back to article EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices

Apple will have to redesign its phones to include a USB-C charging port in iPhones it sells into Europe by 2024 after an EU amendment made USB-C the common standard across a range of devices. In a live press conference, the rapporteur on the issue, Maltese MP Alex Agius Saliba, said: "This is a rule which will apply to …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Optional Chargers

    Now we've all got a common charging connector, the next step is to make the inbox charger optional.

    1. TonyJ

      Re: Optional Chargers

      Some already do, I believe.

      1. adam 40 Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Optional Chargers - the more the merrier!

        When I bought my latest phone I got TWO USB-C chargers, one for a type C European mains socket (which was probably what it came with from the manufacturer) and another for the UK mains socket.

        Fixing USB-C is only part of the problem... ironic that the mains socket is also type C!

    2. b0llchit Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Optional Chargers

      They will spec the device such that it will need a private charger. And then the outbox will become charged in monetary sense for us consumers.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Optional Chargers

        Yeah, that came to mind when I read same connector...

      2. CommanderGalaxian
        Holmes

        Re: Optional Chargers

        Vote with your "monetary sense" and shop elsewhere then.

    3. Tom 7

      Re: Optional Chargers

      Seem to have about 10 of the bloody things. Mind you they seem to be fragile little unrepairable buggers - nearly broke my wrist trying to plug in something into a socket that already had an earth pin in it more than once.

      What is fun is some chargers seem to be pathetic - good for overnight phone charge, and others will do it in a couple of hours. I may have to get some of those glasses with magnifiers and led lights so I can read the microscript on the chargers before use!

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Optional Chargers

        > I may have to get some of those glasses with magnifiers and led lights so I can read the microscript on the chargers before use!

        Well I've found reading the microscript on chargers, laptops(*) etc. is a good test of phone's camera

        (*) Don't you love laptop manufacturers who have made the service tag et al practically invisible (eg. Lenovo gloss black microscript on matt black case).

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Optional Chargers

        Loosely, I think USB-C brings "USB Power Delivery" so that your phone or whatever can make a deal with the charger to get more voltage or current. If I have this straight, it's a replacement for one-manufacturer fast charging standards. "Dumb charging" gets a basic rate, 5 volts 1 amp (?)

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_hardware#USB_Power_Delivery mentions "USB PD 2.0" and "3.1".

        1. James 139

          Re: Optional Chargers

          One of the problems with PD, as people have discovered, is that the power supply needs to match the devices requests, there is quite a combination of supported voltages and currents.

          So a brick providing 9V @ 3A, 27W, won't provide 15V @ 1.8A, also 27W, nor provide 5V @ 3A, 15W, unless its been designed to. Yet, you could buy a "27W" labelled power supply, which only works with one of the first 2, or worse, it only gives you 5V @ 900mA, the USB 3 spec output.

    4. WonkoTheSane

      Re: Optional Chargers

      I recently got a Pixel 6. No charger in the box.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Optional Chargers

        Same with all modern iPhones.

      2. Philip Stott

        Re: Optional Chargers

        Yep, just got a £1K Samsung Galaxy S22, and no flipping charger in the box!

        1. andy gibson

          Re: Optional Chargers

          And my recent £150 Samsung came WITH a charger!

        2. quartile

          Re: Optional Chargers

          same here - but Samsung's box was half the size of my previous Samsung phone so presumably that means Samsung ship/fly twice as many from the Far East in the same container.

          Fortunately Samsung had a sale on their phone chargers on their website at the same time.

        3. Jedit Silver badge
          Pirate

          " just got a £1K Samsung Galaxy S22, and no flipping charger in the box!"

          That didn't bother me half as much as the fact that when I traded in my old S9+ for my S22, they asked me to return its charger in the box "if possible". As I still need that charger to, y'know, charge my new phone, I deemed that it was not possible and kept it. And let's be blunt: the only reason they wanted it was so they could charge me extra for a new one.

    5. katrinab Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Optional Chargers

      Apple already don't include a charger in the box. Just a USB-C to Lightning Cable.

      Given that most chargers in use are USB-A at the power end, that means purchasing either a USB-C charger or a USB A to lightning cable.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Optional Chargers

        Apple shipped chargers with a USB-C port with the iPhone for a couple years before dropping chargers.

        This is what I don't get about the EU's ruling. They talk about the waste in terms of chargers, not cables. Given that Apple does not ship a charger, and the cable connects to a USB-C charger, how are iPhones contributing to e-waste?

        Typical stupid bureaucrats, don't even know what it is they are voting for!

        1. Youngone Silver badge

          Re: Optional Chargers

          They absolutely do know what they've done, and what they've done is a great thing for the whole planet. Those Apple cables will be recycled into something more useful, because they're made of copper and copper is recycled.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Optional Chargers

            I doubt very many charging cables (for any device) are getting recycled. There isn't even anywhere around here where I could take them. There are places I can take electronics but not cables. And the situation for recycling around here is pretty good compared to most of the US.

            And if you want copper, recycling PC power cords, cable TV coax or cat5 cable would net you a lot more. I'm not aware of anywhere around here to take those either.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Optional Chargers

              Where I live in the UK I noticed there was a bin for cables before a lot of the other recycling options appeared. From the looks of it some of the guys working there had realised that that could earn a nice little extra income by grabbing all the cables and selling them on.

              These days there's an official recycling point for cabling. It's one of the most profitably recyclable things that households throw out. If you local authority isn't doing this they're deliberately not getting money they could easily get.

            2. Ragarath

              Re: Optional Chargers

              If you can recycle your electronic waste, that's what cables and are included in WEEE. Your council should have this at your recycling centre.

              WEEE = Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

            3. ICL1900-G3

              Re: Optional Chargers

              I took a load of old cables to the dump and asked what to do with them. They said to leave them by the office and they would be stripped to get at the copper.

            4. Lars Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Optional Chargers

              @DS999

              On cables, I dump them among metal, chargers too.

        2. aki009

          Re: Optional Chargers

          This regulation makes little sense, at least based on the arguments put forth by the strong fan club it has here.

          I'm left scratching my head as to why these regulation happy bureaucrats and their fan boyz couldn't have just specified that the charger and cable must be sold separately from the device. This would have directly addressed the intended outcome.

          This process of specifying a single port on the device might have the same effect, but it'll be indirect, and given the plethora of charging requirements driving USB-C cables, far from guaranteed to really impact the amount of extra cables sold on the side.

