsletter adds that we should expect a resolution in a forthcoming plenary session.

Image credit: USB-C on Golub Oleksii. Apple cable by John Gress Media

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bviktor

TS Addict
About friggin' time. I need a dedicated charger for the iPhone, which is useless for EVERYTHING ELSE. By the way, I also need a dedicated charger for my Watch, that also happens to be useless for EVERY OTHER DEVICE ON THE PLANET.

iPhone - Lightning. Macbook - USB-C. iPad Air - Lightning. iPad Mini - Lightning. iPad Pro - USB-C. Why, Apple, WHY.

It's driving me nuts, really. Makes travel a PITA for sure.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
Apple needs to resist this as much as possible. If they have to, don't sell in the EU at all. Make those commies and socialists fight to get Apple products from the internet sellers.

When government interferes with private companies it stifles innovation.
 
Apple must be sh##ting bricks.

Next, the European Parliament will want equality in adapters, away with male and female connectors, no adapter sex discrimination! One more niche where politicians haven't f-d us yet...

Have a nice day!

 
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bviktor

TS Addict
Apple needs to resist this as much as possible. If they have to, don't sell in the EU at all. Make those commies and socialists fight to get Apple products from the internet sellers.

When government interferes with private companies it stifles innovation.
Yup, a proprietary connector that is controlled by a single company on the planet drives so much innovation and competition.

It causes the exact opposite, dude. Are you actually saying industry standards and interoperability are BAD? Are you actually saying that vendor lock-in is GOOD for the customer? Are you saying GSM and 4G/5G should be banned? Every company should use their own cr@p, right? Are you out of your mind?
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
I hate Apple cables. Just sayin'

I'm not a fan of Apple Lightning cables.

But I do appreciate the value of my Apple stock and want it to keep rising.
I don't trust these socialists. First they'll want to make Apple use USB C and next thing you know they'll try to open up iOS to Android devices or vice versa.

Apple should tell them, loud and publicly what to go do with themselves.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
Yup, a proprietary connector that is controlled by a single company on the planet drives so much innovation and competition.

It causes the exact opposite, dude. Are you actually saying industry standards and interoperability are BAD? Are you actually saying that vendor lock-in is GOOD for the customer? Are you saying GSM and 4G/5G should be banned? Every company should use their own cr@p, right? Are you out of your mind?

You don't want it?

Don't buy it.

If I was Apple I'd tell EU what to go do with themselves.


GSM? 4G? 5G? Waaaaaaa?
 

Ultraman1966

TS Booster
Apple needs to resist this as much as possible. If they have to, don't sell in the EU at all. Make those commies and socialists fight to get Apple products from the internet sellers.

When government interferes with private companies it stifles innovation.
Not really, this is just about having a common standard. Can you imagine if they didn't legislate for microusb and then USB-C as standard? Remember how many different charging ports/adapters we had when Nokia original was still business? It would be madness to continue that. Only a fool would think businesses would willing come together for the greater good with some kind of government oversight. The government works for us unless you happen to live in a dictatorship.
 

BSim500

TS Evangelist
Apple needs to resist this as much as possible. If they have to, don't sell in the EU at all. Make those commies and socialists fight to get Apple products from the internet sellers. When government interferes with private companies it stifles innovation.

But I do appreciate the value of my Apple stock and want it to keep rising.
^ If modern PC users were like whinging Apple investors, cheering on the absurd anti-consumer "one port per brand" charger situation purely out of obvious personal vested interests, we'd currently be talking about how 'innovative' it would be to scrap USB and bring back 25-pin parallel vs 9-pin RS232 serial vs 15-pin "Game / MIDI Ports" vs PS/2, then scrap SATA / M2 in favour of bringing back those discrete sound cards with "one socket per brand" interfaces for early CD-ROM drives (remember these?), before finally scrapping PCI-E in favour of re-introducing 3x competing ISA (2020) vs Vesa Local Bus (2020) vs PCI (2020) expansion slots...

^ Instead, people who aren't the PC equivalent of whinging Apple investors literally wept tears of joy when we dumped that innovation total mess of 10 different incompatible standards for simple standardised common sense USB, SATA, & PCI ports. Phones are no different other than the bizarre cult-like behavioural changes that can be observed in some people when sticking a small logo of a piece of fruit on a phone...
 

ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
I'm not a fan of Apple Lightning cables.

But I do appreciate the value of my Apple stock and want it to keep rising.
I don't trust these socialists. First they'll want to make Apple use USB C and next thing you know they'll try to open up iOS to Android devices or vice versa.

Apple should tell them, loud and publicly what to go do with themselves.
The love of money over helping others and the better of mankind. That is typical. Think and vote for the country/world for the better - not yourself. Then you will experience freedom. I wish people in the US voted for the country. A large portion of them don't. It's called being selfish.

I am not saying anyone should be forced into a standard. If you think what's best for your (or the company's) wallet rather than for customers/others, you should go away.
 

H3llion

TechSpot Paladin
Apple needs to resist this as much as possible. If they have to, don't sell in the EU at all. Make those commies and socialists fight to get Apple products from the internet sellers.

When government interferes with private companies it stifles innovation.
Commies and Socialists, are you a stereotypical American? The hell are you defending lightning cable for, the most moronic design of all or is it just a matter of principal?

Like it or not, maybe after we turn to dust, the world will be universalised.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
I think what annoys me most is if Apple goes to USB C and has USB C fast charging, the android bots are gonna accuse Apple of copying Android.

