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Europe gives Apple a smack in the chops on USB-C power standardization


One of the many ways Apple makes its billions is by only offering proprietary software and hardware. This is not just the obvious products such as macOS or iPhones. Everything that Apple can slap a claim on — such as the shape of a tablet — so it can charge you more, it will. So it is that an official Apple 1-meter USB-C to Lightning cable will run you $19, while the best USB-C cable that PC World found in a recent round-up cost $13.

For Apple, it’s all about the bucks. But the European Union (EU) has apparently had enough.

The 27-nation European Commission decided its citizens deserve a common charger cable standard for their smartphones and all other devices. (The Commission has been working on this issue since 2019.) It argues, and I agree, that it’s a waste of money and resources to have many incompatible charging standards.

And, I might add, it’s seriously annoying. When I travel, I must take a USB-C, mini-USB, micro-USB, USB-A, Lightning, and a Qi charging pad for all my gadgets. Inevitably, I waste time trying to fit the wrong cable into the wrong port — and that’s before I start dancing the “which-way-is-up USB-A fandango?”

According to the new law, which is now slated to take effect in the fall of 2024, “mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles and portable speakers that are rechargeable via a wired cable will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of their manufacturer.”

That means you, Apple.

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