          The worst part about this "standard" is that it freezes innovation at the USB-C level. The connector might seem really great today, but it has warts. Not as many as its predecessors for sure, but they are there. It's susceptible to foreign object damage, it's difficult to make water proof, and it's large compared to the concept connectors that will now never see the light of day in real products.

          This USB-C requirement will now stop all innovation in user friendly power connectors. There used to be a time when multiple phone vendors had magnetic phone charger pads. Those seem to be gone now, with wireless charging supposedly doing the same thing. Certainly wireless charging can manage the situation, but it's also somewhat inefficient which undermines the supposed goal of environmental protection.

          As to those who think this is about forcing Apple to ship a different connector, they seem to have been designing their phones with a modular connector on the inside. I don't think it'll be much more than a SKU change for the company. But it will force millions of Apple Lightning device owners to chuck those cables when they upgrade their devices. Not exactly an environmentally friendly impact.

          Anyway, we'll see in 10 years what the outcome of this rule was.

          1. Sgt_Oddball

            Re: Optional Chargers

            The FOD issue also applies to lightning ports, barrel plugs etc.

            Waterproofing it is quite doable (just ask Sony since their Xperia's have been waterproof from mid tier upwards since they started the range).

            The USB C is also an order of magnitude more robust than micro or mini USB ports, so less stuff binned because the port died.

            Regarding having all those extra cables thrown out - short memory have we? Don't forget Apples had 3 cables thus far (30 pin with Analogue out firewire+usb, 30 pin no analogue USB 2.0 only out and lightning cable).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Optional Chargers actually

        I just acquired an iPad Mini 6 with a sole USB C port. All my other kit is USB 4 or lightning. I immediately ordered online a 4-pack of Female USB C/Male USB A converters - small simple. These work with charging blocks AND data transfers albeit at slower speed than straight USB C.

      3. TheMeerkat

        Re: Optional Chargers

        Most of people buying Apple phone today already have multiple lightning charges because of previous phones.

        Now with the EU rule they will have to replace them after the next phone upgrade.

        1. Casca Silver badge

          Re: Optional Chargers

          Ah yes, lets build the world around apple...

        2. sabroni Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Now with the EU rule they will have to replace them after the next phone upgrade.

          Unless they also have at least one non-apple device, because the charger for that will work on their new iPhone because of this new standard.

          1. Maventi

            Re: Now with the EU rule they will have to replace them after the next phone upgrade.

            > Unless they also have at least one non-apple device...

            Or a recentish MacBook.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Optional Chargers

          My GF had iPhones with a USB-A chargers, i.e. needed A⇒lightning cables. For her last phone she got a new charger with USB-C, along with a C⇒lightning cable. Both of which implies that lightning is USB in disguise – differentiation just for the sake of being posh. :-o

    6. JBowler

      Re: Optional Chargers

      > next step is to make the inbox charger optional.

      The next step is to make the charger ABSENT.

      It always was optional; you just had to chuck it out of the window along with all the stupid packaging after you drove out of the parking lot (being very careful, of course, to keep all hands on the wheel while you did so; that one is enforceable by law!)

      Of course this is just going to make more money for Apple and their turgid imitators; they will "charge" the same with or without. But is saves a little bit of toilet bling.

      I haven't used a charger, Apple or Android, for many a year. They both work with any of my five wireless chargers (including my wife's two) which are, in turn, powered off some or other thing I got off the Bezoid years ago, or one of our automobiles, or a hotel room.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Optional Chargers

        >The next step is to make the charger ABSENT.

        It always was optional; you just had to chuck it out of the window along with all the stupid packaging after you drove out of the parking lot

        20+ years back it got me that my shiny new shop brought phone came in a 'huge' carton, but its couriered replacement (it got dropped) came in a box just big enough for the phone(*) - the network assumed you had a charger that fitted and worked...

        (*) I think the replacement Nokia's also didn't come with battery packs...

    7. TheGiantSmurf

      Re: Optional Chargers

      iPhones no longer come with a charger. Can't comment on others.

      1. matjaggard

        Re: Optional Chargers

        The real problem with lightning is that Apple make lots of money from licensing it to vendors of products that plug into it. Other than that it's on a par, if not slightly better than USB C. I've never had an iPhone but it's not the port that puts me off. I can definitely see both sides of the debate here - innovation will decrease if we stay with a single standard and law makers are not known for updating their legislation to the latest standard very often. On the other had, there are very few houses without USB C chargers currently so I don't see people throwing away lightning cables as very important compared to the benefits of a single standard going forward.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Micro USB

    Am I mistaken in remembering they tried this before, Apple swerved the issue by selling a micro-USB -> lightning dongle? I'm assuming they've tightened up the requirement for the USB-C charging edict.

    1. Dev_Fit

      Re: Micro USB

      It's not just the charger - it's the charging PORT. They can't get around it now. one charger to rule them all!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Micro USB

        Ah, but will the USB-C charging port be required to charge the device as fast as the proprietary one? It wouldn't be that hard to put a throttle on the current going through it so the proprietary one is always much faster.

        Personally, I'd like to see something like the MagSafe connectors become standard. Easy connect (practically lines itself up) and no worries about accidentally yanking or tripping on the cord, as it unplugs itself easily as well. With a bit of very careful engineering, they could even be highly water-resistant on the device side.

        1. Major N

          Re: Micro USB

          I switched to magnetic tip chargers for my phones, to reduce the mechanical stress on the charge port of repeated entry/disengagement. Used to have to replace MicroUSB sockets every 6 months or so on my phone, and that was before they started gluing the damn things together. USB-C seems to be stronger than Micro-USB (which was seemingly made of spider silk and wishes) but I'm not taking the risk these days... might not be able to do data and as such negotiate the faster speeds from some chargers, but a lot easier than hairdryering a device open every couple of fortmonths....

          1. Chris Gray 1
            WTF?

            Re: Micro USB

            Yikes! How often do you plug/unplug?

            My ancient Samsung S4 has micro USB, and it still works just fine after 8 or so years. I don't use the phone overmuch, so only charge every second day (plus occasionally plug into my desktop to download pics/videos from the phone).

            Note that the cable is always plugged in to the phone first, so that it is not live - even small sparks from the 5V will slowly corrode contacts.

