Europe will require USB-C chargers. Apple isn't happy

Technology

CNN 23 September, 2021 - 09:29am 18 views

Apple furious at EU plan for standard chargers

Yahoo News 23 September, 2021 - 09:20am

The EU has unveiled plans to make all tech firms adopt the same charging ports for phones, tablets, game consoles and many other gadgets.

And that hits the Silicon Valley giant more than any other brand.

It uses a different cable from the USB-C connector that Brussels wants to make standard.

New Android phones already tend to use the EU's favoured port.

Apple says the regulation will stifle innovation, and hurt consumers.

Industry commissioner Thierry Breton sees it the other way round.

He says it will mean people no longer need a jumble of different cables, and can power up all their devices from the same charger.

Breton dismissed worries about innovation, and claims that the measure was aimed at Apple:

"No, it's not at all against innovation. By the way, it's not against anyone. It is just everything we do - like everything I do as a commissioner and everything we do as the Commission - it is for the consumers."

The commission also sees environmental benefits.

It estimates that 1,000 tonnes of electronic waste can be avoided as a result of reduced charger production, with CO2 emissions also cut.

Now the proposal will need a green light from EU member states and lawmakers.

After that companies will have two years to adapt their devices.

EU lawmakers are finally set to standardize charging ports for consumer electronics devices like smartphones and tablets -- announcing a proposal today that, once adopted, will see the region settle on USB-C as a universal charging port for gadgets which will also include cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogames consoles. The Commission plan will also see regional lawmakers unbundle the sale of chargers from mobiles so they are not automatically included in the box. Fast charging standards will also be harmonized under the proposal -- while device makers will have requirements to provide users with "relevant information about charging performance", including info on the power required and if a device supports fast charging.

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Apple furious at EU plan for standard chargers

BBC News 23 September, 2021 - 09:20am

The EU has unveiled plans to make all tech firms adopt the same charging ports for phones, tablets, game consoles and many other gadgets.

And that hits the Silicon Valley giant more than any other brand.

It uses a different cable from the USB-C connector that Brussels wants to make standard.

New Android phones already tend to use the EU's favoured port.

Apple says the regulation will stifle innovation, and hurt consumers.

Industry commissioner Thierry Breton sees it the other way round.

He says it will mean people no longer need a jumble of different cables, and can power up all their devices from the same charger.

Breton dismissed worries about innovation, and claims that the measure was aimed at Apple:

"No, it's not at all against innovation. By the way, it's not against anyone. It is just everything we do - like everything I do as a commissioner and everything we do as the Commission - it is for the consumers."

The commission also sees environmental benefits.

It estimates that 1,000 tonnes of electronic waste can be avoided as a result of reduced charger production, with CO2 emissions also cut.

Now the proposal will need a green light from EU member states and lawmakers.

After that companies will have two years to adapt their devices.

EU lawmakers are finally set to standardize charging ports for consumer electronics devices like smartphones and tablets -- announcing a proposal today that, once adopted, will see the region settle on USB-C as a universal charging port for gadgets which will also include cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogames consoles. The Commission plan will also see regional lawmakers unbundle the sale of chargers from mobiles so they are not automatically included in the box. Fast charging standards will also be harmonized under the proposal -- while device makers will have requirements to provide users with "relevant information about charging performance", including info on the power required and if a device supports fast charging.

"What voter ID laws are racist?" Cruz asked. "Apologies Mr. Cruz, your state of Texas, perhaps," the legal scholar replied.

In this video, we show you the best iPhone 13 deals currently available. iPhone 13 launched with some pretty insane deals – mainly, that carriers are now offering “free” iPhones (with an eligible trade-in). And some bonus deals on top of those carrier offerings are making now a pretty sweet time to get the newest …

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Kethevane Gorjestani, reported that she "was asked by a very startled Australian reporter whether WH wranglers were always so strict about ushering the pool out without questions."

Packers trainer Bryan "Flea" Engel walked through the end zone late into the night on Sunday until he found Aaron Jones' priceless pendant.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said “there's not a lot of direct United States exposure” to Evergrande’s debt.

Tourists could see people carrying rifles and hear gunshots throughout the park.

The pandemic should have taught gig workers to keep good records for expenses and income. Now they'll need to understand new rules that hit in 2022.

