I want all phone to standardise on USB-C. No adapter for Apple, no exception.
The point is not just about charging: accessory manufacturers have to develop 2 physical versions of their equipment, for Apple devices and for Android devices.
This increases development and manufacturing costs and restricts the use of the accessory to a single system.
Having more USB-C accessories would also force Apple to increase compatibility with a broader range of accessories. For instance it's impossible to use an off-the-shelf USB drive and connect it to an iPhone to, say, dump pictures to it.
If the iPhone had a standard USB plug, it would be harder for Apple to ignore the perfectly reasonable expectation that plugging in a drive should allow you to do something useful with it.
Today the fact that lighting is not a common port means that you have to buy a 'special' USB drive with a lighting port and then have to find some app that takes advantage of it.
The EU's failure to regulate, in essence, provides Apple with an argument to keep their own solution.
For Apple, the common charger is a success story – of regulation avoided. For the next commission, it could serve as a cautioning tale on the limits of self-regulation.
There are problems with USB-C, however—one of those being that some USB-C charger and cable combinations will simply fry your phone due to being wildly out of spec.
It definitely helped a lot (but Apple still kinda ruined it).
Not quite sure what to think of USB-C yet. Certainly feels more mechanically solid than micro-USB, but subjectively, the plug connection seems a bit slippery. Cables seem to disconnect spontaneously more than they do with e.f. Lightning.
It would have been wonderful.
It seems like every time a connector starts to reach the critical mass of adoption where I actually have a reasonable ecosystem of chargers and cables and devices, they go ahead and change it - usually for the worse. mini-USB was great - I had phones, accessories, the lot with it. Then they changed it for the weaker and more symmetrical looking (but still not symmetrical) micro-USB and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth - but it was was still simple and functional and is now ubiquitous again. If we had stayed there I could have dealt with it, despite the odd annoyance - for a brief, shining moment, I could charge my phone at my friend's house and vice versa. Now with USB-C it's all gone to shit again:
- I have a new phone that charges over USB-C - but only fast charges with the included adapter, which looks like a regular USB-A wall adapter + A->C plug but actually has some proprietary magic in it. Something about "unusual fast charging standards".
- My laptop came with a USB-C charger but the plug failed after some months, its microscopic contacts losing their spring.
- Needing a new charger because soldering a USB-C connector is quite daunting, I bought an Apple wall charger because it uses a replaceable cable. I discovered later that the cable is apparently nonstandard and incredibly expensive. I bought an unbranded one, at no small cost.
- The unbranded USB-C to USB-C cable failed again after some months. I bought an official Apple cable, to even more considerable expense. That worked, until the port on the laptop died. The laptop sits dead for now.
- Since I now have a 85W USB-C charger lying around, I thought I'd try it on my new phone. But if I plug the Apple adapter into the phone it makes very loud and alarming capacitor noises, especially when full - enough to wake me up in the middle of the night when it gets to 100% (and it takes until the middle of the night, because it doesn't fast charge).
This is a shitshow. Give me back my micro-USB. Yes it's annoying to insert, but at least they last more than a few months, have a single standard, can be soldered, and don't fry devices.
USB-PD is standardized. Don't blame USB if the manufacturer decides to not implement it.
>- Since I now have a 85W USB-C charger lying around, I thought I'd try it on my new phone. But if I plug the Apple adapter into the phone it makes very loud and alarming capacitor noises, especially when full - enough to wake me up in the middle of the night when it gets to 100% (and it takes until the middle of the night, because it doesn't fast charge).
It#s not entirely unusual that cheaper charging circuits start to humm in the audible range if far under their designed output power.
Not entirely moot. A billion people (1-2 hundreds of millions in Europe) have at least an old accessory with lightning interface). When the old style interface was deprecated many people were angrt (but at least the new one had some benefits - size, reversibility, etc).
That said, USB-C is where Apple's going as well (e.g. the new laptops, iPad Pro, 2019's USB-C iPhone rumors, which
were probably confused with a future model, etc.).
Besides, thanks god Apple didn't move on to the same spec as the other phone manufactures. Instead of USB-C we'd have what they settled-in to: mini USB and then micro USB, two equally horrible designs (the only worse probably being the Micro B USB style, mostly used by external hard disks).
