Senators call for US to follow EU's lead in creating a national standard for phone chargers

kac77

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Senators call for US to follow EU's lead in creating a national standard for phone chargers

BYSTEPHEN SCHENCK

It's finally happening: in just a couple short years, all smartphones sold in Europe will have to support a common charger, and that means USB-C. While practically all Android phones that matter already embrace the industry standard, Apple's going to have to swallow its pride and upgrade its hardware if it wants to keep doing business in the EU. And while this is all an undeniable victory for consumers, what about those of us who aren't in Europe? A group of US senators is on the case, and this week expressed its demands that America legislate its own standard for a common charger.
 

Mr Evil

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Would that have any real effect? The EU is a large enough market that I would expect everyone to use USB-C just to sell there... or are there many US-only phone manufacturers?
 

Geforcepat

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This is absolutely the last thing the us government needs to focus any attention on. 1001 real life issues and they're going to waste time and money on a apple phone charger. Yeah, That's our wonderful absolutely flawless government. Face palm and smh.
 

duronboy

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I hate apple referring to their cables as "lightning" cables, which are limited to USB 2. And, gubmint pushing phone companies to do the right thing hasn't always been a bad thing. I'm thankful as F I can port my same number from prehistory to another carrier.

But yeah, I worked in retail before USB was widely adopted and holy feck what a nightmare the charger cable wall was. Open packages everywhere and of course, still tons of returns because all the reasons.

Ultimately though, what a waste of time. If they were going to do something, they should have done it 12 years ago.
 

Verge

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Senators call for US to follow EU's lead in creating a national standard for phone chargers

BYSTEPHEN SCHENCK

It's finally happening: in just a couple short years, all smartphones sold in Europe will have to support a common charger, and that means USB-C. While practically all Android phones that matter already embrace the industry standard, Apple's going to have to swallow its pride and upgrade its hardware if it wants to keep doing business in the EU. And while this is all an undeniable victory for consumers, what about those of us who aren't in Europe? A group of US senators is on the case, and this week expressed its demands that America legislate its own standard for a common charger.
Economy in shambles, hey lets worry about phone chargers! Shocker, it's Warren and Sanders.
 

kac77

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I hate apple referring to their cables as "lightning" cables, which are limited to USB 2. And, gubmint pushing phone companies to do the right thing hasn't always been a bad thing. I'm thankful as F I can port my same number from prehistory to another carrier.

But yeah, I worked in retail before USB was widely adopted and holy feck what a nightmare the charger cable wall was. Open packages everywhere and of course, still tons of returns because all the reasons.

Ultimately though, what a waste of time. If they were going to do something, they should have done it 12 years ago.
People being able to finally port their phone number was HUGE! Man did it suck before.
 

toast0

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Would that have any real effect? The EU is a large enough market that I would expect everyone to use USB-C just to sell there... or are there many US-only phone manufacturers?

There might be some... But a lot of manufacturers ship different phones to the US and the EU. Different frequency bands and all that. I wish there was more global harmonization on that front.
 

duronboy

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People being able to finally port their phone number was HUGE! Man did it suck before.
As I recall, all the carriers supported it, they just couldn't all agree on when they were going to do it, and nobody was going to do it first.

What I'm forgetting through the mists of time and my own deteriorating intellect is how USB was voluntarily adopted almost universally. Was it consumer demand?

I remember bluetooth was what bought headset manufacturers to a standard. Because right across from the charger wall was the headset wall and for the longest time it was always in shambles for the same reasons as the chargers. It wasn't quite as bad as the chargers because a few manufacturers shared Nokia's plug and pinout. But you had 2.5mm plugs and 3.5mm plugs and different pinouts for both. And some used a custom connector. It was a mess.

I wonder why consumer demand was never enough to get apple to implement USB 3, or anything that averages out to something higher than 30MB/s the last time I checked. If not for that I would almost consider apple phones.
 

sharknice

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How is this actually beneficial to anyone?
Every phone but iPhones already use USB-C.

Do iPhone users want this? They will be forced to buy new chargers, the old ones will become eWaste.

