Euro-nannystate to impose charger standards on mobile devices

JeffDenver

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...and it looks like Micro-USB is the winner. Buh bye Apple Lightning Connector.

BBC News - Europe backs call for universal smartphone charger

This part made me LOL.

Apple has yet to respond to the proposals as it is one of the few manufacturers that produces gadgets with proprietary power ports. However, it was one of the original signatories of the agreement Europe reached with manufacturers to produce the chargers.

So this is a great example of why marketshare matters. If Apple had had the marketshare, it would not be forced to conform to the Micro-USB standard now.

The actual changes will not take affect till 2016. I wonder how Apple will handle this...will they make all iPhones Micro-USB? Or will they fragment and have two different standards for each market?
 

JeffDenver

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I'm sure they'll hyst do a usb to lightning/30pin adaptor.
If that was all it took to comply, I don't think there would be a point to this legislation. I think they are talking about default ports on the phones themselves.

The point of this nannystate legislation is to "reduce eWaste". And you will not be doing that if everyone is buying adapters.
 

antilles76

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If that was all it took to comply, I don't think there would be a point to this legislation. I think they are talking about default ports on the phones themselves.

The point of this nannystate legislation is to "reduce eWaste". And you will not be doing that if everyone is buying adapters.

Your point is true, but I wouldn't put it past apple to try it anyway. Either that or sue.
 

Ry

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I belive micro USB was already standard for phones in the EU. This news extends micro USB to tablets. The availability of a micro USB to 30-pin adapter and micro USB to Lightning adaptor is Apple's workaround for the standard.
 

Raptor007

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I see no issue with requiring companies to offer a single uniform power/sync cable solution of course Apple excludes itself by offering their overprice $30 mircoUSB to Lightning adapter for free, they charge for it in the US. But honestly they should NOT allow that option. Apple should be required to do as all other companies do or those companies should be able to offer an adapter then as well. Either way too many of these cables end up in landfills or worse and its time to clean things up.
 

Warrenisit

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You see no problem with forcing a company to conform to your likes? If they want to sell 100 Euro chargers then let them and let supply and demand take care of them. Forcing anyone to do anything through government is done so by the threat of being caged.

Posted via Android Central App
 
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eggantom

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I belive micro USB was already standard for phones in the EU. This news extends micro USB to tablets.

Actually you're right. Nevertheless, Apple's policy (a new iPhone each year) certainly creates a lot of iWastes.
The standardization of electronics is a great step with losses for companies who create proprietary ports on their devices.
Personally I like that I have one cord that suits my smartphone, portable HDD and even old granny PSP.
 

abazigal

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Except that USB 3.0 is a piece of crap when it comes to both engineering and design, compared to lightning, which is reversible, and just so much nicer, small, sleek and elegant.

Anyways, the article is misleading. It is not referring to the part which plugs into your phone, but the side which plugs into your wall charger.

Ie: a standard USB charger, which Apple doesn't meet (but to be fair, many companies don't meet that standard either), but apple can continue using their lightning cable ( for which I am eternally grateful).
 

George Jenkinson

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This is typical of the nonsense that the EU churns out ad infinitum... The problem no longer exists as it is only Apple that produces non-microUSB chargers. Every other manufacturer has been using micro-USB for a number of years, therefore, the "excess of chargers" problem is a problem of the passed and legislation today won't undo that!

The only possible exception I can foresee this affecting is new manufacturers from China et. al. coming up with a unique design for their phones only.

The EU don't need to meddle - was a law imposed to unify the fuel pump nozzle and aperture design in cars because car manufacturers were intent on designing unique fuel tank apertures in their cars?
 

hallux

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I've seen this argument in other places, and it does make sense so here goes.

Micro USB will only support USB 2.0, it will not support USB 3.0 as currently implemented on mobile phones. Also, Micro USB won't supply the power needed to charge a device like a 10" tablet. I'm not saying an entirely new connector is needed, but I don't think Micro USB, as it is right now, is the answer. Now, the Micro-size USB 3.0 connector INCLUDES a Micro USB segment that I THINK can be utilized on its own, for power and USB 2.0 speeds. That connector may be a bit unwieldy for phone purposes though.

