EU votes to have universal mobile device power adapters

Lakados

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USB-C here we come?

Apple claims this new law will stifle innovation.
I can understand that opinion.

https://gizmodo.com/eu-officially-votes-to-create-a-standard-charging-adapt-1841382309/amp
USB-C would be too simple and what happens when they decide USB-C isn’t up to the task some 5-10 years from now and they need to change it only to find they can’t? What ever standard they are designing will be what is used for the next decade or maybe longer and who is going to be designing it? And what will they do if they find that there is a fundamental hardware security flaw some 5 years from now? While I understand the sentiment this is a terrible idea.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I'm torn on this.

On the one hand I want design teams to have the freedom to innovate and create the best features for their devices, which requiring a specific charging port does not accomplish.

On the other hand, I'd like to end the practice of creating proprietary standards for the sole purpose of charging licensing fees and otherwise conning even more money out of consumers.

If there is a way to accomplish both of these things, I don't know what it is.

1.) Maybe, set a common charger as the baseline

2.) Allow other charging methods if and only if an independent body reviews the alternative method and certifies that it has benefits over the common method.

3.) Require that any alternative method be made freely available for any other company or organization to use

USB-C here we come?

Apple claims this new law will stifle innovation.
I can understand that opinion.

https://gizmodo.com/eu-officially-votes-to-create-a-standard-charging-adapt-1841382309/amp

I'm not sure USB could be it, since it is not entirely royalty free, but what the hell do I know.
 
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sfsuphysics

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There are people trafficking child sex slaves and the EU government decides converging and mandating smartphone power adapters is the way to spend their time...
People are going hungry in the US, and they care about silly things such as whether or not you have the right to repair equipment you buy.... because that's what government's do, they focus on one task at a time until it's finished then they move onto the next.
 

Dark12

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I think it's just that leading a country is too complicated to focus on ONE issue.

You have environmentalists who want to fix excess waste problems. Why would they be concerned about sex trafficking?

Not trying to say that isn't important, but any problem in your life can be insignificant if you compare that to sex trafficking or child porn or whatever.
 

swatbat

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Apple is right, this will stifle innovation. You can look at their own connectors on mobile devices that were better in many ways than the competition(at least when they came out).

At least phones are going to have similar power requirements, wait till those idiots want to do it with laptops. The new dell thunderbolt docks for the precision laptops now have 2 usb c connectors that clip together because usb c can't supply enough power to them.
 

DukenukemX

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We know how well this will work, especially with Apple.
standards.png
 

Dead Parrot

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I think this is a good idea as long as they include a 'new tech' review every few years that would allow the standard to be updated. Imagine if the device to device comunication standard had been set in law as the RS-232 standard and never changed. It would take longer then the lifespan of most current devices to load up that new OS update.
 

kirbyrj

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I fail to see how a universal charging adapter would stifle innovation. It's not like Steve Jobs/Tim Cook ever stood in front of a crowd and discussed the innovative charger.
 

termite

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Apple is only complaining because the regulations will kill them being able to design and market a proprietary charger solely for profits sake.

That being said, it has nothing to do with the actual connector but the charger. So Apple(Samsung etc) cannot force you to use an apple charger, instead of a third party one that offers the exact same power specs.

And hopefully it does trickle down to laptops and other devices. Case in point I own a HP Spectre X2, which uses one of its USB C for charging. You'd think that would be great, just plug any USB C plug and a comparable power adapter and you could charge the device. Nope, has to be a HP branded power brick. Which is completely ridiculous.

Also, the EU Parlament for all its issues, can actually work on and decided multiple things as once, which probably different than either US Congress/Senate.

Incidentally, the EU has been combating human trafficking since the 1990's which is around the time the US started looking at it, although the US didn't really even bother actively doing much about until 2006 or so. Prior to that, if they were trafficed as sex slaves they were just arrested as prostitutes, and trafficked workers, deported as illegals.
 

westrock2000

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I fail to see how a universal charging adapter would stifle innovation. It's not like Steve Jobs/Tim Cook ever stood in front of a crowd and discussed the innovative charger.

did you forget that the lightning cable came to market years before USB-C? Did you forget that the 30 pin offered power, digital, and analog signals so that docks could choose to have or not have processing built-in? Did you forget that FireWire allowed digital signal transfer and control of DV cameras? You could move to different parts of the tape using FireWire. Did you forget that Thunderbolt offered native Protocol support so that a monitor and a PCI-express slot could be on the same cable?

it’s easy to forget someone does something good when you don’t like that person (or company).
 