The end of virtual queues for Disney's Hollywood Studios' wildly popular "Star Wars" ride is really just the beginning of the tollbooths.

Scott Kowalchyk/CBSDuring his Late Show monologue Tuesday night, Stephen Colbert joked that a more accurate title for Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s new book Peril might have been “AAAAGGH!” When the authors joined him later in the show, they confirmed his worst fears about just how dangerous the Trump administration really was.“It was a discovery for us that this was a national security crisis,” Woodward explained. “We kind of thought that all of Trump was a domestic problem politically.” But

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Apple furious at EU plan for standard chargers

AFP News Agency 23 September, 2021 - 09:20am

The EU has unveiled plans to make all tech firms adopt the same charging ports for phones, tablets, game consoles and many other gadgets.

And that hits the Silicon Valley giant more than any other brand.

It uses a different cable from the USB-C connector that Brussels wants to make standard.

New Android phones already tend to use the EU's favoured port.

Apple says the regulation will stifle innovation, and hurt consumers.

Industry commissioner Thierry Breton sees it the other way round.

He says it will mean people no longer need a jumble of different cables, and can power up all their devices from the same charger.

Breton dismissed worries about innovation, and claims that the measure was aimed at Apple:

"No, it's not at all against innovation. By the way, it's not against anyone. It is just everything we do - like everything I do as a commissioner and everything we do as the Commission - it is for the consumers."

The commission also sees environmental benefits.

It estimates that 1,000 tonnes of electronic waste can be avoided as a result of reduced charger production, with CO2 emissions also cut.

Now the proposal will need a green light from EU member states and lawmakers.

After that companies will have two years to adapt their devices.

EU lawmakers are finally set to standardize charging ports for consumer electronics devices like smartphones and tablets -- announcing a proposal today that, once adopted, will see the region settle on USB-C as a universal charging port for gadgets which will also include cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogames consoles. The Commission plan will also see regional lawmakers unbundle the sale of chargers from mobiles so they are not automatically included in the box. Fast charging standards will also be harmonized under the proposal -- while device makers will have requirements to provide users with "relevant information about charging performance", including info on the power required and if a device supports fast charging.

"What voter ID laws are racist?" Cruz asked. "Apologies Mr. Cruz, your state of Texas, perhaps," the legal scholar replied.

Tesla broke ground on its "Megafactory," a new production facility in California, so christened because it will produce the company’s large-scale battery system Megapack. News of the previously unannounced factory was confirmed by the Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal, in a Facebook post that was deleted and re-posted. “We are proud to be the home of the Megafactory, Tesla’s most recent expansion here,” he said.

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iPhone 14 could be last with a Lightning port due to EU ban plan - and Apple is 'concerned'

Techradar 23 September, 2021 - 09:02am

The Lightning port's days could be severely numbered

"We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it," an Apple spokesman told us, "which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world."

The EU's proposal - which is not yet final - says smartphone manufacturers will be given 24 months to transition to the universal connector type, and Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, noted that it would not explicitly ban alternatives such as Apple's Lightning port.

“If Apple wants to continue to have their own plug, they will have the ability to do it. It’s not against innovation, it’s just to make the lives of our fellow citizens a little bit more easy,” he said at a press briefing in Brussels, according to the Associated Press, adding that device makers could still put two different ports on their phones if they want.

According to the proposal, all phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld video game consoles, headsets and headphones sold in the European Union would have to feature USB-C ports.

The Lightning port made waves when it was introduced on the iPhone 5 back in 2012, replacing the then long-standing 30-pin connector, which led to a social outcry as a wide range of docks and other accessories that relied on the larger connector type quickly became incompatible with new iPhones.

While some owners at the time were unhappy with the switch of connector type, which meant existing products losing functionality, consumers have moved on in the nine years since, and Lightning is now a household name.

But those defunct 30-pin accessories are an example of why the EU is keen to push this proposal through, as it looks to reduce waste when it comes to multiple charging cables.

"European consumers have been frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers," EU executive vice president Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. "We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger."

An Apple spokesperson told TechRadar the firm isn't a fan of the EU's proposal, though it appreciates the goals behind the plan.

"Apple stands for innovation and deeply cares about the customer experience. Some of the most innovative thinking at Apple goes toward building products with recycled and renewable materials," an emailed statement reads.