And if you think there won't be something better in the future you have a serious lack of foresight. And there are many clear examples of how rules like this increase costs and slow down or completely prevent new technology from being released to consumers.
 

t1337duder

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This is absolutely the last thing the us government needs to focus any attention on. 1001 real life issues and they're going to waste time and money on a apple phone charger. Yeah, That's our wonderful absolutely flawless government. Face palm and smh.
Milking tax money, maximizing corporate profits, sending that money overseas is the US government's only reason for doing anything. And if it sounds like they might be doing something for the good of the people, there's usually a long-term financial angles involved that most people don't factor in. The U.S (and the EU) is a piggy bank for international bankers. Have fun fixing that problem 😉
 

cjcox

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"It made better sense for the USA standard to be the USA standard. Fortunately, we have created a small adapter that can be used between the USA format and whatever the EU is using."

us-eu-adapter.jpeg
 

Gorankar

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They don't really have to bother. It's going to happen organically now that Apple has to adopt USB C anyway for the EU market. Everyone else is moving to it or has already moved to it in the US market. Everything I have bought in the last 2 years that uses a cell phone charger uses C. Including a few cheap rechargeable flashlights. Other than Apple insisting on doing it's own thing, everyone moves to the next standard over a relatively short period. Outside of Apple we only have C, and B micro in common use right now, and B micro is on the way out.

It's also definitely not something congress needs to get involved with. Otherwise we will be stuck using USB C for the next 30 years as competing lobbyists bribe different congressmen and senators into a stalemate backing "their" differing patented next gen standards. How often have those bought and paid for dimwits done something positive when it comes to legislating tech? How often have they royally screwed the pooch when it comes to tech? No thanks.
 

GoldenTiger

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How is this actually beneficial to anyone?
Every phone but iPhones already use USB-C.

Do iPhone users want this? They will be forced to buy new chargers, the old ones will become eWaste.

And if you think there won't be something better in the future you have a serious lack of foresight. And there are many clear examples of how rules like this increase costs and slow down or completely prevent new technology from being released to consumers.
Qft. This is both ridiculous and the last thing we need to be focusing on.
 

Mr Evil

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kac77

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As I recall, all the carriers supported it, they just couldn't all agree on when they were going to do it, and nobody was going to do it first.

What I'm forgetting through the mists of time and my own deteriorating intellect is how USB was voluntarily adopted almost universally. Was it consumer demand?

I remember bluetooth was what bought headset manufacturers to a standard. Because right across from the charger wall was the headset wall and for the longest time it was always in shambles for the same reasons as the chargers. It wasn't quite as bad as the chargers because a few manufacturers shared Nokia's plug and pinout. But you had 2.5mm plugs and 3.5mm plugs and different pinouts for both. And some used a custom connector. It was a mess.

I wonder why consumer demand was never enough to get apple to implement USB 3, or anything that averages out to something higher than 30MB/s the last time I checked. If not for that I would almost consider apple phones.
Nope they all faught it. Today they are fighting swapping SIMs.

For USB it was consumer demand. What we're seeing today with thunderbolt we saw previously with FireWire. In both instances the more ubiquitized standard won out. That's basically what this is. Everyone wants Apple to pick the universal standard. It will actually make everyone's lives a lot easier because in reality it costs extra money for everyone to have to validate between so many standards.
 

kac77

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How is this actually beneficial to anyone?
Every phone but iPhones already use USB-C.

Do iPhone users want this? They will be forced to buy new chargers, the old ones will become eWaste.

And if you think there won't be something better in the future you have a serious lack of foresight. And there are many clear examples of how rules like this increase costs and slow down or completely prevent new technology from being released to consumers.
You have to remember when this first started. Every single phone manufacturer back in the day had their own connector. Samsung had its own connector, Nokia had its own connector, Apple had its own connector, and so on and so on. Most manufacturers selected USB, Apple did not though. Up until the manufacturers selected on USB, it was a pain in the ass. Every time you got a new phone, you got a new charger. That's what this case stems from.

