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  • European Lawmakers Draft Legislation that may force Apple to Change its Connectors


    European lawmakers agreed to draft legislation that will force all mobile phone manufacturers to consent to the use of a common standard for battery chargers, a standard which can fit any device. The draft could be voted on by the European Parliament as early as March 2014. Although many see this as a huge win for consumers who would no longer have to purchase new charging accessories for different devices, it could potentially be a big blow for Apple. This is because the Cupertino California company uses a proprietary plug, the Lightning connector, in all of its iOS product lines.

    David Gilbert of Yahoo News reports the following regarding the matter:

    The draft EU legislation could be voted on by the EU parliament as soon as March 2014, and if it passes this stage each member country will be given two years to transpose the legislation into national law, with manufacturers like Apple and Samsung given a further year to implement the changes, meaning 2017 is the earliest we will see the changes come into effect.

    The mobile phone market is obviously a global one, so the impact of any changes made in the EU will have much wider reaching effects, as manufacturers will be reticent to produce different versions of their phones for different markets.
    Apple introduced the 9-pin Lightning connector last year with the iPhone 5, fifth-gen iPod touch, fourth-gen iPad and the iPad mini. The change came about as part of an effort to shrink the long-running 30-pin connector so that Apple could make its products smaller.

    As of right now, others changes included in the draft legislation include new regulations forcing manufacturers to register their products prior to the market release. A similar program seems to already be in place in the US where the FCC must approve products prior to sales.

    We’ll have to wait and see what comes of the whole ordeal.

    Source: Yahoo News
    This article was originally published in forum thread: European Lawmakers Draft Legislation that may force Apple to Change its Connectors started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 37 Comments
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Legend_master View Post
      Has anybody actually used a devise with a micro USB port? The lighting cable, and 30pin connector are so much more sturdy. I repair phones for a living, and I see damaged USB ports constantly. The only lightning connectors ports damage are usually damaged by a foreign object being inserted. I don't mind a standard across the board for chargers, but I don't want some cheap design that is constantly going to have to be repaired. The lighting connector is held down very well, easy to replace, and hold up to long term use.
      Your reason was the only comment against the law that was worthwhile reading! Nearly every device I own has micro USB so it would be good as I only need one type of cable, however I agree that I do see a lot if broken ones too.
    1. logodude's Avatar
      logodude -
      just my .02; it would be reasonable if all phones charged via a headphone jack charger. it would have one less port and maybe make room for say a bigger battery or so. I don't know how data transfer would be affected though. I can't stand micro usb chargers and I love the lightning charger because its doesn't matter what way you plug it in.
    1. djaquapimp's Avatar
      djaquapimp -
      PLEASE do it! I would LOVE for all chargers to be the same, anyone not ok with this is riding apple just a little too hard...

      Quote Originally Posted by Legend_master View Post
      Has anybody actually used a devise with a micro USB port? The lighting cable, and 30pin connector are so much more sturdy. I repair phones for a living, and I see damaged USB ports constantly. The only lightning connectors ports damage are usually damaged by a foreign object being inserted. I don't mind a standard across the board for chargers, but I don't want some cheap design that is constantly going to have to be repaired. The lighting connector is held down very well, easy to replace, and hold up to long term use.
      This is very debatable. The iPhone cables go out with time too so they aren't exactly great quality. Even the lightning cable is not great, it's better than the 30 pin tho. Btw you saying the 30 pin is better than micro USB is quite funny, the 30 pin was horrible, always was.

      I have a ton of micro USB devices, not a single one broke.

      The only people i can see being unhappy about this are apple fanboys, anyone who has APPL stock, or people who only own apple devices.

      Quote Originally Posted by holyshnikes View Post
      This is stupid. They're trying to force a standard? They say it's good for consumers, but I'm a consumer and own all apple products. Changing the cable would force me to do what they're trying to prevent...buying adapters!
      So you're saying your apple cables never go bad and you'll never have to buy a new apple cable anyways?

      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
      What's going to happen if this passes is that none of the manufacturers will want it and they'll just make a port the size of a needle that's barely passes any electricity. An altogether bad idea.
      Proof?

