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The EU may push iPhones to adopt the USB-C that Androids prefer

Apple power cables
Apple power cables (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • The European Parliament voted to force phone manufacturers to use a common charging standard.
  • Apple is the lone manufacturer not using USB-C for phone charging.
  • The European Commission must now write the laws that would be enforcable in the EU.

The European Union has officially encouraged phone manufacturers to use a common standard for ports and charging cords, but one major manufacturer never seemed to get the message. Now Reuters reports that the European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly, 582-40, to encourage the European Commission, the law-making body for the EU, to adopt new regulations to force the issue. European lawmakers say that the Commission should adopt the new regulations by the summer.

Of course, this leaves much undetermined, and that singular manufacturer is sure to raise a legal stink. Android manufactuers have almost entirely adopted the USB-C port standard on flagship devices and most other smarphones. Even before USB-C, all of the Android manufacturers had settled on microUSB, so the lone holdout to voluntarily following the European Union preference has long been Apple. This is especially ironic as Apple has seen fit to include USB-C on its high-end Macbook Pro laptops, as well as on its newest iPad Pro tablets. Only the iPhone and some related accessories still rely on the lighting connector.

The European Parliamenrt also encourages manufacturers to move to a common standard for wireless charging, which is a much more realistic goal as most manufacturers use some technology that is compatible with the Qi standard from the Wireless Power Consortium. Even Apple uses wireless charging that is Qi compatible, though like some other manufacturers it also has a proprietary faster wireless charging feature available.

Apple hits back at EU charger proposals, says it would create "unprecedented volume" of waste

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19 Comments
  • Go on Apple . Stop selling the iPhone into the EU. That will show them :-)
  • Apple's revenue across Europe is half of the revenue in North America. Asian markets are dwindling. If anything, Apple will either push wireless charging or actually switch to type-C.
  • This is the kind of thing that happens with too much government control. What's even worse is the people living in the EU don't get to vote on who they want controlling it! And people wonder why the UK voted to get out!
  • Yes having every single phone use one type of cable is to much government control. You got to be kidding me.
  • So, what you get with too much government control is good things? Seriously, the EU may have done some stupid things, but this isn't one of them. And people in the EU 100% do get to vote on who leads it. Educate yourself.
  • UK took a whole year to finally leave, by misinforming the public... Besides nothing better than to pay $700 to have a single staple put by a doctor. I'm sure this would cost me alot less if government would control the abysmal prices that pharmaceutical and insurance are giving.
  • Mis-information and no links to verify the assertion.
    It was voted on by the EU parliament.
    https colon backslash backslash www dot bbc dot co dot uk backslash news back slash technology-51324847 As for why the UK people voted to get out. it is down to the flawed voting system. Each Member of parliament wins for a district/constituency single vote 1st past the post. ~75% (reasonable guess for the sake of argument) of constituencies are "safe seats", no matter which ways people vote it makes no difference. Therefore large parts of the UK that have been de-industrialised which have safe seats feel dis-enfranchised (have no vote). They may want to "send a message". The then government wants in, "https colon backslash backslash www dot bbc dot co dot uk backslash news back slash uk-politics-eu-referendum-35616946", let's vote out. Added with the mis-information in the popular press and in social media "https colon backslash backslash www dot bbc dot co dot uk backslash news back slash uk-politics-eu-referendum-36397732"
    ... Draw your own conclusion.
  • As stupid as I think the lightning cable is, Apple is not going to cave to the EU. They have no power over Apple.
  • and they will lose revenue
  • Over the holiday season 85% of new smartphone activations in the US were iPhones, and they averaged over $1 billion a day in revenue. I'm sure they're worried.
  • if it finally forces apple to comply with standards, it's only going to be better. And Apple's poor excuse "it'll cause waste!!!!" Is ********, because that's what happened when they moved to their proprietary lightning connector. Who are they kidding? From my BlackBerry Key2 LE on Freedom Mobile LTE or 3G HSPA+
  • Lightening is more than 7 years old... and it was a vast improvement at the time... you could say the same about usb standard: what happened to micro usb, what will happen to the current usb a now that when usb c is on the rise ? Did you complain when Samsung or lg ditched their connector for usb c ?
  • Not to worry, Applesuck will sell it's next supper dupper iPhone - Who Cares, with USB-C charging, and say they invented that amazing and game changing feature.
  • Hey look, another dumbass comment by you... shocking...
  • Hey look another useless and retarded reply by you...what are the odds?!
  • Exactly what I thought of your initial comment... 👍🏻
  • One also said that they should have made standard the Nokia charger 10 years ago... it is so stupid!
    Nothing wrong with Lightning, it was here before usb c if Apple had to get ibto a standard back then we would gave ended up with an inferior experience.... The lightening is expected to be retired soon anyway in favor of usb c like the ipad pro or the already standard wireless charging(which is itself overrated today)
  • In the short term, Apple will keep using lightning cables and design a lightning to USB-C adapter. There are enough pins in a USB-C connector to do everything lightning does, so it won't be hard to engineer. And this will satisfy the EU because it makes the iPhone able to use the standard, and it will give Apple time to design a USB-C cable that's built in a way that third-parties will still need to get Apple-certified if they want to sell a fully compatible cable or charger.
  • Design a lightning to USB-C adapter? It's called a cable and it came with my iPhone 11, along with the USB-C charger. The resolution talks about a common charger, not a common cable or common port on the device. It's pretty clear Apple is moving to USB-C already in any case. new iPads, and Macs already have them as charge ports, and take advantage of the data functions. The Mac is even USB-C with Thunderbolt, displacing the Thunderbolt connector on earlier Macs.
    This may be directed at Apple but that is extremely short sighted and likely irrelevent at this point. The problem is this is the same body that wanted to standardize on micro-usb. Would we want to go back to that? It was voluntary, but had it been mandated, USB-C would likely not have seen the adoption it has. When the next thing after USB-C is developed, it's adoption will certainly be slowed down.