Also, proprietary connectors from all of the manufacturers actually hurts you. It doesn't help you. It jacks up the price of whatever peripheral you buy. Because they have to validate for every stupid connector that's out there. If anything it hampers innovation because it increases the cost to bring a product to market. It was bad enough between HDMI and DisplayPort, but Thunderbolt became another connector on top of those, plus USB. That's absolutely ridiculous especially when display port and USB in particular as of now is double that of thunderbolt.

If people want to get mad blame Apple for not falling in line. Apple does not have the units necessary to enforce standards but it keeps trying over and over and over again. In the process of that we get caught up purchasing tons of peripherals and displays that have crazy numbers of plug formats on them for no apparent reason.
 

Bigbacon

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i'd happy, at least anywhere I go, I can charge using someone elses charger if needed. can't do that right now since my wife has an iphone and i don't
 

sharknice

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You have to remember when this first started. Every single phone manufacturer back in the day had their own connector. Samsung had its own connector, Nokia had its own connector, Apple had its own connector, and so on and so on. Most manufacturers selected USB, Apple did not though. Up until the manufacturers selected on USB, it was a pain in the ass. Every time you got a new phone, you got a new charger. That's what this case stems from.

Also, proprietary connectors from all of the manufacturers actually hurts you. It doesn't help you. It jacks up the price of whatever peripheral you buy. Because they have to validate for every stupid connector that's out there. If anything it hampers innovation because it increases the cost to bring a product to market. It was bad enough between HDMI and DisplayPort, but Thunderbolt became another connector on top of those, plus USB. That's absolutely ridiculous especially when display port and USB in particular as of now is double that of thunderbolt.

If people want to get mad blame Apple for not falling in line. Apple does not have the units necessary to enforce standards but it keeps trying over and over and over again. In the process of that we get caught up purchasing tons of peripherals and displays that have crazy numbers of plug formats on them for no apparent reason.

It's a problem that was solved by the market, and now politicians are trying to take credit while doing nothing but creating problems for the future.
 

Darunion

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i'd happy, at least anywhere I go, I can charge using someone elses charger if needed. can't do that right now since my wife has an iphone and i don't

Gonna be quite a few years first. Will take sometime before it goes into effect and then for it to filter its way through the market until everyone is only using a usb-c based phone. So until then you might want to just keep a cable in your car.
 

DukenukemX

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It's a problem that was solved by the market, and now politicians are trying to take credit while doing nothing but creating problems for the future.
Market had nothing to do with it. EU is responsible for why we have wire standards today. common external power supply (common EPS) which was done in 2009. It was voluntary so of course Apple didn't do it. To be fair the lightening cable was better in that it didn't matter which way you plugged it in, but USB-C was created in 2014 and the first phone used it in 2015. The lightening cable was ahead as it was created in 2012 but 10 years later and USB-C is still not standard with Apple.

You saying the market was responsible is just political garbage that ignores history. Free market does bad things because free market only cares about money. You wanna know what the free market created? This is what you'd need in the 2000's if you wanted to charge a variety of devices. The only reason Apple is going USB-C is because EU had enough of their shit.
main-qimg-6d20b028f482a6dbdcf2da3fce2c34ca-lq.jpg
 

next-Jin

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How is this actually beneficial to anyone?
Every phone but iPhones already use USB-C.

Do iPhone users want this? They will be forced to buy new chargers, the old ones will become eWaste.

And if you think there won't be something better in the future you have a serious lack of foresight. And there are many clear examples of how rules like this increase costs and slow down or completely prevent new technology from being released to consumers.

I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, you’d think Apple was already going to be doing this well before this ever becomes law.

Even with just the EU law they will probably keep it in the Asian and American markets. Apple had already moved their iPads and MacBooks over.
 

Darunion

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Honestly, barrel plugs are one that should have been phased out from users experience. Too difficult for many people to read the voltage and current ratings on the device and the supply (if they get separated from eachother) and not all center pins are positive polarity, have to check that too. That I might be able to get behind some push for reduction. I wonder how many random wall-warts end up in landfills, plus they take up too much plug space.