      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
      Bro you can get one on eBay for less than a cup of coffee, the Chinese hacked the DRM.
      They suck, they don't last long at all. Making an even bigger case for this legislation.
    1. Timmm's Avatar
      Timmm -
      Quote Originally Posted by brab View Post
      Only a person with much less than stellar intelligence would be against this (as a consumer)....
      Lightning is more powerful (both in terms of capability and power throughput) and more robust than microUSB- why would a consumer want to have this option taken away from them?

      Apart from forcing consumers into an inferior technology, it kills much of the potential for future innovation - it's just another example of over-regulation punishing the people they purport to help.

      Lightning vs micro-USB

      Lightning (connector) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    1. romeo_herman's Avatar
      romeo_herman -
      All the European should not use Apple. That's it.......stupid
    1. camxposure's Avatar
      camxposure -
      PAT. PEND. LOL so much for the mother of invention
    1. Colacone's Avatar
      Colacone -
      Quote Originally Posted by filabeaner View Post
      As a consumer, I see your point. But it's just another example of the over-regulation of government. Why shouldn't a company be able to create their own product? Why should every company have to conform to the governments silly rules? It hinders innovation and creativity in the marketplace. What else are they going to regulate next? Like someone suggested, wheel lug patterns? Because that's a total pain in the A when you go shopping for new wheels. So only a person with much less than stellar intelligence would be for this (as a citizen)....
      I COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER.. you sound libertarian, small government, less regulation!
    1. brab's Avatar
      brab -
      Quote Originally Posted by filabeaner View Post
      As a consumer, I see your point. But it's just another example of the over-regulation of government. Why shouldn't a company be able to create their own product? Why should every company have to conform to the governments silly rules? It hinders innovation and creativity in the marketplace. What else are they going to regulate next? Like someone suggested, wheel lug patterns? Because that's a total pain in the A when you go shopping for new wheels. So only a person with much less than stellar intelligence would be for this (as a citizen)....
      I have yet to understand your reasoning that one standard power adapter (let's say 2A one that can charge a tablet and a phone) for ALL the devices in my household (phone, tablet, camera, etc...), regardless of a manufacturer, would be something that would be a bad thing (as I said for us consumers (and we are all consumers in the end), not Apple, Sony, etc).
      It would make us spend less money on having a variety of different plugs and cables, we would use less of Earth's resources to make them (as we would need fewer of them) and it would create less waste (which is what the primary reasoning behind this law is in the first place).

      If you don't care about spending $40 for a tiny power adapter (that you lost or that has died) that's your prerogative...I for one do not want to and would like to be able to use one from another device that I have already purchased.
      I really do not care which type of connector becomes the standard (Lightning, microUSB whatever), just have one that is.

      And as to how having a standard connector between all electronic devices hinders innovation and creativity in the marketplace is such a silly statement that I won't even comment on it.
    1. Colacone's Avatar
      Colacone -
      Quote Originally Posted by brab View Post
      I have yet to understand your reasoning that one standard power adapter (let's say 2A one that can charge a tablet and a phone) for ALL the devices in my household (phone, tablet, camera, etc...), regardless of a manufacturer, would be something that would be a bad thing (as I said for us consumers (and we are all consumers in the end), not Apple, Sony, etc).
      It would make us spend less money on having a variety of different plugs and cables, we would use less of Earth's resources to make them (as we would need fewer of them) and it would create less waste (which is what the primary reasoning behind this law is in the first place).

      If you don't care about spending $40 for a tiny power adapter (that you lost or that has died) that's your prerogative...I for one do not want to and would like to be able to use one from another device that I have already purchased.
      I really do not care which type of connector becomes the standard (Lightning, microUSB whatever), just have one that is.