"We share the European Commission's commitment to protecting the environment and are already carbon neutral for all of our corporate emissions worldwide, and by 2030 every single Apple device and its usage will be carbon neutral.

"We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation"

Apple will continue to work with the European Commission and gather more details about what exactly this means, although there are concerns the ruling may harm the firm's ecosystem and the 24 month transition period isn't long enough.

This news doesn't come as a surprise, as news of the proposal leaked last month. As we've mentioned, these plans are not final, and there's plenty of time for them to change significantly - or be scrapped altogether - depending on the backlash from the industry.

Apple is quickly becoming the outlier when it comes to handheld device ports, with one of the other big holdouts - Amazon - finally switching its popular Kindle ereader range to USB-C with its latest generation just a few days ago, after persisting with microUSB far longer than other major manufacturers.

However, even Apple has started to embrace USB-C over recent years with both its MacBook and iPad Pro ranges now featuring the port. 

These moves have prompted rumors and speculation that it's only a matter of time before iPhone follows suit - which seems like a logical step - but Apple has stuck by the Lightning connector for its most recent installment, the iPhone 13 series, which arrived earlier this month.

Apple could opt to produce two hardware versions of future iPhones, one with a USB-C port for the European market to get past any legislation, while still offering a Lightning-clad variant to the rest of the world, including its home market of the US.

Splitting its hardware portfolio this way will increase productions costs for Apple, something it's unlikely to want to do, so this probably won't be the resolution it opts for.

Other Apple rumors suggest the firm could go with a portless design, relying instead on its MagSafe technology - introduced with the iPhone 12 series in 2020 - and wireless charging support to handle all future charging requirements.

There's still a long way to go then, and this won't be the last we hear about this proposal, with the potential for multiple twists and turns in the next couple of years.

Via RFI

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How the EU wants to force Apple to adopt common charger

POLITICO Europe 23 September, 2021 - 08:28am

The US tech giant has been resisting hard legislation for a common charging system since 2009.

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Brussels has a plan to empty your drawers full of useless chargers: making them illegal.

The European Commission is ready to use hard legislation to force tech manufacturers into harmonizing charging solutions for small electronic devices like smartphones and tablets, it announced today.

“The Commission had to go ahead and put an end to this sea monster,” said Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton. “We propose more freedom, less costs [for consumers] ... and it is also about reducing waste.”

Even if the Commission does not say so, the main target of this new legislative move is inarguably Apple, as the company’s flagship product, the iPhone, uses a proprietary charging solution called Lightning.

Apple said in a statement: “We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe."

The company has successfully opposed efforts to impose legally binding measures for more than a decade, arguing that the harm it could bring to innovation outweighs ecological benefits.

But now the Commission is trying a new tack. Rather than trying to standardize the charger itself, it wants to impose that all new smartphones — as well as tablets, digital cameras, headsets, loudspeakers and handheld video game consoles — offer a USB-C connector for charging.

That would create interoperability between chargers and brands, allowing consumers to use the same charger and cable for different devices, the Commission argues.

By requiring manufacturers to stop selling a charger with every new smartphone, the Commission also hopes to reduce e-waste by 1,000 tons annually. Currently, about 4 million tons of e-waste are collected in the EU each year.

Imposing a USB-C connector on all devices won’t fully solve the issue if brands don’t make chargers interoperable, said Ernestas Oldyrevas, program manager with the environmental group ECOS, also warning that failure to standardize fast charging protocols could damage batteries and create safety risks.

The Commission's is addressing this issue by requiring that software protocol for fast charging be interoperable between brands and devices in order to avoid fragmentation.

NGOs also warn that the decision not to target wireless charging systems is a major loophole that risks undermining the Commission's efforts.

Manufacturers could turn to solely using wireless systems to avoid the rules, something that would "completely negate the overall purpose of this initiative," said Oldyrevas. Apple introduced its own wireless charging system called "Magsafe" late last year, with the launch of the iPhone 12.

Bruno Basalisco, author of a study on the common charger commissioned by Apple, disagreed.

There is “a major disconnect between the small size of the environmental benefits that can be gained via the regulation, €13 million, and the large size of the consumer harm from losing out on innovation potential, €1.5 billion,” he said.

A Commission official said the impact assessment on wireless charging found that "it would be premature to regulate now," given it is "still a developing technology" and there is "no high level of fragmentation in the market." The rules will still apply to devices that include both options of being charged wired and wirelessly, the official added.