While I agree that we shouldn't have to go hunting for the correct cables to charge our devices, or buy proprietary wall-wart chargers, I'm not sure there is a good standard currently available to fit the needs of cell phones and tablets, without licensing a design from Apple (if they're even willing to do so). I like what the EU is TRYING to do but I agree with the argument that Micro USB is becoming antiquated, slow and the connector itself could be improved upon at this point.

I also don't see the point in what the EU is doing, pretty much every phone EXCEPT Apple is using Micro USB for charging/data. Tablets are a whole other story, my Acer A500 uses a proprietary barrel plug for power but will sync to a computer using USB (Micro on the tablet end).
 

A895

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Except that USB 3.0 is a piece of crap when it comes to both engineering and design, compared to lightning, which is reversible, and just so much nicer, small, sleek and elegant.

Anyways, the article is misleading. It is not referring to the part which plugs into your phone, but the side which plugs into your wall charger.

Ie: a standard USB charger, which Apple doesn't meet (but to be fair, many companies don't meet that standard either), but apple can continue using their lightning cable ( for which I am eternally grateful).

Nicer, smaller, sleeker, and elegant is not the best argument for Apple to use a proprietary charging port.

Posted via Moto X or Droid RAZR M on the Android Central App
 

hallux

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So, maybe a proprietary adapter should come with a tablet?
Or why not standardize tablet's charging port?

I'm not saying standardizing charging ports for a tablet shouldn't happen, but Micro USB isn't the answer there.

I think SOME people see the EU's move as one that's trying to standardize charging ports across ALL mobile devices. While that's not a bad idea (I hate having to remember the charger for my tablet when I go on vacation) the currently-available standard connectors won't cut it unless they license from Apple for the Lightning connector (not likely). What that means is that both phones AND tablets will need new connectors to have them both standardized, and it won't be a normal USB cable that be bought off the shelf, it will be one that could end up being expensive to buy initially (low supply, high demand).
 

A895

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I'm not saying standardizing charging ports for a tablet shouldn't happen, but Micro USB isn't the answer there.

I think SOME people see the EU's move as one that's trying to standardize charging ports across ALL mobile devices. While that's not a bad idea (I hate having to remember the charger for my tablet when I go on vacation) the currently-available standard connectors won't cut it unless they license from Apple for the Lightning connector (not likely). What that means is that both phones AND tablets will need new connectors to have them both standardized, and it won't be a normal USB cable that be bought off the shelf, it will be one that could end up being expensive to buy initially (low supply, high demand).

Not the answer for YOU. For 99% of smartphone, and tablet users micro USB for all their devices is nothing but good. It let's them use one charger for all their devices. Until a better solution is just as low cost as micro USB and can be force implemented into all devices in a short span of time, micro USB is the best option.

Posted via Moto X or Droid RAZR M on the Android Central App
 

abazigal

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Not the answer for YOU. For 99% of smartphone, and tablet users micro USB for all their devices is nothing but good. It let's them use one charger for all their devices. Until a better solution is just as low cost as micro USB and can be force implemented into all devices in a short span of time, micro USB is the best option.

Posted via Moto X or Droid RAZR M on the Android Central App

I agree that the idea of a standardised charging port is a very seductive idea.

I disagree that the solution is micro-USB.

For one, The EU is a bureacracy-laden entity, and one which I feel is ill-suited to manage a charging standard, especially in the mobile phone industry which advances at breakneck speed. What happens if and when USB4.0 gets invented later down the road. Does this mean that nobody can implement it with the EU's approval? Does everyone have to wait for the EU to vote and "standardise" the move to USB 4.0, then 5.0 and so on? The way I see it, it just means that everyone is stuck with the same old crappy standard. Consumers may arguably benefit in the short run from being able to charge their iPhones with cheap micro-USB cables (which I hardly see as a win), but you lose out in the long run from lack of technological improvements in this area.