Also people seem to forget that Apple was heavily involved in the design of USB-C, all the way back to thunderbort from when it was an Intel-Apple initiative known as LightPeak. The modern USB-C, as a cable with adaptable "logic", includes support for several interfacing protocols from old-school USB to Thunderbolt. The "speedy" part of USB-C is Thunderbolt:
Thunderbolt is the brand name of a hardware interface developed by Intel (in collaboration with Apple) that allows the connection of external peripherals to a computer.
Sadly, it is (to the best of my understanding) not quite that simple.
The same physical port and cable that support USB-C can also support Thunderbolt 3. However, both ports and cables can support either just TB3, just USB v3.1, or even older versions of USB, with a dizzying variety of different capabilities and power-delivery levels supported.
You will need a lightning to usb adaptor, (and probably the powered lightning to usb3 adaptor to work with most drives), but it does pretty much work the way you would expect now.
Presumably if you have a fancy iPad Pro with built-in USB-C then you can also connect a standard usb-C compatible thumbdrive directly to it.
Also, let's take this further. Any reason laptop displays can't internally have a rather standardised connector? We are throwing away perfectly good displays on broken laptops. What if I could buy a $20 adaptor and use that laptop display as an external screen?
The amount of anti-consumer and anti-reuse measures the hardware industry does is baffling.
Why stop at DC power? Last I checked, Germany, France, England, Italy, and many of the smaller countries all had their own AC power connectors.
Why stop at hardware? iMessage, Hangouts, Messenger, Slack, and all the rest use their own proprietary interfaces. I still can't even save "a spreadsheet" in one program and reliably open it in another.
I can put any bit in any drill, and any blade in any saw, but as soon as electricity gets involved, everything gets stupid. A lot of programmers say they're interested in "visualization", but visualization was the default state of the world before electrons got involved. Most programmers use the invisible nature of software to disguise the proprietary and incompatible interfaces they're creating.
I hear a lot of developers complain about how their Mac laptop is no longer expandable or upgradeable, and then they turn around and use it to write a web app which uses a custom client-server interface with no public API or import/export. An industry is only anti-consumer when I'm the consumer.
For a certain core level of functionality, there should be regulations and laws in place that these apps all support a public and open protocol. They can have their own, but I should be able to use imessage to send an IM to skype on the desktop. This is no different than requiring standard signalling on the wires during the era of landlines.
> I still can't even save "a spreadsheet" in one program and reliably open it in another.
This becomes more difficult when a spreadsheet could be the latest version of excel v. a hobby project on github. Though I expect the vast majority of spreadsheet applications will export a csv.
Historically, open protocols like this have had a major issue with spam. How does the Skype network verify that the iMessage IM is legitimate? What about the incoming IM from the TotallyNotAFrontForSpammers service?
Email is pretty much the only fully open federated push protocol, and it is only able to handle spam via complex reputation based hacks and message inspection (which is a poor fit for IM).
This is no different than requiring standard signalling on the wires during the era of landlines.
With the level of spam phone calls I get these days, you may see why I'm not excited about using the phone system as a model!
This is a good idea too. Lots of industries 'differentiate' only to lock-in users. There is no technical reason these connectors need to be different.
Personally, I'd happily trade the need to have multiple battery packs with long charging times for ultracapacitor powered tools that might not run as long, but could be recharged to full power in seconds. Cost really might not prohibitively higher since you wouldn't need so many of the battery packs anyhow, and chargers could readily be run off of either wall current or your car/truck.
Not really, no. Try fitting a bit with a 1/2” shank into your typical consumer battery-powered drill.
Not just laptops, but electronics.
Recently I had to replace the crappy default PSU for my Synology NAS. It only uses 18W at peak during Read usage with 2HDD. Why do I need a specific power supply for that?
Most Router only uses 20W.
TV Set Top Box / Recorder.
Battery Powered Small Drills or Kitchen Wares.
I have to search for that specific charger every time,
On the other side, the Dell 7773 I was eyeing for personal use is a seventeen-incher that runs on a plain 65W.
And FWIW, my laptop charger is 2.25A output. There is plenty of room within a 5A envelope for higher current, faster charging battery tech of the future.
5A in the US gives you 550W, not enough to power a microwave. In most (if not all?) countries in the EU you get 1150W from that same 5A.
Discussion: https://twitter.com/USBCGuy/status/1073833717171335168 https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/Dell-XPS-15-9570-USB-C-ch...
An unpleasant surprise I have recently experienced was a Nintendo Switch refusing to connect to an HDMI TV without being attached to a Nintendo brand charger. I can hardly believe rendering to HDMI increases power consumption so much that this is necessary and there are no standard-conformant 3-rd party chargers which can handle that. IMHO such practices should be outlawed.
