The European Union’s plan to mandate USB-C as a common charging port for smartphones, tablets, and headphones took a step closer on Wednesday when an EU panel backed the proposal, setting up an assembly vote next month.
The European Commission suggested a single mobile charging port more than a decade ago, hoping phone makers would be able to find a common solution. It proposed draft legislation last year, a world first, after they failed to do so.
MacDailyNews Take: Ah, the expeditiousness of centralized government.
The European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee on Wednesday agreed with the Commission’s proposal.
Apple’s iPhones are charged from a Lightning cable while Android-based devices are powered using USB-C connectors.
The committee wants the USB Type-C port to be the standard for mobile phones, tablets, headphones, e-readers, low-powered laptops, keyboards, computer mice, earbuds, smart watches and electronic toys.
Apple has said the proposal would hurt innovation and create a mountain of waste if consumers were forced to switch to new chargers.
MacDailyNews Take: This proposal is clearly against one company, Apple.
And it obviously freezes innovation: “This is what you must use and, at the speed we operate, it’ll be a decade plus before you’re allowed to change it, if we ever even get around to it.” So, this wasteful quasi-governmental dictate is par for the course for the EU which comprises a whopping 5.8 percent of the world population.
This is just needless slow-as-molasses, late, bureaucratic, quasi-governmental meddling in the market.
If the EU had passed such a law when this was initially proposed, we’d all still be stuck with MicroUSB today.
Regardless, soon Apple’s iPhones won’t have any ports at all. As it stands even today, the Lightning port on our iPhones is largely superfluous. If anything, this misguided and late EU move only hastens Apple’s move to port-free iPhones (and even better water resistance).
Apple stands for innovation. Regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it. Such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers.
More than 1 billion Apple devices have shipped using a Lightning connector in addition to an entire ecosystem of accessory and device manufacturers who use Lightning to serve our collective customers. We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adaptors with every device, or render obsolete the devices and accessories used by many millions of Europeans and hundreds of millions of Apple customers worldwide. This would result in an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconvenience users. To be forced to disrupt this huge market of customers will have consequences far beyond the stated aims of the Commission.
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