      And as to how having a standard connector between all electronic devices hinders innovation and creativity in the marketplace is such a silly statement that I won't even comment on it.
      im not speaking for him, but myself... its not the universal cable that I have a problem with, its GOVERNMENT MANDATES that I would have a problem with. If all the companies were to get together themselves and decide, "hey lets make this easier on the people and release a universal cable" then i would be all for it, but I am against big government and wouldn't be in favor of another regulation here in the US.
    1. Dranon's Avatar
      Dranon -
      Quote Originally Posted by filabeaner View Post
      As a consumer, I see your point. But it's just another example of the over-regulation of government. Why shouldn't a company be able to create their own product? Why should every company have to conform to the governments silly rules? It hinders innovation and creativity in the marketplace. What else are they going to regulate next? Like someone suggested, wheel lug patterns? Because that's a total pain in the A when you go shopping for new wheels. So only a person with much less than stellar intelligence would be for this (as a citizen)....
      This is NOT over regulation. The landfills are FULL of outdated and crap electronics and connectors. I have dozens of old ones totally unusable. Having a standard is NOT over regulation. The major reason companies make proprietary connectors is to improve profits! They couldn't care less about landfills OR inconvenience to consumers. THAT IS WHY GOVERNMENT NEEDS to regulate.

      Quote Originally Posted by holyshnikes View Post
      This is stupid. They're trying to force a standard? They say it's good for consumers, but I'm a consumer and own all apple products. Changing the cable would force me to do what they're trying to prevent...buying adapters!
      APPLE has already done that for you by changing to lightning connectors and changing the magsafe connector on laptops!

      Quote Originally Posted by Legend_master View Post
      Has anybody actually used a devise with a micro USB port? The lighting cable, and 30pin connector are so much more sturdy. I repair phones for a living, and I see damaged USB ports constantly. The only lightning connectors ports damage are usually damaged by a foreign object being inserted. I don't mind a standard across the board for chargers, but I don't want some cheap design that is constantly going to have to be repaired. The lighting connector is held down very well, easy to replace, and hold up to long term use.
      SOOOOO what you are saying is you want LESS business???
    1. filabeaner's Avatar
      filabeaner -
      Quote Originally Posted by brab View Post
      I have yet to understand your reasoning that one standard power adapter (let's say 2A one that can charge a tablet and a phone) for ALL the devices in my household (phone, tablet, camera, etc...), regardless of a manufacturer, would be something that would be a bad thing (as I said for us consumers (and we are all consumers in the end), not Apple, Sony, etc).
      It would make us spend less money on having a variety of different plugs and cables, we would use less of Earth's resources to make them (as we would need fewer of them) and it would create less waste (which is what the primary reasoning behind this law is in the first place).

      If you don't care about spending $40 for a tiny power adapter (that you lost or that has died) that's your prerogative...I for one do not want to and would like to be able to use one from another device that I have already purchased.
      I really do not care which type of connector becomes the standard (Lightning, microUSB whatever), just have one that is.

      And as to how having a standard connector between all electronic devices hinders innovation and creativity in the marketplace is such a silly statement that I won't even comment on it.
      I guess it all just boils down to what you care about most. You obviously care more about the Earth's resources and landfills, etc. And while I do care about these things as well, I worry more about where to draw the line with government in everybody's business. And allowing the Capitalist economy do what it's done so very well for so long.

      And here's a good example: when Apple changed from the 30-pin connector to the Lightning connector, what was the reason? It wasn't just for the hell of it so they could create and sell new adapters for a small fortune. That well soon dries up and you have to find money elsewhere, so Apple wouldn't waste their time on it for that reason. It was so they could continue to innovate and create new things that work better of faster for the consumer. If the government from any country starts to regulate these things, then what happens when this technology becomes outdated and cumbersome? But the companies are mandated by the government to still use it. It hinders creativity and innovation. We all know how slooooooow government moves to change things. So why do we want them regulating something like this?

      And when you allow companies to innovate and create, then that leads to bigger/better/faster products for consumers and job creation (although not always in your own country, lol). But there are so few "creators" in our society now, that I guess the masses just want what is spoon fed to them.
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      Quote Originally Posted by brab View Post
      Only a person with much less than stellar intelligence would be against this (as a consumer)....
      Don't be so ridiculous. Consumers are also employees. Those employees amy be working for that company that makes proprietary equipment, and whose bottom line has now been slashed.
      This stifles innovation. Their should be some standardisation and cross compatibility yes, but the last time I heard a draft this bad somebody had farted.
    1. StuG III's Avatar
      StuG III -
      Quote Originally Posted by Raptor2213 View Post
      If only they would enact a law that would prevent manufacturers from putting DRM chips in cables, or another one that prevents them from using chips at all, that would be what we need.