            1. sreynolds

              Re: Micro USB

              I thought that the lifetime mating cycles was in the high 000s low 10000. What annoys me the most is those people that bend the buggery out of cables. If they want right angles then get a right angle connector.

              1. aki009

                Re: Micro USB

                Typical specs are 1.5k-3k cycles for USB-A, same for MicroUSB, 5k-10k for USB-C.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Micro USB

                I haven’t kept that close a tally on the number of mating cycles I’ve had…. ;)

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

            3. stiine Silver badge

              Re: Micro USB

              I don't have any working micros-usb devices with non-damaged ports or cables, or both. I've only had a usb-c device for a month so I can't compare it to microusb, but I do know that micro-usb should never have left the drawing board.

              1. Phil Kingston

                Re: Micro USB

                I often read about this people. But in, what, 20 years (?) of using and supporting micro-USB devices I've yet to have/see a broken port/cable. I don't doubt these ham-fisted individuals exist, but my god they must be violent.

                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: Micro USB

                  Seen and encountered enough bent connectors, broken ports and cables with the broken tongue in the micro-usb connector ver the years.

                  The USB port on phones particularly is easily broken due to the connector sticking straight out of the bottom of the phone; usual cause of breakage is using the phone whilst on charge.

              2. rcxb Silver badge

                Re: Micro USB

                micro-usb should never have left the drawing board

                MicroUSB was considerably more durable than MiniUSB. That's really the only metric to use. What other data+power connector type do you think we should have used? Somebody needed to create it first.

          2. teebie

            Re: Micro USB

            That is a really short amount of time to wear out a charging socket.

            I think I know what the issue is, and offer a fix. When using a phone to happen a nail in, hold the phone by it's body, not by the charging cable.

        2. Abominator

          Re: Micro USB

          I love MagSafe. USB-C on a laptop on your knee just feels fragile.

          1. cyberdemon Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Micro USB

            Apple could happily include both ports. They could even sell a short cable that has an inline female USB-C and a magsafe (which gets you an extra USB port by not using the builtin USB-C for charging, and make it "feel better" on your knee, apparently)

            As long as you can still charge directly through the USB-C without any proprietary shit, it should be compliant.

            But as it stands, they are devaluing other brands by making Apple-only chargers ubiquitous - which is an antitrust move.

            1. katrinab Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Micro USB

              They do. You can charge a recent Apple Laptop from USB-C instead of Magsafe, but only at 100W, not 140W.

              I charge mine at 70W, and it is absolutely fine.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Micro USB

      Apple swerved the issue by selling a micro-USB -> lightning dongle

      I never heard of such a thing. And the EU didn't try this before, they've just been talking about it so long you can't be blamed for thinking they had already done it. They started talking about it back when micro USB was the standard - and Apple was still using the old 30 pin connector they dropped in 2012!!

      We should count ourselves lucky they didn't approve it back then, or we'd all still be stuck with micro USB now. Because if it takes them over a decade to approve this, you can bet there is zero chance they will EVER approve a new connector so you better like USB-C because you're going to be stuck with it for the rest of your life!

      1. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

        Re: Micro USB

        You must have been hiding under a rock for a while then, because yes it was a thing. The EU mandated that manufacturers decide on a common charging port - and the industry settled on micro-USB which was (from memory) becoming the most common anyway. But I vaguely recall this was a sort of "sort yourselves out or we'll sort you out" sort of thing and the industry complied. Except Apple "sort of" complied by making an adapter so that they could say "see, you can charge an iPhone with MicroUSB" - everyone could see it was taking the urine, but it sort of complied.

        I suspect it really hasn't taken over a decade to do. TPTB will have taken some time to allow the situation to settle and see how it panned out. Since Apple (and probably a few other hold-outs) took the urine, they've then legislated. But the thing is, now they have the legislation, if the industry, or consumers, went to them en-masse and said ""USB-C is fine, but things have moved on and USB-{DEFG...} has these benefits (including being backwards compatible with USB-3 chargers with USB-A connectors)" then I suspect it would be fairly easy to amend the regs to allow use of the new connector. But I suspect there will be little chance of that becoming a reality for a very long time.

        Regardless of that, compared to what we had just a few years ago, it's charging heaven now - unless you have some Apple kit.

        1. rcxb Silver badge

          Re: Micro USB

          Both of you need to actually read the article. It makes it rather clear, early on:

          "Now it's no more a Memorandum of Understanding and having all the leeway that [Apple] had during the past 10 years – basically to not abide by this MoU"

          1. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

            Re: Micro USB

            Indeed, as I said, it was a case of the industry agreeing to something to ward off legislation. But because it wasn't law, Apple could stick their thumb in their nose and go "nah, nah, de, nah nah". I strongly suspect that had Apple not blatantly done it's "we don't do other people's standards" thing then this legislation wouldn't have happened.

            People have got used to micro-USB, and now USB-C on many things, so consumer pressure would probably be enough to keep almost everyone in check - except Apple of course.

      2. Annihilator

        Re: Micro USB

        I'm not sure how you missed it, but here's a news story from 2011 demonstrating it. Most of the links are dead now sadly.

        https://www.theverge.com/apple/2011/10/4/2469886/apple-releases-micro-usb-adapter-for-iphone

  3. 3arn0wl
    FAIL

    A good day for Intel, I guess...

    ... who hold the patent, I believe. Could they not have come up with a good Open Standard in stead?

    I can't see how it's good for the environment, when it consigns a ton of perfectly good chargers to e-waste. :( There were far better provisions they could have implemented for that, such as mandating that chargers be sold independent of electronics. Or asking OEMs to separate charging from data transfer.

    I'm not sure it's great for devices either - not all kit needs the specs/capabilities of USB-C... yet that's what everything will now have to be designed for.

    This seems like someone's personal preference that is now going to be imposed on everyone.

    1. Major N

      Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

      I don't get the argument that it will cause older chargers to be discarded. Surely that's what happens now anyway, since every new device comes with a new Ultra/Mega/Super/FasterWeSwear-2.0(TM) charge standard that wasn't available to the previous generation...

      I have a drawer of the damn things as it is, and whenever i pull out an older piece of technology I spend ten minutes trying to find whatever proprietary mini-USB they decided to use to power it. A common standard won't cause the old chargers to become landfill overnight, but will mean that in the future there will be less waste over each new generations lifecycle. Admittedly the myriad variations-on-a-theme-but-not-interoperable methods of throwing more electrons down the same type of wire will continue to happen, but it will mean less, especially since if you just want an overnight charge you'll be fine with last year's plug.

