All iPhones in circulation today use Apple’s Lightning connector. However, if the European Union has anything to say about it, that could change at some point soon.
Lightning cables are limited to iPhones, and the EU has the ability to choose how this contributes to e-waste in the environment. Let’s get into all the details.
What exactly is the proposal?
The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, Advertise a proposal To require manufacturers of smartphones and other electronics to include a standard USB-C charging port on their devices.
The revised guideline proposal for radio equipment would also require standardization of fast charging, as well as the ability for customers to purchase new devices without a charger. The proposal would also require manufacturers to provide clear guidance without BS about what charging standards their devices support.
In addition to phones, the rules will apply to tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and portable video game consoles.
What is the cause of this fuss?
If you’ve never been bothered by the number of tangled wires you probably have to use daily to keep your devices charged, then the EU is. And for good reason.
According to the European Union, the average tech consumer owns three mobile phone chargers, two of which are used on a regular basis. Despite this, 38 percent of consumers reported at least one instance of not being able to charge their cell phones due to incompatibility between available chargers. This is an uncomfortable situation, especially in an age when running out of phone juice can easily be a first-class disaster. But this is not the only problem. It is also insanely expensive! You will be amazed at how much.
Each year, consumers spend approximately $2.8 billion on standalone chargers that are not bundled with electronic devices. Hence, the proposed rules from the European Union aim to mitigate 11,000 tons of e-waste generated from discarded and unused chargers each year.
For years, the European Commission has worked to address this growing issue. Attempts to get EU smartphone manufacturers to use the same charging standard go back at least to 2009, when Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Nokia signed a voluntary agreement to use a common standard. In the ensuing years, the industry gradually adopted Micro USB and, more recently, USB-C as the standard charging port.
Despite the fact that the number of charging standards has been reduced from more than 30 to just three (Micro USB, USB-C and Lightning), regulators have stated that this voluntary approach has failed to achieve its goals.
Implications and expectations
The EU proposal is important in two main ways. First, it would limit device manufacturers’ ability to design to their own specifications, at least in the case of charging connections. Apple currently has complete control over the design of its hardware, and thus the charging ports. With the EU mandate, the design will be decided at a regulatory level, rather than as a creative decision made by manufacturers based on technical or performance requirements.
It also means that Apple will forfeit the revenue it earns from every Lightning cable and accessory that works with the iPhone, whether or not it’s made by Apple, as well as the control it has over the types of hardware it has (or not) for the iPhone and which companies make them.
Apple’s MFi program requires that you go through Apple if you want to connect anything to your iPhone, whether it’s a charger, adapter, or accessory. Apple takes a piece of each of these devices.
The EU move could pave the way for an additional right to overhaul regulations, such as implementing user-replaceable batteries. There’s an effort to make things last longer, easier to fix, easier to swap out parts, and we think this USB-C base is part of that.
To become law, the proposal would need to be approved by the European Parliament, but that body voted in favor of the general shipper rules last year. Medical device manufacturers will have 24 months to adjust to the new rules.
This regulation will force Apple to change the design of any iPhone on the horizon as soon as possible. But, Apple is rumored to be developing portless iPhones, and since the regulation only applies to wired connectors, this could be a way to bypass the rule.
If the authorization is approved, manufacturers will have two years to comply with the new regulations. While Apple has successfully lobbied for its interests in the US, there’s not much Apple can do to prevent this from happening.
Wondering what adapters you need for your Mac or iPhone? Here are all the adapters Apple sells to help you find what you need.
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