The proposal will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. The Commission has said it expects the new rules to kick in by 2024.

Joint statement after phone call offers warm words but not much action.

Digital minister says the government’s plan is to keep regulation ‘at a minimum.’

‘Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible,’ the country’s deputy defense minister said.

EU Reporter’s coverage on Huawei included anonymous news articles taken almost word-for-word from Huawei’s press releases.

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How the EU wants to force Apple to adopt common charger

iMore 23 September, 2021 - 08:28am

The US tech giant has been resisting hard legislation for a common charging system since 2009.

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Brussels has a plan to empty your drawers full of useless chargers: making them illegal.

The European Commission is ready to use hard legislation to force tech manufacturers into harmonizing charging solutions for small electronic devices like smartphones and tablets, it announced today.

“The Commission had to go ahead and put an end to this sea monster,” said Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton. “We propose more freedom, less costs [for consumers] ... and it is also about reducing waste.”

Even if the Commission does not say so, the main target of this new legislative move is inarguably Apple, as the company’s flagship product, the iPhone, uses a proprietary charging solution called Lightning.

Apple said in a statement: “We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe."

The company has successfully opposed efforts to impose legally binding measures for more than a decade, arguing that the harm it could bring to innovation outweighs ecological benefits.

But now the Commission is trying a new tack. Rather than trying to standardize the charger itself, it wants to impose that all new smartphones — as well as tablets, digital cameras, headsets, loudspeakers and handheld video game consoles — offer a USB-C connector for charging.

That would create interoperability between chargers and brands, allowing consumers to use the same charger and cable for different devices, the Commission argues.

By requiring manufacturers to stop selling a charger with every new smartphone, the Commission also hopes to reduce e-waste by 1,000 tons annually. Currently, about 4 million tons of e-waste are collected in the EU each year.

Imposing a USB-C connector on all devices won’t fully solve the issue if brands don’t make chargers interoperable, said Ernestas Oldyrevas, program manager with the environmental group ECOS, also warning that failure to standardize fast charging protocols could damage batteries and create safety risks.

The Commission's is addressing this issue by requiring that software protocol for fast charging be interoperable between brands and devices in order to avoid fragmentation.

NGOs also warn that the decision not to target wireless charging systems is a major loophole that risks undermining the Commission's efforts.

Manufacturers could turn to solely using wireless systems to avoid the rules, something that would "completely negate the overall purpose of this initiative," said Oldyrevas. Apple introduced its own wireless charging system called "Magsafe" late last year, with the launch of the iPhone 12.

Bruno Basalisco, author of a study on the common charger commissioned by Apple, disagreed.

There is “a major disconnect between the small size of the environmental benefits that can be gained via the regulation, €13 million, and the large size of the consumer harm from losing out on innovation potential, €1.5 billion,” he said.

A Commission official said the impact assessment on wireless charging found that "it would be premature to regulate now," given it is "still a developing technology" and there is "no high level of fragmentation in the market." The rules will still apply to devices that include both options of being charged wired and wirelessly, the official added.

The proposal will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. The Commission has said it expects the new rules to kick in by 2024.

Joint statement after phone call offers warm words but not much action.

Digital minister says the government’s plan is to keep regulation ‘at a minimum.’

‘Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible,’ the country’s deputy defense minister said.

EU Reporter’s coverage on Huawei included anonymous news articles taken almost word-for-word from Huawei’s press releases.

Forgot your password? Click here.

By logging in, you confirm acceptance of our POLITICO Privacy Policy.

EU proposes mandatory USB-C on all devices, including iPhones

The Verge 23 September, 2021 - 06:26am

With the aim of reducing e-waste

In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras. Manufacturers will also be forced to make their fast-charging standards interoperable, and to provide information to customers about what charging standards their device supports. Under the proposal, customers will be able to buy new devices without an included charger.

The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless, chargers, EU commissioner Thierry Breton said in a press conference, adding that “there is plenty of room for innovation on wireless.” A spokesperson for the Commission subsequently confirmed to The Verge that a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable. But, if a device charges exclusively via wireless, like Apple’s rumored portless iPhone, there’d be no requirement for a USB-C charging port.

“Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that,” said commissioner Thierry Breton. “With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.”

“European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger,” European Commission executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager said.

