New EU Law Forces All Cellphone Chargers to Share Common Standard

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

New EU Law Forces All Cellphone Chargers to Share Common Standard

The new law will make it mandatory for all cellphones to be able to be charged through a single, universal standard.

We've all been there. You're over at a friend's house, and your cellphone is running on fumes. "Hey man, can I borrow your charger?" you ask. "Oh, sorry," he replies, "I only have an iPhone 5 charger..." In Europe, at least, this scenario may soon be a thing of the past, as a new law will require all cellphones to use a single, universal standard for their chargers.

Provided the Council of Ministers green lights the regulation, the law will come into effect in 2017... so phone makers do have a few years to get their act in gear. EU countries will have until 2016 to put it into their local laws. The European Parliament session that drafted the law found that a common charger would "reduce waste, costs and hassle for users."

As for what that standard may be, back in 2009 the European commission received industry backing from the likes of Nokia, Apple and RIM for its phone charger standard that relies on a micro-USB socket. Micro-USB is already used for many Android smartphones, and other electronic devices such as cameras.

This should come as pretty welcome move for anyone who's ever bought a new cellphone and been left with a useless charger. Here's hoping similar laws get adopted around the world.

Source: European Parliament via Engadget

Permalink

Well, pretty much everything uses micro-usb except Apple stuff and a very small handful of tablets anyway. I'm actually curious how Apple is going to handle not using their Lightning connector.

VladG:
Well, pretty much everything uses micro-usb except Apple stuff and a very small handful of tablets anyway. I'm actually curious how Apple is going to handle not using their Lightning connector.

They'd sell an adapter plug to make up the difference, I would think.

They already sell a microusb to lightning adaptor

FalloutJack:

VladG:
Well, pretty much everything uses micro-usb except Apple stuff and a very small handful of tablets anyway. I'm actually curious how Apple is going to handle not using their Lightning connector.

They'd sell an adapter plug to make up the difference, I would think.

They already do, naturally. It just wouldn't be Apple if they didn't charge outrageous sums for a million and one shitty accessories for their outrageously priced stuff.

But the point of the article is that they will have to use a standard port from the start, without adaptors. And then Apple will be sad because it won't be a unique, overpriced snowflake any more.

VladG:

FalloutJack:

VladG:
Well, pretty much everything uses micro-usb except Apple stuff and a very small handful of tablets anyway. I'm actually curious how Apple is going to handle not using their Lightning connector.

They'd sell an adapter plug to make up the difference, I would think.

They already do, naturally. It just wouldn't be Apple if they didn't charge outrageous sums for a million and one shitty accessories for their outrageously priced stuff.

But the point of the article is that they will have to use a standard port from the start, without adaptors. And then Apple will be sad because it won't be a unique, overpriced snowflake any more.

Oh, good luck actually getting them to behave. Putting aside your opinion on the product itself for a moment - because I lean not one way or the other on the matter - I know how companies think. They won't do anything they don't want to do if they can find a way around it. And naturally, if they still have to, they're dead-set on finding some way to recup a loss.

While it's less of a problem than in the past, I'm glad the EU is doing this. It should cut down on e-waste, at least a little bit.

Now, I doubt the USA would ever really pass legislation like this, but they should. It would be great to have a common standard over here, as well.

Sweet mother of mercy. Can we get that over here, too?

It boggles the mind that you can get Germany, France, and the U.K. to agree on setting a common phone charging standard (and overcoming any industry opposition to same) and you can't get members of the same party in my country to agree not to shut down the government and trash their own country's credit rating.

FalloutJack:

Oh, good luck actually getting them to behave.

Europe has had luck getting them to behave in the past, so why would it be different now?

FalloutJack:

VladG:
Well, pretty much everything uses micro-usb except Apple stuff and a very small handful of tablets anyway. I'm actually curious how Apple is going to handle not using their Lightning connector.

They'd sell an adapter plug to make up the difference, I would think.

for 80 dollars. with 20 dollars shipping.

OT: Please bring this to the US, I beg you.

Zachary Amaranth:

FalloutJack:

Oh, good luck actually getting them to behave.

Europe has had luck getting them to behave in the past, so why would it be different now?

The rest of that post pretty much sums it up.

gmaverick019:

for 80 dollars. with 20 dollars shipping.

In order to recup any losses, yes.