      The bigger impact on consumers will be the inevitability of chargers not being included, the unit price not dropping to compensate, and then Apple, Samsung et al charging you an extra £50 for a shiny new plug that claims to charge your device 50ns faster than the previous one you already own...

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

        These pencil pushers don't understand specs differences in chargers and charging capabilities, and think USB-C really is a single standard instead of a confusing mishmash of different PD levels, different speeds, whatever the 2x2 thing is and so forth so 99% of USB-C cables you can buy will not work at all power levels and all data rates.

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

          Yes, that is the major issue. A single standard is a good concept, but USB-C is not that! It might physically connect, but try charging a decent-spec laptop off a 20W power adapter! And many will, with no understanding at all of the concepts.

          That said, I'm also not entirely sold on using it for laptops. I buy the laptops for work (Dell) and their long-standing 7.4mm barrel connector was nearly indestructable. Think I've seen a couple of broken plugs, and no broken sockets, in a decade and a half. It's only the most recent model which is USB-C only - none broken yet, but I'm not expecting the same reliability levels.

          1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

            Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

            Dell power connectors…. anyone ever try to buy a replacement power brick for an HP laptop? I have never seen so many different variations, me and the guy in the shop really had to look carefully to decide what to order, and even then the ordered one didn’t fit. Thankfully their new business laptops have usb-c thunderbolt ports.

          2. MisterHappy

            Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

            Oh the Dell power brick!

            Lost your charger for your laptop or left it on the train? Just let me dig through the bin of old bricks and cloverleaf cables.

            Want a spare charger for home working? Same bin.

            About the only thing you could get wrong with those was using a Laptop brick to try and run a docking station and even then it mostly worked, just didn't charge the laptop.

            I miss those days.

            1. 43300 Silver badge

              Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

              The Dell ones came in various different power ratings (65w, 90w, 130w, 180w). Generally anything would work with anything (apart from sometimes docks, as you say), although if it was a high-spec laptop with a 65w charger it would probably either run off the mains or charge, but not both.

              There was even a really small 45w model at one point for the high-end business laptops, but it was rather shite (tended to fail within a year) and they seem to have been abandoned fairly quickly in favour of 65w ones.

              On the subject of docks, that's another area where USB-C is questionable - it's hit and miss which functions of a USB-C dock will work with another manufacturer's laptops (the power button on the Dell docks frequently doesn't, to give one example), and even with Dell laptops they can be temperamental, and require drivers and firmware updates. The latest ones I have refused to update the firmware properly from one theoretically compatible Dell laptop, but did it fine from a different model. The old E-series docks were much more simple and reliable. Yes, they only worked with E series laptops but there was never any confusion as only those had the required connectors on the bottom. Don't think I ever had a broken connector (on either a laptop or a dock). No drivers or firmware, and it just worked reliably.

        2. myithingwontcharge

          Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

          "think USB-C really is a single standard instead of a confusing mishmash of different PD levels"

          USB-C is infinity better than the confusing and undocumented mishmash of USB-A and micro-USB current ratings and the many user issues they cause. Yes your Iphone will fast charge, but only if the charger is rated at least 2.1 amps. You plugged an Ipad into the 1A USB-A charger that came with your Iphone? Why on earth would you expect that to work? What do you mean the plugs are identical and theres absolutely no indication it wouldn't? It's clearly documented in light grey on light grey 1mm high text inside the charging port, right next to the sign that says "beware of the leopard".

          I expect the EU knew exactly what they were doing which is why they've made the right decision. They gave the industry a decade to get their shit together and the industry only made things worse.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

            USB-C is infinity better than the confusing and undocumented mishmash of USB-A and micro-USB current ratings and the many user issues they cause

            Take out the word "infinitely" and I'll agree with you. USB-C started so promisingly (other than the shitty physical design) but they have been quite busy turning it into a giant mess like the other USB standards. The only advantage USB-C has over the rest is at least all of its confusion is properly documented. Not that you can tell by looking at a port or a cable, of course, but in theory...

    2. David Nash

      Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

      This affects the charging port on the device and the cable, but not the charger itself, assuming it has a USB A on that end.

      So no need to consign them to e-waste.

      1. MrDamage Silver badge

        Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

        You just know Apple will change their charging standard to be 2.3 watts, so the old 2.1 watt adaptors will no longer work.

        1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

          Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

          Had a Moto G6 from employer. As well as being underpowered, the usb c socket (with usb 2 functionality if memory serves) was naff and cable was quite loose in the socket by the end.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fan bois fan bois

      What'cha gonna do?

      What'cha gonna do when they downvote you?

    4. GraXXoR

      Re: A good day for Intel, I guess...

      Welp, after reading your comment, all I can say is your choice of icon checks out.

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Charge the chargers

    When the EU is going to do anything about the Chinese chargers being sold that don't meet any safety and electromagnetic emission norms?

    1. TonyJ

      Re: Charge the chargers

      Worse - I've seen them on Amazon advertised as "genuine" chargers. It's a minefield for anyone who doesn't understand the risks.

      Mind you, electricity in general seems to baffle some people. Moved house last year and most of my time to date has been putting the botched electricals right. Primarily, the previous owner seemed to either not understand, or have something against, earthing things (e.g. all metal cooker hood - not earthed. 32A commando socket in the garage - not only not earthed, but the earth bent up out of the way in a way that made it clear it was done on purpose. Various sockets - not earthed. The list goes on).

      Sorry - went off on a bit of a ranty tangent there.

      1. Major N
        Coat

        Re: Charge the chargers

        sounds like this guy was asking for a short, sharp shock to bring him back down to earth...

      2. TimMaher Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: 32A commando in the garage

        WTF! Did they have a small data centre in the corner; next to the lawnmower?

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: 32A commando in the garage

          > WTF! Did they have a small data centre in the corner; next to the lawnmower?

          Ahem. Obligatory XKCD.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 32A commando in the garage

          I had to put in a 64A one for a welder in my garage - would ideally have gone onto 3-phase but will work on high-current single, so 32A seems entirely reasonable.

          1. TonyJ

            Re: 32A commando in the garage

            I was just coming back to say this - the previous owner had a welder. I am going to assume a *faulty* one that if earthed, kept tripping the board in the garage.