M76

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I'm all for this, but also don't put a freaking power adaptor into every package, sell them separately. I have about a dozen of these now and it is a total waste of space and resources.

Calling the innovation card for creating needless junk is shameful.
 

M76

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did you forget that the lightning cable came to market years before USB-C? Did you forget that the 30 pin offered power, digital, and analog signals so that docks could choose to have or not have processing built-in? Did you forget that FireWire allowed digital signal transfer and control of DV cameras? You could move to different parts of the tape using FireWire. Did you forget that Thunderbolt offered native Protocol support so that a monitor and a PCI-express slot could be on the same cable?

it’s easy to forget someone does something good when you don’t like that person (or company).
None of these things matter to the majority of consumers of most devices. Firewire was such a niche in a niche that it didn't matter to most of us into video production either. So don'T tell me, that my phone charger can't be universal because of things like firewire.
 

termite

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did you forget that the lightning cable came to market years before USB-C? Did you forget that the 30 pin offered power, digital, and analog signals so that docks could choose to have or not have processing built-in? Did you forget that FireWire allowed digital signal transfer and control of DV cameras? You could move to different parts of the tape using FireWire. Did you forget that Thunderbolt offered native Protocol support so that a monitor and a PCI-express slot could be on the same cable?

it’s easy to forget someone does something good when you don’t like that person (or company).


I'm not seeing anything there about Apple Innovation surrounding the charger. How will the EU regulation stifle Apple innovating the power adapter/charger?

Edit: If anything, Apple should be salivating at the possibility of being able to sell the charger separately, in lieu of including it with the phone.
 

westrock2000

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None of these things matter to the majority of consumers of most devices. Firewire was such a niche in a niche that it didn't matter to most of us into video production either. So don'T tell me, that my phone charger can't be universal because of things like firewire.
I'm not seeing anything there about Apple Innovation surrounding the charger. How will the EU regulation stifle Apple innovating the power adapter/charger?

As I said, it’s very easy to forget or discredit things when it comes from someone you don’t like. I mentioned Lightning and 30 Pin and you both chose to only acknowledge things that didn’t pertain specifically to your argument.

So far the rational am seeing is that the majority should control what everyone can use and that it should be free.

And you want innovation sprinkled in there somehow too.
 

termite

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As I said, it’s very easy to forget or discredit things when it comes from someone you don’t like. I mentioned Lightning and 30 Pin and you both chose to only acknowledge things that didn’t pertain specifically to your argument.

So far the rational am seeing is that the majority should control what everyone can use and that it should be free.

And you want innovation sprinkled in there somehow too.


Apple is only complaining because the regulations will kill them being able to design and market a proprietary charger solely for profits sake.


That being said, it has nothing to do with the actual connector but the charger. So Apple(Samsung etc) cannot force you to use an apple charger, instead of a third party one that offers the exact same power specs.

How so exactly? I'm starting to wonder if you misquoted me.
 
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Mandating that all power adapters are the same is the literal opposite of allowing innovation. Apple, btw, did not oppose having a standard despite what the article reported. Apple opposed creating a new standard and said that they should just go with USB-C.

In classic governmental fashion, it doesn't look like this actually changes anything for wired charging. It's about having a standard for wall warts, and all phones are currently compatible with all wallwarts provided the correct cable is used. Wow, what a difference you've made, EU! Pat yourselves on the back - you've earned it!

On the other hand, this may complete screw over wireless charging. The current state of wireless charging isn't very good, which is why there are so many standards and chargers out there today. That isn't about being proprietary "for extra profit" (lol,as if Apple is getting rich from selling cables and not 100,000,000 iPhones every year), this is about actual technological limitations creating a need for customized devices.

According to the EU, that averages out to more than 30 pounds of electronic waste per person every year, with some slice of that being power bricks that get thrown out as trash.

