EU’s anti-Apple deal on mandating USB-C charging port likely June 7th

EU countries and EU lawmakers are set to agree on USB-C as a common charging port for mobile phones, tablets, and headphones on June 7th when they meet to discuss a proposal that negatively impacts Apple, Reuters reports, citing “people familiar with the matter.”

Apple's Lightning port
Apple’s Lightning port


The proposal for a single mobile charging port was first broached by the European Commission more than a decade ago…

The trilogue next Tuesday will be the second and likely the final one between EU countries and EU lawmakers on the topic, an indication of a strong push to get a deal done, the people said.

Outstanding issues include broadening the scope of the proposal to laptops, a key demand by EU lawmakers…

EU lawmakers also want to include wireless charging systems to be harmonised by 2025 while EU countries and the Commission wants a longer lead-in period for technical reasons.

MacDailyNews Take: Ah, the expeditiousness of centralized government which, in this case, works in Apple’s favor. By the time they get their moronic “do something” mandate codified, iPhones won’t have ports at all.

This proposal to mandate USB-C 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 USB-C dictate is par for the course for the European Union which comprises a whopping 5.8% of the world population.

This is just needless, slow-as-molasses, bureaucratic meddling in the market; a stick in the spokes that, in the end, will be like mandating a buggy whip with every cart sold, twenty years after the advent of the automobile.

If the EU had passed such a law when this innovation-stifling foolishness was initially proposed, we’d all still be stuck with MicroUSB today!

Regardless, as we wrote above, soon Apple’s iPhones won’t have any ports at all. As it stands even today, the Lightning port on our iPhones is a largely superfluous liquid and dust ingress point. If anything, this misguided, shortsighted EU move only hastens Apple’s move to port-free iPhones featuring even better water and dust resistance.

Years ago, in January 2018, Apple provided feedback on this issue to the European Commission:

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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  1. MDN is completely wrong on this issue.

    Apple is already shipping cables in the EU with adapters.
    Apple has already started moving some mobile devices to USB Type-C connectors.
    Apple should have moved 100% of its mobile devices to USB Type-C connectors last year.
    Vendors switching to USB Type-C connector cables and support devices will be no more painful for them than when Apple switched from the 30 pin connector to Lightning.

    One common example of a benefit to vendors is the plethora of small, flat batteries for phones. Today they typically come with both micro USB Type-A and Lightning connections built in. A vendor only having to include a single USB Type-C connection will be a significant cost savings.

    There are several current rumors running around that the next iPhone Pro series will top out at 2 TB of memory. If you’ve done a full backup to your local desktop/laptop of a 1 TB iPhone Pro (e.g., the iPhone 13 Pro Max with 1 TB) you know it takes quite a while when using the Lightning connector. (I would never contemplate doing such a backup wirelessly.) Apple going to USB Type-C connector with Thunderbolt 4 would make that 2 TB backup happen in a very reasonable time.

    1. Completely agree with you, but for different reasons. This isn’t anti-Apple, it is pro-consumer. Standardization is beneficial to so many.

      Consider the US electrical grid before standards were implemented. It was a mess, with everyone doing their own thing with electrical connections; even electrical current was not standard. So now we have the standard plug, and 120V/60hz AC (in the US). Everyone wins.

      1. In the ’70s, I worked at a mainframe company here in Silly Cone Valley. One assignment I had for a year-and-a-half or so was testing our Power Distribution Units. The main feed was 400Hz 220vac.

        One thing I learned was that the regulations governed AC cycles heavily and not so much the voltage. It surprised me until I learned more about AC and (physical) regulators that turned most of the AC into more directly-useful (in computers) DC.

        Our power supplies (many per frame!) connected to the rack of cards with 00 (“two-aught”) welding cable. haha

    2. This has to do with charging, not data transfer. All new iPhones will charge wirelessly so, what’s the problem. Let the market dictate the products. No one is being forced to use an iPhone. This EU NWO bull crap has to be destroyed.

  2. A simple set of 3 adapters is $6 usd……it works……charge all you Apple stuff with a usb-c cable plugged into you usb-c on assorted MB Air and MBP models….

    and …….Apple has already started putting usb-c ports in newer items like the iPads……

  3. As MDN pointed out, this stifles innovation. If we are to be stuck with USB-C, how long do phones have to stick with USB-C. What if you need data transfer that exceeds the capabilities of USB-C? This type of regulation makes it difficult to put a port on phones that supersedes USB-C and is plain dumb. Sorry to all the whiners that can’t afford to purchase separate USB-phone cables (they cost like what $10-$20 and last the life of your phone?) or can’t find another power plug to charge their cable into.

    1. Who says USB-C won’t be that faster solution? It likely will. It already supports USB3 and USB4 speeds and will support much faster protocols in the future on the same connector. If Apple thinks USB isn’t the future, they wouldn’t have started moving products to USB-C. It’s more future proof than you think.

  4. If iPhone goes to no connectors, I see a couple of issues:

    1) I use a wallet case on my iPhone to carry an ID, credit card and an ‘emergency’ $20. Does wireless charging work through wallet cases? Does it mess up a chip credit card.

    2) I back up to my MacBook Pro, not iCloud. As mentioned above, wireless backups will take longer.

  5. MDN is totally wrong about this issue.. If Apple decides to go portless on the IPhone it will no longer be considered a business friendly phone because transferring large amounts of data takes forever via wirelessly and a lot of people and businesses don’t use the iCloud for backups.

  6. Apple is probably creating an upgraded MagSafe (no-port) connection that also provides high-speed data. MagSafe is meant to do more than attach a charger, external battery, and silly wallet. And I think Apple would have gone to USB-C on iPhones already, like iPad Pro, but they’re waiting for the MagSafe solution to avoid changing from Lightning and too quickly moving to MagSafe with high-speed data. With high-speed data in MagSafe, it also allows a wide range of new iPhone peripherals, such as a true pro-level camera system that attaches to iPhone.

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