The days of looking through cables to find the correct charger are ending. The European Union has agreed new portable electronic devices must use a USB Type-C charger by autumn 2024. The new regulation applies to all brands, including Apple, which was not so happy with the news claiming it hindered innovation. In this thread, the Slogging community discussed EU regulation and its impacts on innovation.
This Slogging thread by Mónica Freitas, Sara Pinto, Joshua Omale, Arthur Tkachenko and Jack Boreham occurred in slogging's official #random channel, and has been edited for readability.
EU sets date for common phone charge cable
"The days of hunting through cables to find the right charger may be coming to an end.
The European Union has provisionally agreed new portable electronic devices must, by autumn 2024, use a USB Type-C charger.
BBC News has asked the UK government if it intends to pass similar legislation.
But under the current post-Brexit arrangements, the European Union ruling would apply to Northern Ireland, EU and UK officials have told BBC News."
"Apple products such as iPhones and iPads will have to conform to the new regulation, as will, eventually laptop computers. Existing devices will be exempt.
The agreement will be brought before the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers after their summer recesses, where it can be formally approved and then published."
"Apple told the BBC it had no new comment to make.
It argued against the proposal, when it was first introduced, in September 2021, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-58665809: "Strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world".
"The new rule will cover a range of "small and medium-sized portable electronics", according the EU, including:
Is this the end of the cable mess?! What do you think? Do you agree with Apple's take?
Sara Pinto, I have a feeling you'll be pleased with this
Mónica Freitas, I am! I just saw this on the Portuguese news and it's so much more convenient! I've heard that this might be a possibility before, so I'm quite pleased they came through.
On the other hand, to those who have the other cable entrance, it's not going to be that great haha. Apple chargers will become a myth and harder to find.
Sara Pinto, I thought back at all those times someone asks for a specific charge cable, and no one has it. The pain on people's faces, especially when it's an emergency 😂 so, win-win on practicality, I guess.
Sara Pinto, the EU wants Apple to adjust to the same standards, so they'll have to conform to the ordinary cables if they're hoping to sell here.
Sara Pinto, I wish we could do this with our old devices. It's always a mess trying to find out which cable goes to my Kobo, headphones, speakers, etc. And we're lucky MP3s/MP4s are no longer a thing because that was a whole different thing.
Mónica Freitas, I personally think it's a good move. Most new electronic devices are already adapting the use of Type C ports for charging and data transfer. Having a single charge cable for all devices would significantly reduce cable messes and money spent.
In terms of cable mess though, people would still have to buy multiple type C cables. Because if you want to charge two or three devices at the same time, you'd either have to do it one-by-one or use different cables, irrespective of the type of ports the devices use.
Finally! I'm being drowned with tons of different wires for charging devices.
It would still take a few years for the other cables to be fairly eradicated. People won't change their electronic devices because of the policy.
With a current rate of buying a new phone - this can be done pretty quickly for like 60-80% of devices.
Plus, other companies can use it to their advantage. Applying a better trade-in options and replacing old phones.
Oh yeah, that's true. The demand for new phones are pretty high. I am also guilty of this lol.
And yes, good trade-in options can also work well in pushing the policy to be implemented faster.
Joshua Omale, what you said about people needing more than one cable for multiple devices is true, but it can also open space for innovation.
Arthur Tkachenko, I can see those numbers come to fruition. Most people change their phones after 2/3 years when it starts having problems. So, it's a matter of 5 years or so until the majority is type C cables all around.
Do you agree with Apple that this might reduce innovation?
Mónica Freitas, I agree that companies that building chargers will suffer. Nothing can't kill innovation. Imagine someone building a bridge, but dont have a license and ISO certificate in bridges construction. is it safety measures of a killer of innovations?
So this means apple and android must adopt the same?
Mónica Freitas, exactly. What I meant is that people with iPhones will continue to use the old cables until they buy a new one. Unless they are willing to trade us our devices by one with the new cable entrance haha. However, in my opinion, it's still a good idea to make it a universal cable.
< So this means apple and android must adopt the same?
Each phone that will be sold in EU after some date will need to follow the law.
Mónica Freitas, regarding the innovation, I can see how always producing the same standard cable can seem like a lack of innovation, but in this case convenience wins. And there's always space to innovate in other matters, such as wireless chargers for example.
It's curious because it seems like the UK government is not thinking of adopting this measure.
Sara Pinto, true, but unfortunately, mobile phones aren't made to last more than a few years, so we'll all have that generic little cable in no time.
As for the UK, I'd love Jack Boreham's opinion on this. Also, Sara Pinto, does that article say why the UK won't copy the EU? Is this another UK wanna-be different episode?
Arthur Tkachenko, I'm with Sara on this one. I think there's still room to be innovative. They just can't be changing cables.
Well, next innovation will be to go wired-less 🙂 Most cities have LTE and wired internet.
We can build a similar infrastructure to help ppl charge their phones without keeping all wired chargers at home.
Like what if a cafe will have a Qi chargers - i'm sure soon it can be a selling point for a lot of places.
Mónica Freitas, so far, I think they only mention that "a UK government spokesperson said "we are not currently considering replicating this requirement"." It only doesn't apply to Northern Ireland since it's still inside the EU's single market for goods, while the rest of the UK is outside it.
Arthur Tkachenko, Qi chargers are a good strategy, but I'm sure cafes would put up time restrictions so that people wouldn't just go there to charge phones instead of consuming products. But going wireless would be the dream. Just make wireless power banks the chargers.
Sara Pinto, well, keeping on the brand, I see. Different electric sockets, different charging cables.
I don't think it's a problem(wouldn't just go there to charge phones instead of consuming products). Everything is evolving, so I think cafes also can find a way how to monetize things. Like gas stations, don't make a lot of profit from selling gas. Their main margin comes from coffee and hot dogs.