            Oh and talking about the garage. There is one, single, solitary dual socket that is not actually fed off the supply to the garage/from the garage distribution unit.

            Oh I've had so much joy. The heating is another - there's a massive water tank in the garage and I was digging around looking to see what would be involved in, if possible at all, heating the water occasionally from the log burner in the lounge on the other side of the wall where the tank sits.

            Except from all my admittedly basic plumbing knowledge, the boiler itself looked like a combi. It was tricky to tell by the model number as the same model can be either a combi or system.

            So I asked a friendly plumber.

            Turns out the boiler IS a combi.

            Also turned out that the tank was isolated so every morning when the water heating came on, it was heating the same tank of water every day.

            Why? No one seems to know. Backup to use an immersion heater? Possibly but that'd be incredibly expensive given the size of the tank.

            And you can't have both on as the back pressure from the tank would cause the boiler to detect a fault.

            I am seriously starting to wonder if the previous owner had a hard core drug addiction. :-)

      3. cornetman Silver badge

        Re: Charge the chargers

        God I absolutely can relate to this.

        When we moved into a place some years ago, there wasn't much in the way of electrical outlets, but there was one in the kitchen. So the first thing we needed to do was put the kettle on for a quick brew. Cue: "What's that burning smell?".

        Turns out that the socket buried in the wall re-emerged below behind the fridge into a choc block connector, which was also wired into the same connector....poorly. The connector was charred and on fire.

      4. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: Charge the chargers

        4-way adapters are a particular mystery to many people. They don't get that it's running off a single 13a socket, so you cannot connect a 3kW fan heater, a kettle, a toaster and a hoover and expect it not to blow the fuse (or catch fire if the fuse doesn't go!)

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Charge the chargers

          I think they somehow think they're some sort of force multiplier. Oooo, I now have 4 x 13A available!

          Just think - a chain of 20,000 4-way extensions and you could run HS2 from a single outlet!

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Charge the chargers

      If you get such a device, you can complain as they are unlawful. Contact your local consumer protection agency.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Charge the chargers

        Contact your local consumer protection agency.

        Who will then inform you that you're case #2523956. And that's it.

      2. TonyJ

        Re: Charge the chargers

        That's part of the issue though, unfortunately. If you know the problem you already know what to look out for (3 quid for an "official" Apple/Samsung charger on Amazon etc won't be official anything). And conversely if you don't then it becomes a minefield.

        And the folks who don't know, needless to say, don't even realise they need to educate themselves.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: Charge the chargers

          Sure, but £17.50 isn't "too good to be true" when the price in the Apple Store is £19, and there are a lot of fakes sold at that sort of price.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Charge the chargers

            Yes this is exactly the problem. Whether you buy online, at a big box store, or at a mall kiosk you will find stuff that claims to genuine that isn't, or claims to be UL or CE listed which isn't.

            You can't base it on the price as there are scammers at all price points to catch both the people looking for a deal and the people who think "too low a price = scammer so I'll look for something that's just a little bit less than the real thing"

            There are so many importers of these that no one can keep up with them. I remember when I bought my first iPhone (a 3gs) I wanted a couple extra chargers so I could have them in different places, and ordered online. They were labeled "Abble" which I found pretty funny, but at least I knew they were dodgy and used them sparingly (i.e. keep one in my laptop bag for emergencies, the other next to where I watch TV - so I'd be awake when using either) Nowadays you'll get a fake that's labeled with the Apple logo, and as soon as Apple stops whoever makes those another will spring up.

            Fortunately I don't need extra chargers since Apple shipped me more than I can ever use with the iPhones I've bought, and the battery life is so long I only ever charge overnight (and typically skip a day or occasionally two at that) so I threw away the Abble chargers long ago!

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Charge the chargers

        In the UK they've gone for a world-beating "cutting off practically all finding" approach - the agency exists in theory, in practice it's useless.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Charge the chargers

          * funding.

          Another opportunity to downvote in the face of reality!

    3. segillum

      Re: Charge the chargers

      Nasty Chinese electrically noisy phone chargers are one of the many factors slowly killing the HF bands. I really wish the EU and UK would strictly enforce existing EMC legislation and stamp on manufacturers and importers who routinely supply fraudulent CE documentation.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Charge the chargers

      Where are they sold? And who buys them?

    5. H in The Hague

      Re: Charge the chargers

      "When the EU is going to do anything about the Chinese chargers being sold that don't meet any safety and electromagnetic emission norms?"

      As far as I'm aware, the EU only passes legislation. On the whole, enforcement* is a matter for the member states (for reasons of sovereignty, subsidiarity, etc.). In most cases that's handled by each country's equivalent of Trading Standards - authorities which in some countries have had their budgets cut a lot in recent years (so they won't burden businesses by trying to enforce democratically agreed legislation to protect consumers).

      * As an aside: I think only the EU anti-kartel folk have an enforcement branch.

    6. katrinab Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Charge the chargers

      That's up to local trading standards departments to enforce the EU regulations already in place.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Charge the chargers

      This is partly a problem of the CE self-certification program, which assumes a certain level of trustworthiness from whoever is doing the inspection at the source and filing the paperwork. Anything that enters the customs union with the correct CE paperwork doesn't get inspected at the border, nor does it face the same sort of rigorous in-market testing afterwards. Once it's in the single market, it's effectively untraceable. The scheme was originally implemented to prevent endless customs inspection delays (if you want to see what that looks like, look at the Turkey/Bulgaria border), but its flaws should be obvious by now.

      I am fairly certain the UK is implementing an equivalent self-certification scheme, so this isn't a "ra ra brexit wins!!" argument. It's a judgement of the naivety involved in sending almost our entire manufacturing capability to a nation dominated by graft and face culture, where dealing with falsified paperwork is just the price of doing business, and then expecting them to somehow give us special treatment merely because we're westerners.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Charge the chargers

        Anything that enters the customs union with the correct CE paperwork doesn't get inspected at the border

        Unless it's going from GB to NI, of course.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Charge the chargers

          That's because we aren't yet properly integrated into the CE scheme and, in particular, don't have approved and certified inspectors at our food production and processing plants. We operate under the position of a third country, subject to the full border inspection regime, which requires extensive paperwork and rigorous border inspections.