In case anyone has forgotten, Apple used the 30-pin cable for a good 10 years, while the rest of the industry flitted through a total of 18 different ports like a butterfly with ADHD, and I believe that Apple has done ample groundwork to future-proof their lightning cable to see them through the next 10 years, if not longer. Am I the only one who finds it ironic that Apple, probably the company here who comes closest to meeting the intended spirit of the law here, may stand to the be one penalised the most heavily?

Second, it has been shown time and time again that standards-backed design tend to suck compared to what a company like Apple can put out. The most recent example is Ultraviolet compared to Apple's iTunes. Likewise, I feel micro-USB is just plain inferior to lightning. If a standard is to be had, the rest of the world should be adopting lightning (or at least, its design). Apple should not have to discard lightning for a worse alternative!

Hopefully, should such madness ever come to pass, I would not be impacted, living in Asia.
 

A895

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I agree that the idea of a standardised charging port is a very seductive idea.

I disagree that the solution is micro-USB.

For one, The EU is a bureacracy-laden entity, and one which I feel is ill-suited to manage a charging standard, especially in the mobile phone industry which advances at breakneck speed. What happens if and when USB4.0 gets invented later down the road. Does this mean that nobody can implement it with the EU's approval? Does everyone have to wait for the EU to vote and "standardise" the move to USB 4.0, then 5.0 and so on? The way I see it, it just means that everyone is stuck with the same old crappy standard. Consumers may arguably benefit in the short run from being able to charge their iPhones with cheap micro-USB cables (which I hardly see as a win), but you lose out in the long run from lack of technological improvements in this area.

In case anyone has forgotten, Apple used the 30-pin cable for a good 10 years, while the rest of the industry flitted through a total of 18 different ports like a butterfly with ADHD, and I believe that Apple has done ample groundwork to future-proof their lightning cable to see them through the next 10 years, if not longer. Am I the only one who finds it ironic that Apple, probably the company here who comes closest to meeting the intended spirit of the law here, may stand to the be one penalised the most heavily?

Second, it has been shown time and time again that standards-backed design tend to suck compared to what a company like Apple can put out. The most recent example is Ultraviolet compared to Apple's iTunes. Likewise, I feel micro-USB is just plain inferior to lightning. If a standard is to be had, the rest of the world should be adopting lightning (or at least, its design). Apple should not have to discard lightning for a worse alternative!

Hopefully, should such madness ever come to pass, I would not be impacted, living in Asia.

Seeing as how micro USB has just now become the de facto standard for charging and data connectivity, changing the standard again for something else does not help at all.

Posted via Moto X or Droid RAZR M on the Android Central App
 

abazigal

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Seeing as how micro USB has just now become the de facto standard for charging and data connectivity, changing the standard again for something else does not help at all.

Posted via Moto X or Droid RAZR M on the Android Central App

Which is why I feel that before any body decides to settle on a single standard, everyone needs to first sit down, think this through properly, then come up with a cable which they are sure can at least meet the needs of the industry for the next 10 years. Then make everyone adopt that standard. Rather than just settling for whatever the standard currently is (and it's not even a great standard to begin with), especially when you know that it will probably be obsoleted in a couple of years (heck, I would argue that lightning already trumps micro-USB in terms of design and engineering).

Apple managed to do that with their 30-pin connector. They appear to be doing the same thing with their lightning cables, which even come with their own ram and processor (which could, in theory, allow Apple to patch their cables via their iOS devices to support any standard that appear in the future). This is foresight, and more importantly, this shows that it can be done, just that no one else is doing it, probably because it is simply cheaper and easier to just go with whatever the industry standard is at the time (or fork them if necessary) than invest money and resources into actually properly designing one of their own.

IMO, this is a classic example of the cure being worse than the disease.
 

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