Will this spill over to Apples devices everywhere?

Hard to say. I suspect it will.

Apple could have a separate design for the EU of all its devices and keep its proprietary chargers for the US and other markets - but that would presumably push up production costs overall, and it would also have implications for plug in devices generally.

As a EU citizen, I am not too happy about this regulation. It will go into effect “autumn 2024” and it dictates USB-C. Thinking USB-D or some next generation connector will be on its way by then. Of course, maybe the USB-C and Thunderbolt spec will be plenty for small devices for quite some time, but I still don’t see that enforcing technical lock-in being the role of EU regulators. e-Waste aside, the connector type won’t mitigate that if cables continue to be poorly made and easily breakable unless treated like newborn babies.


I find all this activity within the EU recently very confusing. It’s like they collectively decided they have the ability to legislate Apple into doing everything that they want without seeming rhyme or reason. What am I missing for all these misguided attempts at muscling Apple and other tech giants?

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I suspect it is a difference of viewpoints - whereas the US is largely pro-business, the EU is largely pro-consumer.


Being pro-consumer is fine and to be commended, but from an outside perspective it seems a bit suspect that the EU wants to have a say in the material design of Apple’s products, as well as unfettered access to all processes under the hood, particularly for the security enclave.

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Yes, the proposed and far progressed plans for “chat control” is downright Orwellian, it will break any semblance of privacy left. I don’t think the public at large are aware yet, but I keep my pitchfork close and sharpened… I really can’t see how this can even be considered a possibility in Germany, who has some of the most stringent privacy protections in Europe.

I don’t live in Europe, but it is a really bad idea for the government to dictate how technology companies should design their products. What happens in 20 years when USB-C is no longer state of the art. Do they have to beg and plead the EU to let them use something new? I’d rather companies be allowed to innovate and let consumers choose.


I find some of the news articles about this to be just completely clueless.

“Consumers will only need one charging cable”. UM…yeah. Consumers with a tablet, laptop, and cell phone will only need one charging cable. Because all of those devices, naturally, will never need to be charged at the same time, and multi-device charging stations clearly aren’t a thing. :slight_smile:

“USB C is capable of delivering 240 watts of power and 40 Gbps of data”. Yes, for cables that cost an absolutely obscene amount of money. If that’s the “one cable” the EU has in mind, that cable costs $30 or more. I’ve found that even crappy USB-C cables are more expensive than the other options.

Nobody bothers to note that the EU picked a cable standard that has multiple, incompatible flavors, seemingly without mandating minimum standards for those cables (happy to be corrected if you have info!). I also don’t think they proposed any standard labeling to make it so we can tell the cables apart. Need a USB-C cable for your laptop? You can’t use the one that charges your phone, so you’ll either be carrying one super-expensive cable or multiple cables. Oh, and if you ever get those cables mixed up in your bag, good luck telling them apart.

I don’t hate USB-C. I don’t even hate having a more universal charging standard. But if we’re proposing legislation to solve the problem, I think it would be nice if the legislation (a) actually solved the problem, (b) solved it in a sane way, and (c) didn’t create a stack of new problems in the process. :slight_smile:


That’s a good point. I wonder if technically Thunderbolt would out of regulations then. :thinking:

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I’m generally in favour of this. I love having USB-C for multiple devices, and I know my family will (eventually) appreciate having fewer chargers to track.

Note that the ruling is for chargers, not cables, and that they have left implementation like labelling to industry (s far as I understand).

So, once this is in effect, I know that if I take any charger and any USB-C cable, I can plug it into my device and it won’t go Bang. Plus I own fewer, unused, chargers.
If I want faster charging etc, then I buy a more powerful charger and more expensive cable. If I buy a16" MBP, its chargers and cable will be great for anything I own.

I personally think the main problem was all the different chargers for Nokia, Samsung, Dell, , Apple, etc. And every device had different voltage and current inputs. It was a mess that was polluting the world and industry couldn’t care less. Things are better now, but I personally attribute that to this drive from the EU.


Because “Europe” or rather the European Union. :crazy_face: But let’s not make this a political discussion. I know that will kill this thread (too) soon.

Well, I meant Europe in this case. It consists of more countries than the EU, and the German stance on privacy is well-known. Language is tricky… I am genuinely curious about that regulation tho - but sure, I am not here to talk politics either, except when it pertains to charging connectors :slight_smile:

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There’s a faq from last year, when this law was originally proposed, and it says that the standard chosen can be changed. Of course, that would probably require a new vote and everything - but we’re not locked to use USB-C into the next century ;p

Also, this specifically excludes wireless charging, and it doesn’t prohibit anyone from making devices with more than one type of charging port.

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I’m not an Apple shareholder, so I don’t have an interest in the revenue Apple gets from MFi licensing.

I haven’t deeply considered the environmental benefits the EU claims.

I don’t really have an informed view on if this will ‘stifle innovation’ or not.

But I know one thing for sure…

If Apple had offered me the choice of a USB-C version of an iPhone anytime since 2016ish, there’s no way I would have bought the lightning version.

I look forward to not having lightning on my iPhone.


I bet apple are delighted by this because they’ve been wanting to switch to USB-C for years, but didn’t want to face the backlash from consumers.

And now they’ve got an excuse to make the switch AND they’ve got someone else to blame.


As an added bonus, you get to re-purchase all those Lightning dongles for USB-C versions too :grin:

“At a press conference on August 12th, 1986, US President Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

That seems to be true the world over.


While I like that USB-C is reversible and sturdier than its predecessor, Micro-USB, standards compliance and quality assurance has been a mess. I have zero trust when buying USB-C cables and I’m not looking forward to diving back into that rabbit hole in the future. Yes, a common cable is nice, but I’d rather have a mixed bag of connectors than a mixed bag of cable quality at this point.

That, and I don’t like some parts of USB-C’s design vs. Lightning. The female USB-C connector has a standup post in the middle with the contacts, and it makes lint and dust accumulation easier, while cleaning it out is harder.

Presumably you will be able to buy Apple USB-C cables and attachments which will be both compliant and quality assured.*

*My experience of Apple lightning cables and power cables has not been great.

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