          The customs border between NI and the rest of the UK (originally May's "backstop" position, which Boris decided to just jump straight on, rather than trying to negotiate something better) exists mostly because of the large amount of food that moves back and forth between NI and the Republic, between processors, packagers, and distributors. The specialised inspection posts necessary, along with the volume of goods that had to be inspected (something like 80% of all agricultural and food imports from a third country require inspection, as I recall), would have made the task impossible. There was no feasible way to carve out a special exception in the time allotted, especially with the idiot throwing his substantial weight around at the helm.

    8. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Charge the chargers

      "When the EU is going to do anything about the Chinese chargers being sold that don't meet any safety and electromagnetic emission norms?"

      That's a job for trading standards, same as ever.

  5. chivo243 Silver badge
    Angel

    Apple's next move?

    Making a big batch 'o popcorn for this one. Will they move to wireless charging, thumbing their nose and blowing raspberries all the way?

    1. devin3782

      Re: Apple's next move?

      Or use the lowest quality usb-c port so it breaks and they'll turn around say "we told you this was a bad idea" The usb-c port of course will be none replaceable

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Apple's next move?

      I assume that for the pro models they'll do as has long been planned and add a USBc port, but for "normal" devices I can see them going wireless charging only, and optionally provide a wireless charger which magnetically aligns.

      1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

        Re: Apple's next move?

        Second gen iPhone SE already has wireless charging. I use it when on calls using earbuds with a lightning plug, because no 3.5 mm socket. No idea about efficiency, but works well enough.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Apple's next move?

      Apple's next move will be Wireless charging only.

    4. jumblist

      Re: Apple's next move?

      Nah they'll adopt it globally next year. Makes sense, most consumers want it anyway. They should have done it a couple of years back really, now they look silly.

      They definitely won't go wireless only. Wireless charging is less practical in most use cases, less efficient, and besides all that it still requires a cable that is vastly more expensive than usb. Wireless only would tank iPhone sales.

    5. Phil Kingston

      Re: Apple's next move?

      Yep, portless devices. Cheaper to make(?), more Ives-y, and leads to the bottom line increase due to all those chargers, cables and wireless pads (all proprietary, natch) that they'll be "innovating".

      Far from bringing Apple into line, this plays right into their hands. Their grubby, innovative, courageous, bold, euro-grabbing hands.

      Other than charging and a few niche media professionals, who's used the port for anything other than charging for years now anyway.

    6. Bartholomew

      Re: Apple's next move?

      > wireless charging

      This is basically an air gapped transformer. If the gap were zero that would be a maximum efficiency of about 70% from the source to the destination coil, as the distance increases the power factor gets worse and the efficiency drops fast (0.5mm and it is down to 60% efficient, 0.25mm of plastic on the charger and device to protect the coils sounds reasonable). The maximum efficiency of a wired charger is about 96%. So to reduce global carbon emissions, and the need to build additional power plants for wireless fondle slabs, the simplest solution would be to impose a minimum efficiency greater than 67.2% on chargers (In effect this would ban ALL wireless phone chargers).

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Apple's next move?

        Where do you get your 70% from?

        Coil designs can also accommodate for widely varying gaps - the gap under a bus isn't trivial, and there is vanishingly little loss with the correctly designed coils there - that the latest wireless charging for EVs is pushing 50kW with similar losses to a cable.

        1. Francis Boyle

          Re: Apple's next move?

          AFAIK wireless vehicle charging uses resonance charging which is what allows it to have an efficiency similar to a cable. I don't think any consumer devices have that at the moment.

          1. Man inna barrel

            Re: Apple's next move?

            Having designed a wireless charging system years ago, I imagine all such systems are resonant. It just seemed the obvious thing to do. I don't know how efficient my design was. The battery was just some small NiCd cells on trickle charge, so power usage was negligible.

    7. ShadowDragon8685

      Re: Apple's next move?

      My bet? Total spite move:

      There will be a USB-C port on the device. It will charge the device like ass (bare minimum spec possible), not carry data at all, and be flimsy enough to break in a thousand uses if the user doesn't handle it with the touch of an archeologist cleaning a pre-Roman coin.

      Then there will still be their Apple Meteorological Device port, that will charge at the expected rate, carry data, and not be flimsy as hell.

      So yes, they will be in _compliance_ with the regulation stating that the device _must have_ a USB-C _charging_ port, but if you need anything more than charging your phone overnight, well, you're gonna have to buy the Apple Meteorological Device _anyway._ And they're no longer shipping it with the device.

  6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Micro-USB

    They could have kept the micro-usb option. It's easy enough to adapt to a new USB-C charger but it's easier/cheaper to fit on small flashlights etc

    1. Danny 2

      Re: Micro-USB

      I don't like micro USB, it's too difficult to see now my eyesight if failing. I love the bidirectional nature of USB-C. At my age any help getting a male plug into a female socket is greatly appreciated.

      However I am disappointed that EU officials still (try and fail to) speak in English. The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK, so now the rest of them should drop it and speak in Estonian or French or German, whatever.

      "The raison d'être? Less chargers for our consumers"...no, no, fewer chargers, not less chargers. We should retaliate with raisin debtors.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Micro-USB

        > At my age any help getting a male plug into a female socket is greatly appreciated.

        The good news is that you no longer need a prescription for something that'll help....

      2. David Nash
        Headmaster

        Re: Micro-USB

        Unfortunately it's not only non-native-English-speakers who use "less" when they should use "fewer".

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: Micro-USB

          Supermarkets tend to be guilty - '10 items or less' signs above some tills, etc.

          1. JulieM Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Micro-USB

            "10 items or less" is correct, since "10 items" is an amount of stuff. "10 or fewer items" would also be correct, since the count of 10 is not bound to a noun.

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Micro-USB

          Fortunately, it's very easy to understand what is meant when the incorrect word is used, so it doesn't actually matter.

          There are other incorrectisms :) that grate on me, but I'm coming to terms that the incorrect eventually become correct. So now I couldn't care fewer.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Micro-USB

            Getting bored of it?

      3. Irony Deficient

        The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK

        The EU has 24 official languages (which are all of the official languages of its member states); two EU member states, Ireland and Malta, have English as an official language. All of the 24 official languages can be used in the European Parliament.

        Were you thinking of the three procedural languages of the European Commission, viz English, French, and German? If so, note that they are the three most spoken non-native languages within the EU.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK

          I thought Irish was the only official language of Ireland, even though last time I was there, the only Irish I head being spoken was the automated announcements on the bus.