There is no possible way that this is correct. Even as a hardware enthusiast, I don't buy 30lbs of electronics in a typical year let alone throw that much out. Even if my wife and I were each buying 60lbs per year every single year, and throwing 100% of it away, try averaging that out across my two children who account for 0lbs and my parents who account for 1lb combined: 20lbs each.
 

kirbyrj

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did you forget that the lightning cable came to market years before USB-C? Did you forget that the 30 pin offered power, digital, and analog signals so that docks could choose to have or not have processing built-in? Did you forget that FireWire allowed digital signal transfer and control of DV cameras? You could move to different parts of the tape using FireWire. Did you forget that Thunderbolt offered native Protocol support so that a monitor and a PCI-express slot could be on the same cable?

it’s easy to forget someone does something good when you don’t like that person (or company).

Once again, I fail to see the innovation stifled by a universal charger. Nothing you described is precluded by a common connector readily available to the market.
 

M76

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As I said, it’s very easy to forget or discredit things when it comes from someone you don’t like. I mentioned Lightning and 30 Pin and you both chose to only acknowledge things that didn’t pertain specifically to your argument.

So far the rational am seeing is that the majority should control what everyone can use and that it should be free.

And you want innovation sprinkled in there somehow too.
You seem to have no point. How does apple created some niche computer connectors in the past leads into we can't have phones that are compatible with universal charging standards?
 

The Mad Atheist

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Didn't they, or UK tried to have one plug standard a few years ago for small devices power supplies so makers included a micro USB to whatever port they had on their device?
There are people trafficking child sex slaves and the EU government decides converging and mandating smartphone power adapters is the way to spend their time...
powerports.jpg
 
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westrock2000

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That being said, it has nothing to do with the actual connector but the charger. So Apple(Samsung etc) cannot force you to use an apple charger, instead of a third party one that offers the exact same power specs.

Are we talking about cell phones or laptops? Every modern cell phone on the market uses a USB "charger" or a standardized wireless charger. As far as their laptops, the magsafe is awesome and people I have talked to that have Macbooks are very satisfied with them. I have 2 after market magsafe chargers. They are proprietary connectors, and you can buy 3rd party. Lightning and Magsafe both offer consumers convenience that was not widely available at the time.

I really don't see the problem here. As pointed out by others in here, new connectors allow for new features. Each company purposefully pushes the limits of the connector in order to differentiate themselves from competition. Of course it's driven by profit.....are you expecting some other reason a company would do something to help you? There is no selfless act.

Now if you want to talk about laws blocking third parties from making competeing products, I would gladly have that conversation....but to say everyone phone (or mobile device) should mandated by law to have the same connector until such time that said law is modified to include a new connector.....sorry, I'm not on board. Is there a product I'm not thinking of that does not have a 3rd party option?
 

westrock2000

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You seem to have no point. How does apple created some niche computer connectors in the past leads into we can't have phones that are compatible with universal charging standards?

The point is, that Apple has consistently had innovative connector technology for 20 years. Few people want to admit this because Apple is the epitome of capitalism, but it's true. Apple has also been fairly good about keeping the connectors consistent within their product lines. Everything had 30 pin. Then everything transitioned to Lightning. So Apple was doing a good job of being universal within it's own ecosystem (which is a large ecosystem).

As far as your harping on Firewire....Firewire solved several problems that USB couldn't at that time in history. By allowing companies to innovate on their own and offer consumers better products, it's puts pressure on the rest of the industry to also improve their products, lest they want to lose their share of the "profits".

Should we also outlaw HDMI, Dolby Digital, Dolby Vision, Bluray? All things done with profit in mind. Even if the consumer happens to like them.
 

termite

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Are we talking about cell phones or laptops? Every modern cell phone on the market uses a USB "charger" or a standardized wireless charger. As far as their laptops, the magsafe is awesome and people I have talked to that have Macbooks are very satisfied with them. I have 2 after market magsafe chargers. They are proprietary connectors, and you can buy 3rd party. Lightning and Magsafe both offer consumers convenience that was not widely available at the time.