      It's stupid that the cables cost $40+ because they stuck a chip in it that should be on the machine side instead.
      I didn't know this. That is just pure stupid, why isn't anyone else hooting about this?
    1. Legend_master's Avatar
      Legend_master -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dranon View Post
      This is NOT over regulation. The landfills are FULL of outdated and crap electronics and connectors. I have dozens of old ones totally unusable. Having a standard is NOT over regulation. The major reason companies make proprietary connectors is to improve profits! They couldn't care less about landfills OR inconvenience to consumers. THAT IS WHY GOVERNMENT NEEDS to regulate.


      APPLE has already done that for you by changing to lightning connectors and changing the magsafe connector on laptops!


      SOOOOO what you are saying is you want LESS business???
      I definitely want buisness, but I am also a consumer. I don't want a crappy port like the Micro USB.
    1. Gervs's Avatar
      Gervs -
      This has been on the cards since 2011, so it really surprised me when apple's rumoured new connector turned out to be the lightning connector and not a micro USB variant. The idea (back then anyway, dunno how it has evolved in the meantime) was that the first generation of these cell phones (nothing about tablets) would ship with chargers but after a grace period (dunno how long) all cell phones sold in the EU would ship without chargers and consumers keep using the chargers they got with previous phones.

      Also, wouldn't this reduce the cost of a cell phone to a manufacturer , a saving that they won't pass down to the consumer. And this is just for charging, apple can still use a DRM based cable for data transfer (syncing, tethering, playing music through car stereo etc) they could include 1 with every device, and keep charging their extortionate prices for replacements. Also has no one in the comments ever heard of an adapter (micro USB to lightning) that can be used just to charge.

      I really don't see why people are against this. The over legislation argument is so unbelievable contrived I probably shouldn't have even mentioned it. Also no manufacturer is being forced to comply with this legislation if they don't like it they can withdraw from the EU market, if that amounts to metaphoric suicide that's their problem.

      Another way to look at it is if they had a referendum where every EU citizen (from all member nations) got to vote on this I'm sure it would pass by a huge percentage (who wants to buy a new car charger every time they get a new phone or be tied to a manufacturer due to already having their accessories). Remember people benefit (financially) from the current system are a minority (shareholders etc). People who benefit from the proposed change are the majority (almost every consumer as almost everyone has a cell phone these days). Not to mention the environmental advantages of the change.

      Quote Originally Posted by Colacone View Post
      im not speaking for him, but myself... its not the universal cable that I have a problem with, its GOVERNMENT MANDATES that I would have a problem with. If all the companies were to get together themselves and decide, "hey lets make this easier on the people and release a universal cable" then i would be all for it, but I am against big government and wouldn't be in favor of another regulation here in the US.
      Oh yes I forgot that companies exist to "make this easier on the people" (that's why they don't fight class action lawsuits when their clearly in the wrong(!))and that they love collaborating with other companies who are trying to put them out of business. I was stuck in the old-fashioned thinking, you know from before the time they were spending $100's of millions on propaganda I mean advertising telling us their not evil or after our cash etc. Companies are here to ream the consumer, avoid as much taxation as possible (legally, illegally and in the grey areas) and put all competitors out of business. You just need a eccentric person at the helm and they could be after world domination.

      If they weren't "forced" to do this, they never would. Unless of course it made financial sense which it doesn't.
    1. nate4379's Avatar
      nate4379 -
      Oh I hope so! just in time for the reversible USB 3.0 plugs! I love the simplicity of lightning cables, but I hate that Apple doesn't use a Universal standard.
    1. jetsetjoey's Avatar
      jetsetjoey -
      Apple should tell the EU, who are nothing but a gang of controlling, arrogant, globalist pigs to stick it up their asses. The EU aims to foist their pseudo jurisdiction upon anyone who allows them to do so. No private company- NOR THE CONSUMER PUBLIC- should acquiesce to draconian demands from such malfeasant miscreants... not only because it would stifle innovation, but also because it would set a dangerous precedent to the spirit of entrepreneurship & Free Market Capitalism.