Today’s proposal is focused on the charging port on the device end, but the Commission says it eventually hopes to ensure “full interoperability” on both ends of the cable. The power supply end will be addressed in a review to be launched later this year.

The proposals follow a vote in the European Parliament in January 2020 when lawmakers voted for new rules on common chargers. As of 2016, the amount of electronic waste produced across the bloc amounted to around 12.3 million metric tons.

The biggest impact of the new rules is likely to be felt by Apple, which continues to ship phones with a Lightning connector as opposed to the increasingly universal USB-C port. As of 2018, around 29 percent of phone chargers sold in the EU used USB-C, 21 percent used Lightning, and around half used the older Micro USB standard, according to an EU assessment reported by Reuters. These proportions are likely to have shifted considerably as USB-C has replaced Micro USB across all but the least expensive Android phones.

Efforts to get smartphone manufacturers to use the same charging standard in the EU date back to at least 2009, when Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Nokia signed a voluntary agreement to use a common standard. In the following years, the industry gradually adopted Micro USB and, more recently, USB-C as a common charging port. However, despite reducing the amount of charging standards from over 30 down to just three (Micro USB, USB-C, and Lightning), regulators have said this voluntary approach has fallen short of its objectives.

Apple was a notable outlier in that it never included a Micro USB port on its phones directly. Instead, it offered a Micro USB to 30-pin adapter.

Apple said it disagreed with today’s proposals in a statement. “We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” a spokesperson from the company told Reuters. The company has also previously objected to the proposals because it says they risk creating e-waste by forcing people to throw out their existing Lightning accessories if they’re incompatible with the universal standard.

Although it’s continued to use Lightning, Apple has made its own efforts to reduce charger e-waste. Last year, it stopped shipping charging bricks or earbuds in the box with new iPhones and supplied them only with a Lightning to USB-C cable. However, the move was met with a mixed response, with some arguing that it helped Apple’s bottom line more than the environment.

While European lawmakers focus mainly on wired chargers, wireless charging is becoming increasingly popular across smartphones and has largely converged on a single cross-platform standard: Qi. There have even been rumors that Apple could ship an iPhone without a Lightning port and have it rely entirely on wireless charging for power.

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Apple could be FORCED by EU to change iPhone charging cables

TechCrunch 23 September, 2021 - 06:20am

By Ian Randall For Mailonline

Apple may soon be forced to mothball its proprietary lightning connector as the EU unveiled plans to force all new smartphones to use USB-C as standard from 2022.

The planned change, announced today, would not affect the majority of device manufacturers, as many have already adopted the fast-charging connector design.

If delivered, the move would achieve a goal the European bloc has been working on for more than a decade — with Apple the primary holdout against a unified standard.

Manufacturers will be given two years to ensure devices support the new standard. 

Since 2012, iPhones have come with the company's own Lightning port and connecting cables — which replaced the previous 30-pin connector.

However, the newest models have been shipping with a lightning-to-USB-C adapter cable which allows the iPhone to be connected to a USB-C socket if needed.

The push by the EU will certainly be cheered by the millions of people who have searched through a drawer full of cables for the right charger. 

However, officials reportedly also want to cut down on the 11,000 metric tons of electronic waste thrown out every year by Europeans.

Apple has long countered this argument with the suggestion that forcing users away from the lightning cable would instead create an 'unprecedented volume' of waste. 

In addition, they have argued, the switch could cost consumers up to €1.5billion. 

Apple may soon be forced to mothball its proprietary lightning connector (right) as the EU unveiled plans to force all new smartphones to use USB-C (left) as standard from 2022

Apple has long been a thorn in the side of the EU's plans to force a unified standard for charging cables.

Apple claims that changing its iPhone charging ports to USB-C would 'stifle innovation'.

Speaking last year, an Apple spokesperson said: 'We believe that regulations that impose harmonization of smartphone chargers would stifle innovation rather than encourage it. 

'It will harm consumers in Europe and the economy in as a whole.'

It is believed that the firm also favours its proprietary cable for its higher waterproof-rating than USB-C.

In addition, Apple is able to regulate the quality of lightning cables and accessories through its 'Made for ‌iPhone‌' program.

This is also a source of profit that the firm is likely reluctant to part with.

However, Apple did switch its iPad tablets to USB-C back in 2018. 