While I love the idea of standardized charging plugs, I REALLY don't like the idea of a government being able to decide how businesses are going to create products merely to be convenient. If it was bad enough that legislation was needed, then people would have stopped buying the one product that wasn't part of the standard.

Braedan:
While I love the idea of standardized charging plugs, I REALLY don't like the idea of a government being able to decide how businesses are going to create products merely to be convenient. If it was bad enough that legislation was needed, then people would have stopped buying the one product that wasn't part of the standard.

This is the tip of the iceberg with the EU, they regulate just about everything from the size of fruit deciding how it must be packaged to the packaging itself. There is barely any consumer or essential products that they don't meddle with, its one the gripes many Euroskeptics have.

Personally I like the idea of having a single charger for all phones and hopefully tablets, with induction chargers becoming one of the next big things I wonder how useful it will be in the end.

I wonder how this is going to work. Android devices all share a micro usb port. However voltages and amperes differ amongst chargers. You can really fuck up your battery if you constantly use a wrong charger. Still, prob not a fuck that is given so... Go eu

J Tyran:

Braedan:
While I love the idea of standardized charging plugs, I REALLY don't like the idea of a government being able to decide how businesses are going to create products merely to be convenient. If it was bad enough that legislation was needed, then people would have stopped buying the one product that wasn't part of the standard.

This is the tip of the iceberg with the EU, they regulate just about everything from the size of fruit deciding how it must be packaged to the packaging itself. There is barely any consumer or essential products that they don't meddle with, its one the gripes many Euroskeptics have.

Personally I like the idea of having a single charger for all phones and hopefully tablets, with induction chargers becoming one of the next big things I wonder how useful it will be in the end.

Overall the EU's meddling has been very beneficial in terms of consumer friendliness. For example, when I buy a yoghurt I know exactly how much fruit it contains based solely on the product name!

Exterminas:

J Tyran:

Braedan:
While I love the idea of standardized charging plugs, I REALLY don't like the idea of a government being able to decide how businesses are going to create products merely to be convenient. If it was bad enough that legislation was needed, then people would have stopped buying the one product that wasn't part of the standard.

This is the tip of the iceberg with the EU, they regulate just about everything from the size of fruit deciding how it must be packaged to the packaging itself. There is barely any consumer or essential products that they don't meddle with, its one the gripes many Euroskeptics have.

Personally I like the idea of having a single charger for all phones and hopefully tablets, with induction chargers becoming one of the next big things I wonder how useful it will be in the end.

Overall the EU's meddling has been very beneficial in terms of consumer friendliness. For example, when I buy a yoghurt I know exactly how much fruit it contains based solely on the product name!

I wouldn't disagree, the standards do improve things. If recent political events in the UK are accurate even the businesses are willing to put up with the meddling because of the huge advantages being in the EU provide, the silliest regulations usually have simple workarounds too.

I guess it comes down to the big government vs small government argument at the end of the day, every EU country has two governments meddling when many people around the world would view even one meddling government as being almost intolerable.

I should add that I am very pro Europe, I think Britain should go all in and help define the future of the EU. This whole in and out attitude limits our influence when we should be working with the other nations, I also think Britain and the EU should ditch NATO and form our own collective European military.

Together with all the economic and military power aligned the EU would be a superpower instead of the loose coalition it is today.

This is a great idea.

Why didn't this happen a decade ago?

The_Echo:
This is a great idea.

Why didn't this happen a decade ago?

What the E.U does is good stuff.

It just takes a long while to decide on things. But that's democracy for you.

Exterminas:
Overall the EU's meddling has been very beneficial in terms of consumer friendliness. For example, when I buy a yoghurt I know exactly how much fruit it contains based solely on the product name!

There's plenty of examples in the other direction as well, at least from a Swedish perspective. We've been forced to loosen up consumer and enviromental protection by the EU. Like forced to drop bans on certain poisons and pesticides that are harmful to people.

YES.

How fucking wonderful is Europe.

Consumers first.

Well devices would need to be built to a more universal standard I would think. Part of the way they are currently justifying the whole charger malarkey is by making the devices need different levels of power and different battery types.

Or all chargers would need to have some kind of voltage switch or something. I don't really know how realistic this is but it's a great idea. And anything that loosens Apple's hold on it's captive peripherals market is a good thing in my opinion.

