Apple may be forced to adopt USB-C on future iPhones

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Photo: Song of Victoria / Gizmodo

The European Union refuses to give up on the dream that one day we will all use the same damn charger for all of our devices. Today the European Commission announcement it plans to force all smartphones – and several other types of electronic devices – to use USB-C as the true standard for charging.

The proposed plan has four parts. The first is that “USB-C will be the common port” so that consumers can charge their devices with the same charger, “regardless of device or brand”. TThe European Commission says it aims to prevent different companies from capping charging speeds, and cBusinesses will also be required to provide consumers with information on charging performance, as well as whether a device supports fast charging. The idea here is to educate consumers so that they know if their existing chargers will work with a new device. Finally, the European Commission wants chargers to be unbundled from new devices, so that you can buy a new smartphone without yet another charger included in the box.

In his report, the cOmission notes that around 420 million smartphones were sold in the EU in 2020, and consumers own about three chargers each. The result is 11,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year.

According to the proposal, USB-C would be the standard charging port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, speakers and other gadgets. If the proposal was adopted by the European Parliament, companies would have around 24 months to make the change. Android phones have been using USB-C for a long time, but you can probably already guess which company is the biggest obstacle.

“We remain concerned that strict regulations requiring only one type of connector stifle innovation rather than encourage it, which in turn will hurt consumers in Europe and globally,” Apple said in a statement. communicated. provided to various electrical outlets.

Are we surprised? Not particularly. Apple has long opposed to EU efforts to establish standardized pricing, citing inconvenience, innovation and waste. That said, Apple has adopted USB-C for most of its iPads in recent years. It has also done this for its MacBooks, although recent rumors regarding the MagSafe returns this year may complicate this, although Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman argues that USB-C ports will still be included. However, for its iPhones, Apple has kept its proprietary Lightning cables.

But the vsommission does not buy Apple’s defense.

“European consumers have been frustrated long enough with incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers,” said Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president of the European Commission. “We have given the industry a lot of time to find their solutions, now the time has come to pass legislation for a common charger. ”

Yes this proposal passes, Apple could be forced to fully embrace USB-C for iPhones. Or, he could do an Apple and just up-end everything in the process. As the Edge remarks, the commission proposal refers strictly to wired charging. So no, your smartwatch or other devices that rely on wireless charging won’t be impacted. (In the case of portable devices, there is a good reason why USB-C is not really viable.)

Rumors were circulating this apple was working on an iPhone 13 without a port. This did not work out, but it is still possible that this could prompt Apple to dust off this idea again for the iPhone 14 or 15. Or, they could still do what they did when the EU pushed for the microUSB in 2009, when they published a Flash-To-microphone-USB stick in Europe. If there’s one thing Apple loves, it’s forcing everyone to dong it.


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