Why can't they keep doing things their way?
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
I don't understand how this can reduce waste
"According to a cited estimate, old chargers generate 51,000 metric tons of electronic waste per year. "

When government interferes with private companies it stifles innovation.
Then what exactly is the government doing protecting IP, patents, and copyright? It turns out that generations of innovation are possible precisely because the government intervenes. In exchange for providing protection for it's IP, patents, ect these companies agree that the ideas under protection will one day become public domain in exchange. Of course, that was the original agreement until the laws were perverted to the point that nothing is really coming off copyright anymore and that IN FACT stifles innovation, as the base with which new inventors have to work off is progressively farther from the goal. This serves to benefit big corporations only. If you don't want the government to intervene then you also have to accept the fact that I'm making a brand called cRapple buying the exact same phone from Apple's Chinese supplier and there's nothing you could do about it.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
Then what exactly is the government doing protecting IP, patents, and copyright? It turns out that generations of innovation are possible precisely because the government intervenes.
Are you kidding? That's beyond ridiculous.

Protecting intellectual property is part of protecting my "property".

I made something.

It's my property.

Government's job is to protect my life, liberty and property (at least here in America it is).

Please just stop now cause you'll just get our posts deleted.
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Are you kidding? That's beyond ridiculous.

Protecting intellectual property is part of protecting my "property".

I made something.

It's my property.

Government's job is to protect my life, liberty and property (at least here in America it is).

Please just stop now cause you'll just get our posts deleted.
Idea's aren't property :laughing:

Hence why patents, trademarks, ect expire. You also never responded on point, the fact remains that the government is protecting IP. Last I checked, Citizens are given those rights. I don't see anything about corporations having rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I'm 100% sure the declaration of independence wasn't referring to business entities when that was written but nice try.
 

madboyv1

TechSpot Paladin
I think it's more e-waste that most phones come with a charger or even a cable to begin with, and not the ebb and flow of interconnect changes. I haven't had a need for a new charger in 4 years (though I did get a new one recently to shuffle things around between home/work/travel). I have kept all the other USB chargers I've gotten from various devices as spares to give people at work when they need/forget/break theirs. Same thing with the actual charging cables. I've never needed all of these cables, but at least I'm reusing all of this otherwise e-waste. Most people I imagine keep them in box or in a drawer only to toss them later, or they toss the old charger so they can use the new one, despite offering otherwise similar performance.

Having a universal standard is not going to fix anything if they keep on getting packaged regardless of the very high likelihood that the target consumer already has a cable and charger. That being said, I've got nothing against a universally chosen connector. Wouldn't have to worry about people breaking USB-C ports because people tried to jam their lightning cables into it ha ha ha... I'm not making this up either. Happened twice when we got a bunch of iPad Pros for work, despite telling people to use the supplied charger and cable because old cables will not work.
 
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Danny101

TS Evangelist
What could be made standard are charger amps/voltages and wire capability. You could plug the Apple usb wire into any charger, but it won't always work because the power requirements are different. Fast charging ought to be in backward compatible. There are cases where interoperability requirements are ideal and cases where it's not. Manufacturing is great, but we can't manufacture ourselves into oblivion, make and trash. This need not be a socialist vs capitalist argument. It's a realist one. We need to make more serviceable parts and trim down the manufacturing workforce to more of a service and repair workforce and find more ways of reuse and recycling, or we're going to end up having to put trash on rockets ships.
 
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fadingfool

TS Addict
^ If modern PC users were like whinging Apple investors, cheering on the absurd anti-consumer "one port per brand" charger situation purely out of obvious personal vested interests, we'd currently be talking about how 'innovative' it would be to scrap USB and bring back 25-pin parallel vs 9-pin RS232 serial vs 15-pin "Game / MIDI Ports" vs PS/2, then scrap SATA / M2 in favour of bringing back those discrete sound cards with "one socket per brand" interfaces for early CD-ROM drives (remember these?), before finally scrapping PCI-E in favour of re-introducing 3x competing ISA (2020) vs Vesa Local Bus (2020) vs PCI (2020) expansion slots...

^ Instead, people who aren't the PC equivalent of whinging Apple investors literally wept tears of joy when we dumped that innovation total mess of 10 different incompatible standards for simple standardised common sense USB, SATA, & PCI ports. Phones are no different other than the bizarre cult-like behavioural changes that can be observed in some people when sticking a small logo of a piece of fruit on a phone...
You forgot AGP :)
 

Dosahka

TS Addict
^ If modern PC users were like whinging Apple investors, cheering on the absurd anti-consumer "one port per brand" charger situation purely out of obvious personal vested interests, we'd currently be talking about how 'innovative' it would be to scrap USB and bring back 25-pin parallel vs 9-pin RS232 serial vs 15-pin "Game / MIDI Ports" vs PS/2, then scrap SATA / M2 in favour of bringing back those discrete sound cards with "one socket per brand" interfaces for early CD-ROM drives (remember these?), before finally scrapping PCI-E in favour of re-introducing 3x competing ISA (2020) vs Vesa Local Bus (2020) vs PCI (2020) expansion slots...

^ Instead, people who aren't the PC equivalent of whinging Apple investors literally wept tears of joy when we dumped that innovation total mess of 10 different incompatible standards for simple standardised common sense USB, SATA, & PCI ports. Phones are no different other than the bizarre cult-like behavioural changes that can be observed in some people when sticking a small logo of a piece of fruit on a phone...
ABSO-FOCKIN-LUTELY!
I'll get this printed and laminated at my workplace, this is exactly what I told my colleagues months ago...
Apple's lightning connector was good when they introduced, now basically only the iPhones and non-pro iPads, AirPods cases (most of them are wireless too) are using Lightning ports.