back to article Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

Just spent 50 quid on the latest iPhone dock? You'd better start saving for a new one, because the EU has set a timetable for its plans to force all phone manufacturers to use the same charger. Although the EU is well known for its diversity policies, it has been planning to homogenise phone chargers for some time. Ultimately …

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Oh Dear.

It seems the EU is holding Apple wrong.

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Silver badge

What exactly are these regulations trying to accomplish?

What difference would it make if you have a charger that takes a cable with standard USB port on end and micro USB on the other, versus the same thing except it has a different connector on the end? Are they really concerned about CABLES going bad? Because they rarely do, it is the part you plug in that goes bad and contributes far more to "e-waste".

Besides, mandating micro-USB by 2017 is TOTALLY MORONIC because it is being replaced by a new connector (reversible like Lightning) in a year. They might as well mandate PCs sold in 2017 have a PS/2 port while they're at it.

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Re: What exactly are these regulations trying to accomplish?

The only difference that this will make is to a few political types who will style themselves 'Champions of the Consumer'. Prices of new phones will not be effected, prices of stand alone cables and chargers will go up, and people who travel and don't want to play the EC games will have to carry yet another adaptor as availability of spare non-Micro USB cables/chargers will be reduced.

So I guess I was wrong, the politicians will still get credit, but consumers will ultimately get screwed, so that's two differences.

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Apple charger is universal already.

It has already been said in the thread, but the charger is already universal as it has a USB plug on it. I charge my iPhone on a Kindle charger all the time and on my Windows PC through - you know - the USB port.

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Anonymous Coward

So all technological improvements in connectors require EU approval on a common standard. What could possibly be the downside. Time to brush up on my RS232.

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Holmes

Personal anecdote of no evidential worth

I have just been away for two weeks with my phone (HTC1X), my tablet (Nexus7) and my Kindle. My problem wasn't chargers, but wall sockets! I survived by plugging in my laptop (Lenovo 3000 N100: old but v.good screen), then using three USB-to-mUSB cables at once, remembering to insert into the Kindle other-way-up.

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Re: Personal anecdote of no evidential worth

Well, just wait awhile. Some busy body quasi-government agency will be along shortly to make you buy the right thing.

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What about the mains side of the charger?

Shouldn't the EU be standardising the mains plug on the charger? That would be far more useful. The USB plug is already standardised. Yes we'd have to retire our uk homes, but think of the harmony that would follow.

Apple's lightning connector is clearly superior to micro USB in usability. It's actually Apple's first completely purpose designed dock connector for IOS devices; the old one was simply a transitional hodgepodge of disparate interfaces on the same connector: dual charging systems, FireWire, USB, video and audio. The lightning connector is also a key component in Apple's walled garden management of the third party accessory market, because it has to be licensed. Clearly, a lot of users value this approach, which gives a sort of uniform trustworthiness to accessories.

A variety of lightning adapters is available, and the same approach is used on the mac with Thunderbolt. For the EU to outlaw Apples product architecture and business model would be moronic. No-one has to buy an Apple product if they don't want to.

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a53

But Apple lightening cables are of shite build quality, they fall apart at the slightest excuse. I've reverted to the old cable with an added adaptor.

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The solution

Inductive charging. No plug needed, therefore no need to conform to a standard plug. That’s what I would do to maintain my uniqueness if I were a leading manufacturer with a ‘premium’ product.

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Re: The solution

Inductive charging is fine, if you don't mind it being so slow. I guess it has a good role for people who don't work from their phone and can leave their phone charging for extended periods. A couple of the guys here at work use inductive charging for their phone, and even the new, higher output models, are painfully slow. Maybe it'll speed up one day.

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Re: The solution

My Nokia wireless chargers charge at about 80% efficiency or more. Since my phone lasts all day without a charge anyway, charging fast is hardly an issue.

The advantage of wireless charging, apart from the obvious lack of fiddling with cables, is that one can just put the phone down, grab charge for whatever period and pick the phone up and go, or not go, as required. Jump in the shower, grab 15 minutes charging.

This results in a phone almost always charged, for desk types or road warriors at least.

There is even a portable wireless charging block now for people on the go who don't want to have a cable attached to their phone but still need a boost in a high-use day.

Once you have it, you despise the cable system.

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Anonymous Coward

micro USB is not the solution

Micro USB is crap. The cables are crap and the connectors are crap. I've bought expensive and cheap cables and they don't last, and I've had several devices that have had the connector fail. I'm not rough on them, either.

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Anonymous Coward

What is an "Apple charger"?

There has NEVER been an Apple proprietary phone charger.

Apple has shipped standard USB chargers with every iPhone ever. And that's the only logical way of doing things. If Apple permanently affixed a proprietary connector to their chargers, they would also have to include separate data cables with each phone, which would be unnecessary (and costly) waste.

Now, if somebody wants to say there should be a standard connector on the PHONE for charging, then say that. Don't confuse everybody by talking about "chargers."

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Chargers and plugs. EU regs. So that's sorted then.

Oh brilliant, an EU spec for a standard charger. Pardon me if I'm not filled with optimism.

As an EV driver, I see the utter failure of EU plug/charger standardisation efforts on a daily basis. Perfectly good standard developed (Type 2 Mode 3, German leccy tech, so it works). Idiot-proof 7-pin design which cannot be inserted the wrong way up. Data transmission built into the spec alongside the power transmission bit. Intelligent enough to enable the car to tell the charge post what chargerate it can accept, so correct amperage is supplied. In fact it's so good that Tesla have adopted the standard for the Model S in Europe; which has a 7-pin socket on Euro spec cars, as opposed to the 3-pin used in USA.

But the French and the German put a DIFFERENT plug on the car end. The Swedes haven't fully implanted the data bit. And now the Germans have now decided they'll be using the new CCS standard (essentially TWO plugs, splitting the data and power bits).

And because Renault and Nissan can't agree (even though they're the same company) we still get Japanese standard connectors on the Leaf, whilst Renault EVs use Euro kit.

And that's only AC, then there's the whole nonsense with Japan-standard CHAdeMO.

Grrrrr.......

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Silver badge

You still use a plug to charge the phone?

How last year of you.

You still use a connector to send music to sound systems?

How last century of you.

You still need a connector to perform updates?

Good grief!

So, all in all, hardly an issue for the future - phone-wise in any case. One would hope wireless charging for lower-end phones will proceed apace.

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