I really don't see the problem here. As pointed out by others in here, new connectors allow for new features. Each company purposefully pushes the limits of the connector in order to differentiate themselves from competition. Of course it's driven by profit.....are you expecting some other reason a company would do something to help you? There is no selfless act.

Now if you want to talk about laws blocking third parties from making competeing products, I would gladly have that conversation....but to say everyone phone (or mobile device) should mandated by law to have the same connector until such time that said law is modified to include a new connector.....sorry, I'm not on board. Is there a product I'm not thinking of that does not have a 3rd party option?

No I'm literally saying the article and the regulations covers chargers.

The article literally states.

EU Officially Votes to Create a Standard Charging Adapter for Phones Despite Apple's Protests
 

Sycraft

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The point is, that Apple has consistently had innovative connector technology for 20 years. Few people want to admit this because Apple is the epitome of capitalism, but it's true. Apple has also been fairly good about keeping the connectors consistent within their product lines. Everything had 30 pin. Then everything transitioned to Lightning. So Apple was doing a good job of being universal within it's own ecosystem (which is a large ecosystem).

Ya well a few issues with that:

1) Just because you do it first, doesn't mean that newer standards aren't better. USB-C allows for things that lightning doesn't, such as direct connection to HDMI/DP/Thunderbolt (lightning has to go through an adapter that uses lossy compression because of the lesser number of pins), higher power (up to 100 watts) and so on.

2) Apple does NOT have their entire ecosystem on lightning. You find it only on their phones and some of their tablets. Their computers never used it, and now the iPad Pro doesn't use it either.

3) You can argue that lightning would have been a good standard for the industry, maybe it would have, but Apple will not license it. They and only they can use it so other companies have to do something else. In contrast, USB is open to anyone who pays USB-IF a licensing fee. Apple actually doesn't have to as they are on the board of directors of USB-IF.


You seem to take a very narrow, very Mac user, view of innovation where a company creates something... and then it is theirs and nobody else should be allowed to do it and there should be no consistency. Everyone living in their own little walled bunker, not working with others. You know, we had that in the early days of computing, it sucked. That is a large reason why things like IP, USB, and other such standards got developed: So that different devices from different vendors could work together. That fosters real competition, and real innovation. Everyone doing their own thing and locking you in does not. Likewise all those other examples you listed? Ya those are all licensed standards. Dolby doesn't make you buy a Dolby player, with a Dolby reciever and a Dolby TV to watch their content. They create a standard that they license out to companies to use. So they make money, and everyone who want it can use the tech. Likewise other companies can, and do, compete with them and companies can use the competing standard. Look at a receiver and they basically all support the Dolby formats like Dolby Digital and TrueHD, but they ALSO support the DTS formats like DTS and DTS-MA. Sometimes they support less common formats like Auro 3D. There is competition on the market, despite there being a profit motive.
 

bigdogchris

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I don't think Apple gives a crap about having to include USB-C connector as they use it on almost everything they have. I think they care more about now not being able to remove the power connector. They want to move exclusively to wireless tech with their phones.
 

termite

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I know it is the standard to just read the headline and not bother reading the articles, and completely avoid what the article may be about.

So here is the link to the EU Parliament resolution.

And here are the points in the resolution that literally answer/counter several of the "oh noes my innovation" arguments. Don't sweat it though apparently Apple did not read anything either.

3. Emphasises the need for a standard for a common charger for mobile radio equipment to be adopted as a matter of urgency in order to avoid further internal market fragmentation;

4. Calls, therefore, on the Commission to take action to introduce the common charger without any further delay by adopting the delegated act supplementing Directive 2014/53/EU on radio equipment defining a standard for a common charger for mobile phones and other small and medium-sized radio equipment by July 2020, or, if necessary, by adopting a legislative measure by July 2020 at the latest;

5. Points out that the Commission, without hampering innovation, should ensure that the legislative framework for a common charger will be scrutinised regularly in order to take into account technical progress; reiterates the importance of research and innovation in this domain to improve existing technologies and come up with new ones

6. Points out that the use of wireless charging technology entails additional potential benefits such as mitigating e-waste; highlights that many mobile telephones already use wireless charging methods and that fragmentation in this area should be avoided; calls, therefore, on the Commission to take measures to best ensure the interoperability of different wireless chargers with different mobile radio equipment;