In just so many cases using a proprietary DC jack (like in my Dell laptop) decreases the value by forcing you to carry around your PSU wherever you go and buying overpriced replacements every now and then. The same applies to batteries - having a single (or some) standard for easily replaceable Li-Ion blocks would increase the value a lot.
So the question is why would you want a $100> worth of extra logic in a laptop that only a fraction of the population would use, this seems to be even stupid from an environmental perspective since you are increasing e-waste not reducing it.
They are switching to usb-c charging, but keep their old connector.
Laptop displays have already a standardised connector it just need an LCD controller!
So yes, you are throwing perfectly fine laptop screen when you could have used them as external screens.
What I had in mind was more of a 'monitor stand' with the wiring where you just connect / slide into the laptop screen and voila you have some new small external display.
I'm not really certain right now just looking at those boards which one would fit to an old broken laptop but I understand these are not targeted newbies.
If the charger dies before the machine itself, I will modify the cable and see how well that works.
Don't they? I thought LVDS was nearly universal for a long time. Didn't mean you could always swap panels though, resolution and timing needed to be supported, even when the screen physically connected. I've seen boards for sale to add external vga/dvi to old panels, but ultimately did not buy any.
I think there may be some movement towards internal display port, too.
LVDS requires 40 differential signaling pairs for displaying 4K resolution, eDP requires only 4 and even that can be reduces to 2 if DSC is used or your display adapter and panel support HBR3.
However for LVDS and eDP the physical connectors can be drastically different but in all honesty this has very much to do with the physical design of the laptop rather than some anti consumer conspiracy.
Depending on the hinge mechanism, the wiring length as well as other factors such as does the same cable need also to support power, USB (camera) and audio (microphone) connectivity you get different designs.
They usually already do, eDP (Embedded DisplayPort).
I'm really happy to see e-book readers, I hate that I need to have micro-usb just for my kindle (my phone and laptop use USB-C).
Also think about your screen would look at analog signal 1280x1024, because that would likely be the limit of the standard connector chosen at the time.
so either get the devices by size class, or allow a micro connector for smaller devices, but sort them wattage/amp needs
Car controls are obviously universal as well, so I'm not sure what your point actually is.
Also, to get a closer analogy to the topic of the discussion, the fuel hole in cars is standardized - you have one for gas and one for diesel (which are incompatible on purpose) and that's it. There's no "you need to buy a dongle to fuel your BMW on non-BMW pump".
Some laptops have different voltage batteries that each "prefer" a different optimal voltage for building the on-board charger. This is a close analogy IMO to different sized tires on autos/trucks.
Many companies would be happy to standardize, so long as everyone else changed and they got to be the de facto/de jure standard. Bonus points if they held a royalty-generating license on the connector/communications standard.
It was an absolute nightmare before that with every brand having completely different connector, voltage etc.
I'm not sure how Apple got (and are getting) around this.
edit: to be fair, a lot of appliances (not just phones) come with USB chargers these days, so it is not too bad.
In the end it should work out better for you. You no longer have to buy a charger you don't need with every new phone.
you don't need a new charger with every device.
I see it as 'batteries not included'
So long ss batteries are standardized, it's not a problem.
Now as we see a shift from Micro-USB to USB-C form factor the whole discussion really is more of customer adoption and fading out of old hardware.
The case with Apple is and will be their claim that they are not willing to encumber their power interface for the sake of standardisation when their interfaces are oh so more advanced than those of the others.
It appears to the EU have tired of this.
So now the EU has watched the farce with Apple long enough and it will be forcefully regulated.
I've been using USB-C now for about 3 months. Expected to hate it. It's pretty terrific. I'm sold.
But whatever. Rumors are Apple will transition their mobiles to fully wireless charging. I'm totally on board.
But even Apple has started using USB-C ports to charge their laptops and tablets now, so maybe it's not too farfetched to think that a future iPhone could also migrate to USB-C? Pretty sure the only reason lightning still exists is to maintain compatibility with the existing iPhone hardware ecosystem.
“Even”? I still hadn’t seen a usb-c anything in the wild when Apple switched their MacBooks to it and dropped all other ports.
I'm out few years too, but I think the manufacturers knew this was coming years before, so many switched in the mid 2000s if I remember
1. Companies will be forced into paying licensing fees. While not expensive, it's essentially a forced tax on companies so that they get an assigned vendor ID.