Captch

Hammer Time

Braedan:
While I love the idea of standardized charging plugs, I REALLY don't like the idea of a government being able to decide how businesses are going to create products merely to be convenient. If it was bad enough that legislation was needed, then people would have stopped buying the one product that wasn't part of the standard.

Other than Apple, probably 90% of smartphones and other devices do use a universal standard, the micro USB. Basically this will just tell Apple to stop being dicks and use the industry standard.

J Tyran:

I wouldn't disagree, the standards do improve things. If recent political events in the UK are accurate even the businesses are willing to put up with the meddling because of the huge advantages being in the EU provide, the silliest regulations usually have simple workarounds too.

I guess it comes down to the big government vs small government argument at the end of the day, every EU country has two governments meddling when many people around the world would view even one meddling government as being almost intolerable.

I should add that I am very pro Europe, I think Britain should go all in and help define the future of the EU. This whole in and out attitude limits our influence when we should be working with the other nations, I also think Britain and the EU should ditch NATO and form our own collective European military.

Together with all the economic and military power aligned the EU would be a superpower instead of the loose coalition it is today.

As an Aussie I'd love to see the EU step up to their potential. For one it would show that multiple nations can join together under one banner (a first step to hopefully one day dropping the idea of nations and become an Earth government expanding into space, baby steps ofcourse), and second it'd put the EU into a position to force corporations into being more consumer friendly, less Americanized.

As I doubt that manufacturers are going to bother with creating an EU model and a non-EU model, you can expect the common standard charger bliss to come to the entire world around 2017.

FalloutJack:

VladG:
Well, pretty much everything uses micro-usb except Apple stuff and a very small handful of tablets anyway. I'm actually curious how Apple is going to handle not using their Lightning connector.

They'd sell an adapter plug to make up the difference, I would think.

They aren't allowed to solve it by selling an adapter. They need to make the actual devices universally compatible.

It's a great thing, I hear the nitwits at Apple who want little special cables for everything squirm already. Music to my ears tbh.

Lets hope it gets through to other industries as well though. There are many cases where I've seen people run around with clusters of different plugs. Especially when they do international things.

As much as I'd hate to be that guy. This is actually a terrible idea from a technology perspective. It is actually controlling how phones are constructed so even if someone actually can build a better phone the law would actually hurt the innovation and improvement of design because it is then mandated to a specific design.

Short term it is great. But long term it is actually a major negative.

Imagine if this law was made two decades ago or even a decade ago where USB wasn't king but a standard AC adapter.

Well, when will this come to the US so I can stop laughing at the lone guy/gal at work or school with an iPhone while everyone else shares their Micro USB chargers and (s)he won't buy a spare because it's expensive and (s)he doesn't listen to my recommendations on cheap online stores?

As far as Apple switching to Micro USB, it will be a tough blow to their pretentiousness and greed and to their customers that just had to get all new cables and docks. Apple could either put ports side by side close enough only one can be used at once and keep using lightning as the dock connector, but it's costly and ruins Apples stupid "clean lines, no ports seen" style. Or somehow combine them into one port. I've got a laptop with e-Sata and USB combined. Maybe they could use the side by side deal and sell chargers with 2 plugs and spreads the current between both so one could be unplugged without disrupting the charging. That still messes with Apples style, but their last option is their typical "strong arm the government and lobby(read:bribe with campaign money) their gov buddies.

iseko:
I wonder how this is going to work. Android devices all share a micro usb port. However voltages and amperes differ amongst chargers. You can really fuck up your battery if you constantly use a wrong charger. Still, prob not a fuck that is given so... Go eu

You're right about the amperes but wrong about the volts unless there's a semi-proprietary usb plug out there with a second voltage pin out there. The USB standard had the max voltage set at 5v and USB 3.0 adds a secondary optional voltage pin in addition to that one. The only thing that messes up a device with a charger with different amperage is it will charger slower if the device wants more power that what the charger is capable of and the device will get the max current it can handle if the charger's amperage rating exceeds it's own. some big devices won't even bother charging if their plugged into an extremely low current port like the typical PC port's paltry 500mA, though. That's why you can buy these disc drives with 2 usb plugs so the drive can be used with a laptop's 2 usb ports and get up to 1A to spin their motors.

Tenmar:
As much as I'd hate to be that guy. This is actually a terrible idea from a technology perspective. It is actually controlling how phones are constructed so even if someone actually can build a better phone the law would actually hurt the innovation and improvement of design because it is then mandated to a specific design.