9. Urges the Commission to ensure that consumers are no longer obliged to buy new chargers with each new device, thereby reducing the volume of chargers produced per year; considers that decoupling strategies would allow for greater environmental benefits; stresses meanwhile that any measure aiming at decoupling should avoid potentially higher prices for consumers; underlines, furthermore, that decoupling strategies should be introduced with a common charger solution, as otherwise the aims of the directive would not be achieved;
 

M76

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The point is, that Apple has consistently had innovative connector technology for 20 years. Few people want to admit this because Apple is the epitome of capitalism, but it's true. Apple has also been fairly good about keeping the connectors consistent within their product lines. Everything had 30 pin. Then everything transitioned to Lightning. So Apple was doing a good job of being universal within it's own ecosystem (which is a large ecosystem).

As far as your harping on Firewire....Firewire solved several problems that USB couldn't at that time in history. By allowing companies to innovate on their own and offer consumers better products, it's puts pressure on the rest of the industry to also improve their products, lest they want to lose their share of the "profits".

Should we also outlaw HDMI, Dolby Digital, Dolby Vision, Bluray? All things done with profit in mind. Even if the consumer happens to like them.
Nobody is outlawing new connectors. We are talking about phone chargers here for crying out loud. How does standardizing phone chargers affect innovation in computer connectors?
Apple is not protesting this because of innovation they are protesting this because they want to keep selling their proprietary chargers at a markup.
 

DejaWiz

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The reversible USB-C connector is the greatest mobile device *charging* port created thus far, IMO.

Hope they also remember to work one very important detail into their new standard: a minimum required wire gauge, with an eye towards the future as new quick-charging methodology gets developed and implemented, with the very real potential for needing enough copper to handle increased voltage and amps over various cable lengths.
 

dgz

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Nobody is outlawing new connectors. We are talking about phone chargers here for crying out loud. How does standardizing phone chargers affect innovation in computer connectors?
Apple is not protesting this because of innovation they are protesting this because they want to keep selling their proprietary chargers at a markup.

You don't seem to understand how socialist governments work. First they came for the lightning connector...
 

ChoGGi

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But they haven't came for the lightning connector, they came for the overpriced charger.
 
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I know it is the standard to just read the headline and not bother reading the articles, and completely avoid what the article may be about.

So here is the link to the EU Parliament resolution.

And here are the points in the resolution that literally answer/counter several of the "oh noes my innovation" arguments. Don't sweat it though apparently Apple did not read anything either.
Curious - did you read any of what you quoted? That doesn't appear to be the case, especially since you added emphasis to the phrase about how users are currently obligated to buy a new bespoke charger every time they buy a new device.

Hey guys - does anyone have a Pixel 3 USB wallwart that I can borrow? I tried using an HTC USB charger without any luck, and the last Samsung USB charger I tied gave an error message about working with only a couple of specific Samsung models and nothing else.
 

termite

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Curious - did you read any of what you quoted? That doesn't appear to be the case, especially since you added emphasis to the phrase about how users are currently obligated to buy a new bespoke charger every time they buy a new device.

Hey guys - does anyone have a Pixel 3 USB wallwart that I can borrow? I tried using an HTC USB charger without any luck, and the last Samsung USB charger I tied gave an error message about working with only a couple of specific Samsung models and nothing else.

I read everything I quote which is why the entire body of text from the parliamentary findings were not included, and I was highlighting the sections that specifically mention charger, or sections that were pertinent to prior posts. The "consumers are no longer obliged to buy new chargers with each new device" is referring to the fact that when you buy a new phone, you always get a charger included, so it is a compulsory buy especially if you are just upgrading to the same brand of phone. Personally I do not care if I get a new charger every time I get a phone, having a spare in the drawer is not an issue. Incidentally if you had read the same quote you would have seen there in no mention of bespoke chargers in the highlighted text you mentioned.
 

NeoNemesis

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Seems kind of overkill to be honest. Don't get me wrong, Apple sucks with their proprietary crap that costs more and does less, but people should be smart enough to make their own choice around something as idiotically benign as this.
 

naib

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Thing is the EU did this in 2009 and back then it was a good call since everyone and his dog had their own charger, their own connector... all of which would change between phone releases from a single OE... people must remember the draw filled with chargers or datacables NEVER to be used again.