'Some of the most innovative thinking at Apple goes toward building products with recycled and renewable materials.

'We share the European Commission’s commitment to protecting the environment and are already carbon neutral for all of our corporate emissions worldwide, and by 2030 every single Apple device and its usage will be carbon neutral.

'We create products that enhance people’s lives, making everyday tasks easier and more efficient, including how you charge and transfer data on your device.

'We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world.

'We look forward to continued engagement with stakeholders to help find a solution that protects consumer interest, as well as the industry’s ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to users.'

The tech firm added that they are working with the European Commission to understand the details of the proposed regulations, calling the transition period both short and a 'major concern'.

Apple also expressed the hope that the EU will continue to allow existing phone models to be sold in order to prevent the premature disposals of phones as part of trade-ins for newer models. 

It is estimated that some 420 million mobile phones and other portable electronic devices were sold in the European Union last year — many of which require charging or data transfer cables in order to be used. 

According to the European Commission, the average person living in the union owns at least three chargers. Of these, two are used on a regular basis.

However, 38 per cent of people have reported not being able to charge their phones at least once because they could not find a compatible charger.

'Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices,' said EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton.

'With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that.

'With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics.

This, he concluded, is 'an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.'

'Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices,' said EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton (pictured here at the EU's Brussel headquarters during a media conference that was held today). 'With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that'

'European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers,' added the European Commission's executive vice-president for 'Europe Fit for the Digital Age', Margrethe Vestager.

'We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger.

'This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions,' she added. 

According to the UN, a shocking 52.7 million tons of electronic waste — including phones, TVs and other gadgets — was disposed of back in 2019.

This figure, the equivalent in mass of 350 cruise ships, was an increased of 9.1 million tons on the same measure taken back in 2014 and is expected to reach 72.8 million tons by 2030 — almost doubling in just 16 years, experts warned. 

In fact, e-waste is the world's fastest-growing domestic waste stream, fuelled by higher consumption rates, short life cycles and few options for repair. 

The push by the EU will certainly be cheered by the millions of people who have searched through a drawer full of cables for the right charger. Pictured: five common charging cable designs (from left-right): USB-A, USB-C, USB Mini B, USB Micro B and Apple's Lightning cable

USB-C is an industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power on a single cable. 

It was developed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the group of companies that has developed, certified and shepherded the USB standard over the years. 

USB-IF members include Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung.

At first glance, the USB-C connector looks like the micro USB connector, used in old Android smartphones. 

However, it is more oval in shape and slightly thicker. 

One of the best features of the USB-C is its 'flippability', which means it doesn't have a 'correct' orientation, and can be used either way. 

'However, when purchasing a genuine Apple Lightning cable, there is a given amount of trust bought with the product.

'Therefore purchasers are guaranteed an authentic, robust and safe cable.

'Third party developers of USB-C cables have the potential of having safety concerns or even being developed for the use in hacking.

'Those purchasing any cable must do their research to make sure they are not buying a fake or dangerous product,' he warned.

After attempting for more than a decade to cajole the industry into adopting a common standard, the EU's executive commission is pushing the issue. 

Under the proposed law, phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld video game consoles, headsets and headphones sold in the European Union would all have to come with USB-C charging ports.

However, the legislation — which will form part of the EU's Radio Equipment Directive — must still be scrutinised by Members of the European Parliament and their various national governments  before it can passed into active law.

Apple released its latest major smartphone operating system update — iOS 15, — earlier this week, complete with a generous array of tweaks to Maps, Safari, FaceTime and more. 

The new update, which was revealed back in June, includes the ability to FaceTime with Androids and a new Live Text tool that can recognise handwriting from photos.

Notifications also have a new look, including contact photos and larger app icons to make them easier to identify. 

iOS 15 includes the ability to FaceTime with Androids, a new Live Text tool that can recognise handwriting from photos and a redesigned Safari experience

Monday's release of iOS 15, as well as iPadOS 15 and WatchOS 8 for tablets and smartwatches, comes ahead of the release of iPhone 13 tomorrow.

Apple's latest flagship phone was revealed by the tech giant last week. 

Rather than being restricted to the new device, iOS 15 runs on all Apple phones from 2015's iPhone 6S and newer.

iPhone users can install the update by heading to the Settings app on their device, before tapping on General and then Software Update. 

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