Members of the European Parliament voted 602-13 (8 abstaining) to force companies such as Apple to adopt USB-C ports in products such as iPhone that don’t already have such ports.
The deal, provisionally agreed in June between the commission and the European Union’s 27 countries, still needs to get the final sign-off from the EU member states. The rules are likely to be written into law at the beginning of 2023.
The proposal originally angered Apple, which said it would reduce innovation. But the company is currently testing future iPhone models that replace its proprietary Lightning charging port with standard USB-C connector, Bloomberg reported in May. Current Apple laptops and iPad Pro models already use them…
Under the proposed rules, all phones and tablets sold in Europe will have to comply by the fall of 2024. Laptops will have longer to make the switch. The commission will also be able to set standards for wireless charging in the future.
MacDailyNews Take: Again, any government — or, in this case, an extra-national quasi-government-ish body — that mandates technology will stifle innovation. It is a mistake. Luckily, in this case, it won’t matter much. Apple’s iPhones are moving to port-less and, if there is some overlap with USB-C iPhones for a few years, the e-waste created will be minimized.
This isn’t a matter of Lightning vs. USB-C. The problem is the mandating of a certain standard and the innovation it squelches. Idiot bureaucrats never seem to consider unintended consequences, regardless of how obvious they are. This is, as usual, a “sounds great, oh, wait” mistake. (They never seem to be able to even imagine much less consider and weight the “oh, wait” part.)
If you believe the EU will move quickly all of a sudden (it took them over a decade to (almost, not even quite done yet) codify this mistake), as quickly as a tech company like Apple to keep on top of innovation, you’re either a rube or under the age of eight.
USB-C is the wired port now, at least in the EU (and therefore everywhere; nobody is going to make specific devices for the EU which comprises a whopping 5.8% of the world population), pretty much forever.
Big government, quasi or not, is slow and wedded to its own red tape. If something markedly better were to come along, the EU will not magically change their mandate. In fact, what’s the incentive to create a better port than USB-C now? Not only do you have to coax adoption from tech companies as usual, but you’re now also tasked with nightmare and expense of lobbying and convincing a raft of EU bureaucrats to expeditiously agree to change their USB-C mandate.
Forget innovation in wired connectivity. It’s now dead.
Don’t believe? Watch and see. “iCal” us.
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, 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. – MacDailyNews, June 3, 2022
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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