          1. Irony Deficient

            I thought Irish was the only official language of Ireland

            Article 8 of the Irish constitution (as Gaeilge and in English) states that both Irish and English are official languages of Ireland; however, Irish is Ireland’s only national language.

        2. Danny 2

          Re: The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK

          @Irony Deficient

          "Two EU member states, Ireland and Malta, have English as an official language."

          I don't think so. Each member nation can nominate only one language, and the Irish chose Irish over English in 2007 (even though very few speak it there) because English was an official EU language due to the monolingual UK. Malta chose Maltese over English in 2004.

          I think Britain has a group law-suit against any EU official speaking English. Or even trying to speak English.

          1. Irony Deficient

            I don’t think so.

            You may think whatever you like, but if you think that English is not an official language of Ireland and Malta, you would be mistaken. My reply to katrinab above gave the relevant text in the Irish constitution, and the analogous text in the Maltese constitution (in Maltese and in English) [PDF] is in article 5(2). Like Ireland, Malta has two official languages, one of which is English, and one national language, which is not English.

            Before 2007, Irish had a lower status within the EU as a “treaty language” rather than as an official language — the EU treaties received official translations into Irish, but EU directives and regulations did not receive them.

            I was mistaken on one point: Luxembourgish and Turkish are official languages of EU member states Luxembourg and Cyprus respectively, but they are not yet EU official languages. If your statement that “each member nation can nominate only one language” is true, why wouldn’t Luxembourg have nominated Luxembourgish, since French and German would have been nominated by France and Germany respectively? (Which language did Belgium nominate, and why didn’t the other half of the country protest furiously against whichever language was nominated?)

            1. Danny 2

              Re: I don’t think so.

              @Irony Deficient

              If your statement that “each member nation can nominate only one language” is true, why wouldn’t Luxembourg have nominated Luxembourgish, since French and German would have been nominated by France and Germany respectively? (Which language did Belgium nominate, and why didn’t the other half of the country protest furiously against whichever language was nominated?)

              It is true, I doubt Luxembourgish is a genuine language, half of Belgium is constantly protesting something or other. Inquiring minds would like answers to your valid questions though.

              I was at a peace camp, half of whom obviously thought I was a spy so they started talking in Flemish. Thee meeting ended with a beardy asking, "Waarom" (why) so I replied why not - waarom niet?

              All their faces went bright red, and they asked if I'd understood their conversation.

              "I told you I'd lived in the Nederlands." In truth the only word I understood was waarom, but it was funny to freak them out. That's what you get for talking behind my back in front of my face.

              1. Irony Deficient

                I doubt Luxembourgish is a genuine language

                Browsing at the English Wikipedia page on Luxembourgish, it seems to be sufficiently distinct from standard German to merit the status of a language; for example, Luxembourgish nouns lack a genitive case.

                1. Danny 2

                  Re: I doubt Luxembourgish is a genuine language

                  @Irony Deficient

                  "Luxembourgish nouns lack a genitive case."

                  I'll have to refer to my transgender defence - "My school didn't teach pronouns, we barely learned verbs. Sexy is not what you are, it's what you do."

                  I always hated Morrissey even before he became a fascist, but his line, "a buck toothed girl in Luxembourg" haunts my thoughts. Ask me.

                  I was born with an iron deficiency, had to get vitamin K injections. God is an iron.

                  1. Irony Deficient

                    Ask me.

                    Ask you what? (I don’t know anything about Morrissey, other than that the Smiths’ music was not appealing to me.)

              2. coconuthead

                Re: I don’t think so.

                You'd be wrong about Luxembourgish. It is a language. Check out the Netflix series "Capitani" – play it in the original language with English subtitles. With the little German I have, I began to recognise words and structure after a while, but it sounds different and there is Dutch and (IIRC) some French in there as well.

            2. Irony Deficient

              language nomination

              To answer my own questions, Luxembourg and Belgium were original members of the EEC, and the original version of Regulation № 1 determining the languages to be used by the European Economic Community established that its original set of languages was Dutch, French, German, and Italian. Since Luxembourgish wasn’t an official language of Luxembourg in 1958, it wasn’t included in the original set; and perhaps because the Netherlands and West Germany were also original members of the EEC, Belgium gained simultaneous access to all of Dutch, French, and German (the last of which became relevant in 1962 with the creation of the German-speaking language area in eastern Belgium, around Eupen and Malmédy).

              In the first expansion of the EEC, Annex I, part XIV of the 1972 accession treaty for Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and the UK [PDF] added Danish, English, and Norwegian to the list of languages in Regulation № 1. (Because a referendum in Norway rejected accession to the EEC, the Norwegian bits of that accession treaty never took effect.) In my view, the absence of Irish in the accession treaty’s revised list of languages is best explained by the Lynch government not prioritizing its presence there. It was only in 2005 that Ireland managed to get Irish added to the list in Regulation № 1 (taking effect on 2007-01-01), but even that came with renewable derogations, which only ended on 2022-01-01. Even I can detect a bit of irony in noting that at this writing, an Irish language translation of Regulation № 1 remains unwritten, despite Irish being included in its language list.

              Regarding the accession of other countries with more than one official language, there was Finland (with Finnish and Swedish) in 1995, but Sweden also acceded in the same treaty. Malta acceded in 2004, but its second official language English was already in the list of Regulation № 1. Cyprus acceded in the same treaty as Malta (and Greek was already in the list of Regulation № 1), but the Cypriot government’s policy was (and is) that it would not ask for Turkish to be included until Cyprus is reunified with Turkish-speaking Northern Cyprus.

              Among the current crop of EU candidate states, only North Macedonia has more than one official language, viz Macedonian and Albanian, and neither of these languages is currently found in the list of Regulation № 1. Since the additions to the language list in Regulation № 1 are part of the accession treaties, I still haven’t found explicit evidence that the accession treaties limit the number of languages that a country can nominate to one. I’d welcome being pointed to such evidence on the eur-lex.europa.eu site.

              1. Danny 2

                Re: language nomination

                @Irony Deficient

                "Regulation № 1"

                Now you can tell from your lack of a single downvote that I was not battling you. I voted for you. I was using irony for humour, and you to your credit admit no sense of irony. That's cool.

                Regulation № 1 has to be one of the funniest things I've read anywhere.