2.The language of the directive doesn't give any clarity of upgrading. What happens when the USB standard is updated to a different plug, as it was from A -> C? Will manufacturers now be forced to bundle an adapter for an undisclosed amount of time until there's enough adoption. Would updating even be allowed in this case?
3. What happens when a superior and incompatible standard is released by a completely different entity? Will companies not be allowed to adopt this standard because of the EU requirement? This feels like a directive that will stifle competition.
Clearly, there's no ID, but rather some kind of protocol for negotiating voltage levels.
I've already started doing my own move to all things USB-C by making a custom made board  (which is also for sale ). I have so far converted 10 devices at home and gotten rid of their bulky bricks.
The more important part is that those devices shouldn't ship with their own charger. You should have one already, or you should be able to buy a good quality efficient one.
Roadmap and other feedback: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/...
surely that's a good thing
Besides the logistical issues in producing, selling and marketing two different connector models, it also means third party accessories need to support these connectors. Want that new FLIR camera for your phone? Please choose between Model A or Model B.
One connector may also end up being the primary, where third parties only create versions of their hardware for that one due to the user share, effectively eliminating the other one and pissing of your customers.
Besides most of accessories are disappearing with Bluetooth, Wifi, cloud, etc.
But if the main goal is to reduce electronic waste then it won't change anything by itself because every device we buy comes with a charger, anyway. In order to reduce waste, purchases of devices and chargers should be decoupled (I don't need a new charger every time I change my phone). A universal charger would thus just be an enabler for that.
You get the charger in the box, it works. They change once a decade because technology advances, we live on.
I do see it helping to standardize the smaller players that have a haphazard ecosystem but consumers and corporations can largely vote with their wallets without living in a nanny state.
At what point is a product too 'complex' to standardize?
Why not standardize the phones themselves, the cars, then standardize life and give us barcodes...
BTW: the title is a bit misleading, as the article states a lot more products then just mobile phones.
Apple introduce USB-C Port, that could only be charged with MFi validated USB-C Cable? Essentially you still have to buy MFi USB-C Cables to charge your iPhone. Would that make your life a little easier?
The whole point of MFi was to get rid of the crappy cables and save guard its users and iPhone. And most no idea how far manufacturers would go just to take short cuts in their products.
Personally I have no problem buying a MFi USB-C Cable. But then most cable manufacture will surely want to support the 1.4 billion Apple ecosystem. And you end up having an Apple Tax on most USB-C cable people will definitely cry foul.
Let's also make 3.5 mm jack mandatory on any device that outputs audio - without dongles.
Ducking behind accessibility because you don't want to use a dongle seems a little disingenuous.
These should all be required by law in every device.
Mandating that all phones must have a headphone jack would make sense if manufacturers omitted it for anticompetetive or other nefarious reasons, knowingly acting against the interests of their customers. AFAIK there is no evidence for that so why micromanage the engineers in charge?
I guess that's a matter of opinion, because I am convinced that this is exactly what happened. Apple sells dongles for money and also makes money on Lightning licensing.
1) For software distribution, CDs. CDs were vastly superior in their read speed and size (400x bigger). CDs are open standard and are not controlled by any single entity and you don't need license to make one.
2) For transfer from computer to computer, by USB flash disks, which are vastly superior in size and speed and durability. USB is very open and there were (and are) many flash disks available on the market.
Meanwhile, 3.5mm Jack was "replaced" by
1) Proprietary bullshit connector, that needs a license from Apple or a dongle only sold by Apple. It is not superior in any way - it provides no better quality or extra features.
2) Bluetooth, which has advantage of wirelessness, but suffers lower sound quality and high latency - which of course Apple now solves by their proprietary bullshit codecs that only Apple headphones have, so they gained advantage through anti-competitive means.
As I see it, those situation are in no way similar. Apple is obviously abusing it's position in an anti-competitive way, and removing open and free solution to push it's proprietary one.
I know I'm not going to convince you, because with some people, Apple can do no wrong because otherwise their identity as fanboy would suffer. I'm sorry.
Things like replaceable batteries, longer support (security patches and parts) should be a good start.
defeating planned obsolescence is a vague and unacheivable goal, and any regulations that directly address it are more likely to stifle innovation and be circumvented by big companies than they are to actually help.
We're basically already able to do these things, it's just made more difficult and complex because you can't buy the original piece you need directly from apple. And, in the past, Apple has been known to intentionally break phones that have been user-repaired (the print scanner/button on an old iphone comes to mind.)