After a decade of discussions, the European Commission will present a directive to force smartphone manufacturers to use the same port: USB-C. A news very badly received by Apple which sees it as a “limitation of innovation”.
On September 23, the European Commission will propose its directive to standardize its chargers for electronic devices. This proposal comes after a decade of debate and discussion. After having wanted to use the soft way at first, which led many manufacturers to use USB-C, now Europe, faced with the reluctance of some, will use the hard way, and go from demand to the constraint. The aim is to make life easier for consumers by forcing manufacturers of electronic objects to provide a universal charging port, especially for smartphones, which are the sinews of war. If today the USB-C tends to democratize and to make its arrival everywhere, a brand alone symbolizes this refusal to cooperate: Apple.
The Cupertino company does indeed especially not want to see USB-C arrive on its phones. She who has yet taken the step on several of its devices, including Macs and iPads, defends herself by saying that forcing a single charging port is a huge brake on innovation. Today Apple uses Lightning cables for its iPhones and AirPods, a proprietary technology that is less technically efficient than USB-C.
A law for smartphones, but not only …
If today smartphones, and in particular iPhones are largely criticized, the European directive intends to go further and affect electronic devices, in the broad sense of the term. Tablets, computers, speakers, headphones or even cameras will be affected by this change in regulations. This single charging port is more generally included in the European Commission’s desire to reduce the environmental footprint of its fellow citizens. According to her, every year 50,000 tonnes of unused magazines are thrown away. A waste that has serious consequences for our planet. The arrival of a single port could therefore in the long term greatly reduce our consumption of chargers, and therefore, to a certain extent, our impact on the planet.
According to the latest rumors, Apple would have understood that it was too late to win this battle and the next Apple phones would be designed with a USB-C port. Other, more fanciful theories, announce that Apple will offer an iPhone without a charging port, in order to bypass European regulations. On the Brussels side, the proposed directive will now have to go back and forth between the European Commission, the Parliament and the European Council, the last legislative step before its potential implementation.