Might want to hit laptops too, i havent had one in a while so maybe they are better. But I shouldnt have to buy a different laptop charger if i buy a different brand of laptop!

most of this is cheeky of course but at the same time, how far is too far?
 

1_rick

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Honestly, barrel plugs are one that should have been phased out from users experience. Too difficult for many people to read the voltage and current ratings on the device and the supply (if they get separated from eachother) and not all center pins are positive polarity, have to check that too. That I might be able to get behind some push for reduction. I wonder how many random wall-warts end up in landfills, plus they take up too much plug space.

Might want to hit laptops too, i havent had one in a while so maybe they are better. But I shouldnt have to buy a different laptop charger if i buy a different brand of laptop!

most of this is cheeky of course but at the same time, how far is too far?
A lot of laptops are shipping with their own weird power plugs but also USB-C PD, and have for several years.
 
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Something getting glossed over here is that in the US, Apple still has over 50% market share of smart phones. By definition, this means all non-iPhones are the ones which don't follow the existing market standard.

This also means that the environmental breakeven point for the proposed regs is very very far down the road. It is so far down the road, in fact, that the net effect is likely to be negative until USB-C is dropped and phones have become completely wireless - something which Apple was already planning to do anyway.
 

NickM

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The Constitution is a limitation on government powers. I'll quickly go check and see where the Founding Fathers mentioned that the government is prohibited from dictating phone charging standards...
I see you don't understand how it works. If it's NOT listed in the Constitution as a Federal power, it defaults to the states or the individual.
 

DukenukemX

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Something getting glossed over here is that in the US, Apple still has over 50% market share of smart phones. By definition, this means all non-iPhones are the ones which don't follow the existing market standard.
In America Apple has nearly 50% market share, but worldwide it has 13%. That's sad that us Americans are that in love with Apple products. Last I checked the world isn't America, and therefore Apple is the one not following existing market standards. Europe also favors Android by 72%.
This also means that the environmental breakeven point for the proposed regs is very very far down the road. It is so far down the road, in fact, that the net effect is likely to be negative until USB-C is dropped and phones have become completely wireless - something which Apple was already planning to do anyway.
Isn't this more Apple's fault since Apple was the one who refused to switch over to USB-C?
 
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NickM

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In America Apple has nearly 50% market share, but worldwide it has 13%. That's sad that us Americans are that in love with Apple products. Last I checked the world isn't America, and therefore Apple is the one not following existing market standards. Europe also favors Android by 72%.

Isn't this more Apple's fault since Apple was the one who refused to switch over to USB-C?
US law applies to the US and is not applicable to Europe. I would laugh my ass off if it came about that Android makers had to license Lightning in some flavor from Apple so that we had a unified standard.
 

DukenukemX

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US law applies to the US and is not applicable to Europe. I would laugh my ass off if it came about that Android makers had to license Lightning in some flavor from Apple so that we had a unified standard.
You ever see a website that wants you to accept cookies? That's from the EU. As an American I don't need to deal with that shit but I gotta because Europe is big. If America wanted to force phone manufacturers to use Apple's charging standard you bet Europe would too, but that would mean Apple would have to forgo the patent to it. That clearly won't happen, so USB-C it is.
 

qdemn7

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I fully support forcing this mandate. The market cannot be trusted. We need Right to Repair, too.
 
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Way to stifle innovation

Yeahhhh!! Go Government!
It's not about stifling innovation by even a long shot.
Generally I like when the government keeps its hands off of things, but when corporations either act or fail to act in a way that goes against common sense, decency, or in greed, sometimes the government needs to take actions to act on behalf of those who they are supposed to represent -- the people. I'm not saying this is certainly one of those cases, but apparently the EU felt that way, and I'm supposing lots of people in the US are too.
We'll see if anything comes of it over here, I don't care either way in all honesty because all I use are an iPhone and my PC. One cable for the phone, and one that doesn't move for the PC.
But it isn't at all about stifling innovation.
 
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