Report: EU to make a decision on a common charger standard on June 7


The EU has been trying to get makers of smartphones and other portable electronics to standardize on a common charger port since the microUSB days. Eventually most of the industry settled on USB-C, except for one black sheep – Apple. Cupertino has been arguing against a common port for years now, but the battle may end just days from now.

EU lawmakers and representatives of EU countries are expected to make the final decision on June 7 (Tuesday), reports Reuters. Insiders say that smartphones, tablets and wireless headphones will be required to use a USB-C port for charging. Note that this is for the port on the device itself, the loophole of providing an adapter will no longer apply.

Some decisions are yet to be finalized – certain lawmakers are pushing for laptops to be included in the regulations as well. Many laptops already use USB-C, but there are plenty that still use a basic barrel plug as well. This requirement would impact certain manufacturers (ironically, not Apple), so there is opposition.

A USB-C to Lightning cable
A USB-C to Lightning cable

The next battle will be over wireless charging – the EU may demand support for a common standard by 2025. However, some countries and the EU Commission are asking for a longer transitional period “for technical reasons”. Anyway, it’s not clear what rules the EU has in mind. These days most phones that support wireless charging can fall back to Qi (but prefer to use faster proprietary tech).

Analysts are already reporting that Apple has begun testing iPhones with USB-C, which are set to come out in 2023 (this year’s models will stick to Lightning). Some reports claim that Apple is also preparing an adapter that will allow consumers to continue using their old Lightning accessories with the upcoming USB-C packing iPhones. That might be available separately, but is unlikely to be included in the retail package – the iPhone 5 didn’t come with a 30-pin to Lightning adapter, for example.

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