Short term it is great. But long term it is actually a major negative.

Imagine if this law was made two decades ago or even a decade ago where USB wasn't king but a standard AC adapter.

Yeah, they need to word the law so new, better tech can replace it. A bi-annual review board or somthing needs to be formed. Micro USB 3 is on some phone and inductive charging will be, too. Unless they made a Micro USB 3 plug that split so you could plug in the 2.0 portion into a phone that could accept the full plug, this would hamper 3.0's adoption rate in new phones. Inductive might not get hurt as much if they still needed a data port.

Pointless law. If by 2017 people still aren't using wireless chargers then we have failed again as a species.

frizzlebyte:
While it's less of a problem than in the past, I'm glad the EU is doing this. It should cut down on e-waste, at least a little bit.

I doubt it.

Unless they start selling phones without mandatory charger, they will pile up just as they do now. It's more a matter of convinience than environmental protection.

Good, maybe they'll spread this to chargers in general, it's stupid everyone has their own special charger for no reason.
I don't get how it's lucrative, you have to manufacture a special charger that eventually gets reverse engineered by 3rd party people. Do people REALLY lose their chargers so often this turns a profit?

iseko:
I wonder how this is going to work. Android devices all share a micro usb port. However voltages and amperes differ amongst chargers. You can really fuck up your battery if you constantly use a wrong charger. Still, prob not a fuck that is given so... Go eu

It will be standardised so that all new chargers and sockets are compatible regardless of the device. Any phone will be able to use any generic or branded micro-usb charger because all of them will run on the same current and voltage. You'd still need converters for different national mains standards though. Or at least that's my understanding of the situation.

iseko:
I wonder how this is going to work. Android devices all share a micro usb port. However voltages and amperes differ amongst chargers. You can really fuck up your battery if you constantly use a wrong charger. Still, prob not a fuck that is given so... Go eu

Glad to see someone out there realizes that the voltage and current matter more than just the shape of the port. And if the EU is going to try to regulate those then the EU might as well just design the damn phone. Power requirements are based on the design not the other way around.

Braedan:
While I love the idea of standardized charging plugs, I REALLY don't like the idea of a government being able to decide how businesses are going to create products merely to be convenient. If it was bad enough that legislation was needed, then people would have stopped buying the one product that wasn't part of the standard.

One COULD make the argument that having a charged phone is a matter of public safety such as being able to call 911, police, firemen, ambulances, etc. and that it's vital that they be able to charge their phone from any available charger to maintain that access. I'm not sure how often people actually have their batteries die during an emergency but Hollywoood will have us believe it happens all the time so I think the EU is just trying to keep those Hollywood scenarios from happening.

Braedan:
While I love the idea of standardized charging plugs, I REALLY don't like the idea of a government being able to decide how businesses are going to create products merely to be convenient. If it was bad enough that legislation was needed, then people would have stopped buying the one product that wasn't part of the standard.

Yes, corporations really need a lot more control than they already have.

Why have the leaders elected by man make rules to reduce e-waste when you can have coporations jack up pointless consumption and kill the environment at the same time.

Hah, this well intentioned piece of legislation designed to make life easier for consumers is clearly an utterly unacceptable violation of British sovereignty and independence. Thank goodness the good, hard working, totally not racist and/or homophobic folks at UKIP who will keep us safe from such abuses.

#DailyMail

Steven Bogos:
New EU Law Forces All Cellphone Chargers to Share Common Standard

The new law will make it mandatory for all cellphones to be able to be charged through a single, universal standard.

Provided the Council of Ministers green lights the regulation, the law will come into effect in 2017... so phone makers do have a few years to get their act in gear. EU countries will have until 2016 to put it into their local laws. The European Parliament session that drafted the law found that a common charger would "reduce waste, costs and hassle for users."

Permalink

Not to be nitpicking here but this is not a regulation, it's a directive. the core difference is that regulations are directly applicable to all EU member states without them having to do anything. Directives, meanwhile, requires implementation in the individual EU countries and there's a certain leeway or freedom as to how each country's government decides to implement it.

Also from the press release, it states that:

They amended the draft law to stipulate that the ability to work with common chargers will be an essential requirement for radio equipment.

This suggest that the provision of an adapter for micro usb may be sufficient to comply the rule. I haven't read the main text but there's nothing to suggest that there's mandatory adoption of a single charging design as long as there is compatibility.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here