They mandated USB-Micro, which is a heinous connector but did help "encourage" standardisation. But back then Apple still turned around and went FFFUUU and went with the lightning. So what makes them think Apple will listen this time? right now there are three connectors
1) USB-micro - being phased out or reserved for cheap phones, so what are cheap phones going to use since the usb-c chipset needed for power and direction is orders of magnitude more expensive than the equiv usb2 chipset
2) USB-C - being phased in
3) Lightning - Apple

Now hate USB, especially since a USB-A will fit snuggly into a RJ45 connection (twice I have been asked to provide "technical support" as to why windows won't find their usb device - managed to remember to take a photo the last time.)
AL0UWoO.jpg


USB-C however is a godsend... robust, bi-directional and can deliver a reasonable power and data bandwidth. The only benefit that Lightning has over USB-C is lightning is physically smaller and thats it. I can see the USB-C outline being used for quite some time but at some point it to will need to be replaced. Apple will need to replace theirs long before USB-C will outlive simple because lightning is over considerable lower spec
 

NeoNemesis

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Thing is the EU did this in 2009 and back then it was a good call since everyone and his dog had their own charger, their own connector... all of which would change between phone releases from a single OE... people must remember the draw filled with chargers or datacables NEVER to be used again.

They mandated USB-Micro, which is a heinous connector but did help "encourage" standardisation. But back then Apple still turned around and went FFFUUU and went with the lightning. So what makes them think Apple will listen this time? right now there are three connectors
1) USB-micro - being phased out or reserved for cheap phones, so what are cheap phones going to use since the usb-c chipset needed for power and direction is orders of magnitude more expensive than the equiv usb2 chipset
2) USB-C - being phased in
3) Lightning - Apple

Now hate USB, especially since a USB-A will fit snuggly into a RJ45 connection (twice I have been asked to provide "technical support" as to why windows won't find their usb device - managed to remember to take a photo the last time.)
View attachment 220278

USB-C however is a godsend... robust, bi-directional and can deliver a reasonable power and data bandwidth. The only benefit that Lightning has over USB-C is lightning is physically smaller and thats it. I can see the USB-C outline being used for quite some time but at some point it to will need to be replaced. Apple will need to replace theirs long before USB-C will outlive simple because lightning is over considerable lower spec

Its not out of the question that apple goes full retard next gen with a proprietary wireless charging tech and discards cables altogether.
 

faugusztin

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Hey guys - does anyone have a Pixel 3 USB wallwart that I can borrow? I tried using an HTC USB charger without any luck, and the last Samsung USB charger I tied gave an error message about working with only a couple of specific Samsung models and nothing else.

You might laugh, but you are not that far off. For higher current charging to work, various manufacturers required various voltage levels on data pins https://obddiag.net/usb-power.html . So while any charger will do the 5V/0.5A charging, anything above it was manufacturer/feature specific.
And then there are the QuickCharge or USB power delivery standards with higher voltages and currents.

So yes, basic, very slow charging will work (5V/0.5A). Anything above that, and you run in manufacturer or standard specific implementations, which are often not interchangeable.
 

The Mad Atheist

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Now hate USB, especially since a USB-A will fit snuggly into a RJ45 connection (twice I have been asked to provide "technical support" as to why windows won't find their usb device - managed to remember to take a photo the last time.)
View attachment 220278

USB-C however is a godsend... robust, bi-directional and can deliver a reasonable power and data bandwidth. The only benefit that Lightning has over USB-C is lightning is physically smaller and thats it. I can see the USB-C outline being used for quite some time but at some point it to will need to be replaced. Apple will need to replace theirs long before USB-C will outlive simple because lightning is over considerable lower spec
Please say you were ethical and charged them full price tech support!?
 

HockeyJon

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I wonder if they’ll all just offer inductive charging and maintain their usual connectors (Lightning, USB-C, whatever), saying that any inductive charger can work as the loophole to getting around maintaining a proprietary ecosystem of peripheral devices.
 
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