In the technology sector, Apple products live in a world of their own. Their accessories are completely personalized. This makes them unusable on devices belonging to other manufacturers. A deliberate choice made by the Cupertino company which has always been seen by many observers as an anti-competitive measure.
The time for change, however, seems to have come for Apple. Indeed, members of the European Parliament have just voted in favor of a law now requiring all manufacturers of electronic devices to offer a USB-C charging port on their devices.
Apple and its Lightning ports in the crosshairs of the new law
With the proliferation of brands specializing in electronic devices, users no longer know where to turn when it comes to power cables. They are obliged to provide a cable for each device they have.
A situation that in addition to being extremely uncomfortable, in terms of the constant need to carry different cables, clearly does not push in favor of a more ecological vision of the world. The European Parliament therefore wants to signal the end of the recess by passing a law obliging all manufacturers of consumer electronics to definitively opt for the USB-C charging port.
The legislation concerns phones, tablets, laptops, cameras and game consoles sold in Europe. It will certainly apply to all manufacturers but is particularly aimed at Apple, which is the world leader in the excessive customization of its products.
The American firm is particularly known for using lightning ports to charge its iPhones while it equips its iPads and Macs with USB-C ports. This forces users of its products to carry different power cables to charge devices manufactured by the same brand.
Android smartphone manufacturers are not worried by the new law
The new regulations are not really likely to impact Android smartphone manufacturers. The latter have taken the lead in offering most devices that are recharged using USB-C charging ports.
For Apple and some electronics manufacturers, on the other hand, things may be less simple. They will need to adapt USB-C charging ports to all their devices to comply. This requires a substantial investment for development prospects which, on the other hand, will not change much.
The will to regulate the sector displayed by the members of the European Parliament, pursues several objectives. The first is therefore to make it easier for users by allowing them to charge their devices or transfer files between them using a single cable. Which will save them money.
The second objective is purely ecological. It aims to drastically reduce the amount of e-waste produced each year due to choices made by manufacturers like Apple. The latter, for example, has decided to no longer deliver some of its devices with the appropriate charger. By doing so, the brand forces users to purchase it separately.
However, it should be noted that the new measure has not yet entered into force despite the favorable opinion of the members of the European Parliament. The law will need to get parliamentary approval next month.