For a long time, the European Union was trying to get tech companies to agree on a standard charger for all their devices, making this case on competition and environmental waste. In competition, the EU argues that by having a common port, consumers are more able to switch between devices which in turn forces more competition in the relatively stagnant European phone market, which is broadly dominated by just a couple of huge players. On the environmental points, the case is more prominent. If you standardize cables, you'll need fewer of them. No longer will every device need its own cable. Each person will only need a couple of standardized cables rather than every product coming bundled with its own proprietary cable, which is just doomed to landfill anyway once you're done with the device. And on June 7th 2022, the European Union secured an agreement requiring all new smartphones, laptops, cameras and tablets to use the same USB C type charger by 2024.
Why is the EU Legislating the common charger rule?
According to a 2019 research commissioned by the EU to analyze the impact of common chargers, discarded chargers & cables account for around 11,000 metric tons of e-waste. The common charger guideline will minimize the amount of plastic and copper that ends up in landfills by a substantial amount. The universal charger guideline is significant from a sustainability standpoint and reduces pollutants. Consumers can use the same chargers and cables across numerous devices once the USB Type-C charging interface is standardized.
What are the benefits of USB C?
Following are the benefits of USB C:
The attached devices can get up to 240W of power through USB-C. That should be plenty to charge (nearly) any laptop, smartphone, or tablet. USB C can also provide from 8K to 16K video and audio to displays.
USB C provides the PD charging feature, also known as Power Delivery Charging. The old USB 2.0 can only provide 2.5 watts of power to a tablet or smartphone, but the USB-C PD can provide up to 240 watts of power. This is not simply six times larger than USB-C Current Mode (non-PD) power output for devices, which is 15W. A USB-C to USB-C Cable is also bi-directional. This implies that depending on your preferences; the cable allows your device to receive and send power. Surprisingly, the USB-C cable allows you to send power to the other device while still receiving data.
With its USB-C capabilities and benefits, the USB C is on its way to becoming a global connector. Although the USB-C interface has several obstacles, private individuals and businesses are viewing it as the future standard. Most of the newest flagship offerings from computer and device vendors include USB-C connections. If you have a desktop pc, you can connect that to an external display using a USB-C cable. Also Using a USB C Hub will also come in handy when you need more devices to connect to your pc or laptop but don’t have enough ports. You may also transmit data from your notebook to an external drive attached to the display using a USB C to HDMI Adapter. You may multitask and do more with a single cable, allowing you to maximize your time.
What will Apple Do after the USB C Legislation?
The European Union has finally decided to make USB-C the standard charging connector for mobile phones, tablets, and cameras throughout Europe by 2024, in an effort to decrease e-waste. Despite the fact that most of the gadgets we use, particularly smartphones, now have a USB-C connector, except Apple. Apple's iPhones have had a Lightning connection for charging & data transmission since 2012. Is this new regulation implying that Apple will eventually adopt USB-C for its next iPhone? Or will the forward-thinking firm develop a novel way to get around the law? Apple is highly secretive and rarely responds to media speculation regarding its future plans. But this time, they gave a statement to the BBC News in which they said that:
"We remain concerned that 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."
While we agree with Apple that this strict restriction will stifle rather than stimulate innovation, we can't ignore the fact that Apple has maintained the Lightning port for a decade, whereas Android devices have switched to USB Type-C from micro USB. They haven't given any hint about their future plans, like whether they will add USB C ports to the new iPhone or not.
Furthermore, the new regulation will only apply to gadgets purchased after the fall of 2024. As a result, Apple has more than enough time to respond to European regulations. So don't anticipate a USB-C connector on the iPhone 14 when it releases later this year. In fact, the European Union would not blink if the iPhone 15 arrived in 2023 with a Lightning connector. Despite its insistence on the Lightning port on iPhones, Apple has progressively introduced USB Type-C to practically all iPad models in recent years. As a consequence, in 2023 or 2024, the corporation may simply do the same with their iPhone series, which is the most feasible option.
Apple, on the other hand, may have a different approach. Since the iPhone 12, Apple has been tinkering with their MagSafe charging method. Although it is quicker than traditional wireless charging, it is still slow compared to cable charging. If Apple can develop the technology in the next few years and bring it up to pace with cable charging, there's a good chance the iPhone 16 will be released without the connector.
To be more practical, we don't believe Apple would offer a USB-C iPhone only for Europe when the time arrives since this would cause uproar in the community. Since the original iPhone, Apple hasn't released a regional edition with significant hardware modifications. As a result, if the corporation intends to maintain a charging port by 2024, USB-C is likely to become a global standard.
At last, the decision European Union that took more than a decade is entirely beneficial for the people of Europe. Because there are few big companies are selling products in the name of innovation. But what would we do with that innovation that brings us to disaster? The legislation is not only advantageous for the environment but also gives consumers a choice to buy the product he wants. Consumers will be provided clear information about modern items' charging characteristics, making it easy for them to assess if their existing chargers are suitable. Customers will be able to buy new electronic devices with or without a charger.
Author: Talha Nadeem