                Regulation № 1, you will not talk about regulations.

                1. Irony Deficient

                  I was not battling you.

                  I never thought that you were. Is this the right forum for an argument?

                  (“I told you once.” “No, you haven’t.” “Yes, I have.” “When?” “Just now.” “No, I didn’t.” “Yes, you did.” &c.)

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK

            I don't think so.

            You would be wrong not to do so. From https://european-union.europa.eu/principles-countries-history/languages_en

            English remains an official EU language, despite the United Kingdom having left the EU. It remains an official and working language of the EU institutions as long as it is listed as such in Regulation No 1. English is also one of Ireland’s and Malta’s official languages.

            1. Danny 2

              Re: The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK

              I ken fine well English is an official language of the Republic and Malta - but they never nominated as an official language of the EU. Only the UK did. Luxembourgish isn't an official language, for example, even though it is their official national language.

              It's more than a bit embarrassing for an international organisation to have to use a foreign lingua franca just because they chose boutique languages. As the great English language satirist Jonathan Swift wrote, "I have a modest proposal" - let them speak Irish.

              English has been an official language of the bloc since 1973. While the UK was the only EU country that gave English as its official language, other member states commonly use English and have nominated a different official EU language.

              https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2020/12/31/will-english-remain-an-official-eu-language-after-brexit

              1. coconuthead

                Re: The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK

                There is absolutely nothing "boutique" about Spanish and French. Large parts of the world outside Europe speak them.

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK

                  If there is a particular language that is used by a large part of the world (not just one continent) to do business then ignoring it would be just a bit silly. English is a global common language because of the USA, not the UK or Europe. The EU and Europe are part of the world. It's about not being insular. I can to Germany or the Netherlands and do a University degree in English. Using a common language for cross-communication in no way diminishes the use of other languages if nations wish to carry on as they have always done using them internally.

                  I say this as a native English speaker, who can also do working French, and can get by in Gàidhlig and Irish.

                  1. Danny 2

                    Re: The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK

                    "English is a global common language because of the USA, not the UK or Europe."

                    Well, arguable. I'd say Hollywood and Shakespeare, and one preceded the other. Many German speakers in Milwaukee.

                    I did work in a German firm and the manager told me to drop the localisation from the software, as they all spoke perfect English or they wouldn't have been hired. I tried to learn Dutch and Deutsch and couldn't, because as soon as anyone heard my accent they replied in RP/BBC English.

                2. Danny 2

                  Re: The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK

                  'coconuthead

                  "Large parts of the world outside Europe speak them."

                  Aye, and most of Europe doesn't. 44% of the EU speak English, for two nations it is a national language, but naebody nominated it as an official EU language. Only 10% of Irish speak Irish, yet they chose that boutique language for political reasons.

                  As a national Scot hoping to rejoin the EU, I would propose English/lowland Scots as our language. But until that happens, stop murdering it.

                  1. Irony Deficient

                    44% of the EU speak English, for two nations it is a national language

                    For two EU nations, English is an official language, not a national language. (Neither of their national languages is English.) Since English became an EU official language with the accession of Denmark, Ireland, and the UK in 1973, why would the vast majority of anglophone Irish people have needed to choose English starting in 2007 when it was already an EU official language?

                    Since Regulation № 1 seems to be altered only in accession treaties, you might have to wait for negotiations on the next EU accession treaty to lobby for the removal of English from the language list of Regulation № 1 — and you’d probably face opposition to its removal from anglophone Irish and Maltese people (not to mention UK expats).

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

      5. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Micro-USB

        At my age any help getting a male plug into a female socket is greatly appreciated.

        Did you try Viagra?

        1. Danny 2

          Re: Micro-USB

          I have tried viagra, have you? I'll try anything once, and I thought it might help with my Raynaud's Disease (rainbow hands in the cold) - it didn't.. It is not pleasant, it gave me a light head and a queasy tummy. I think men who take it to please their partners are heroes due to the side effects.

          I have tried a lot of drugs while having sex, guess which worked the best? None of them. Even trusty alcohol is a let down, as Shakespeare said, "It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance."

          You are either into her, or she's not that into you.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Micro-USB

        Arguably, "less" is correct, being the older word ('twas covered by Susie Dent some time ago) *ducks*

        1. Danny 2

          Re: Micro-USB

          No need for anoncow, Susie Dent is a righteous source and I bow before her.

          I'm unsure why an older word is a better word, that's less than convincing with fewer supporting arguments.

  7. Blergh

    Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

    see title

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

      Basically yes

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

      I like the original USB. No bloody A, B, C -or- D.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

        >I like the original USB. No bloody A, B, C -or- D.

        Channeling Scotty there, I see!

      2. Evil Genius
        Pint

        Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

        Well played, sir. Have a Saurian brandy. It’s green.

    3. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

      There will be a USB-D when and as a new spec comes along. Once there is a single standard already specified it's relatively simple to switch to a new one some time in the future, with a couple of years' windows when both USB-C and a hypothetical USB-D could work.

      Or have a USB-C type 2 with identical plug that can support faster data / charging that can switch modes based on type of device plugged in

      1. Solviva

        Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

        But will the EU overnight greenlight USB-D, and then a grace period whilst you can ship either USB-C or USB-D?

        How will the EU decide on permitting a new spec offered to them, and what's the risk of designing a new spec only to find that the EU turns its nose down to it?

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

          "But will the EU overnight greenlight USB-D, and then a grace period whilst you can ship either USB-C or USB-D?"

          No way will it happen overnight, and of course there will be a grace period, just as they put a 2-year grace period for this, because contrary to brexit caricatures the EU isn't completely made up of morons.

          1. Solviva

            Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

            You seem to be missing the point whilst pointlessly bringing brexit into this.

            USB-D spec arrives, looks good on paper, but in practice is it better that USB-C in terms of PD rather than transfer speed? At what point do the EU decide to allow devices to have USB-D ports, it's not like there will be many out in the wild to test as they would be otherwise banned in the EU, and what manufacturer is going to go on the line with a USB-C EU variant, along with the rest-of-world USB-D variant.

            What if a fruity company comes up with a competing standard that blows USB-C out the water, makes it an open standard? Will the EU allow that as the next standard or refuse as it's not USB-[C-Z]? This isn't EU bashing, just looking at complications arising from this otherwise sensible decision.

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

        Wow you are super naive.

        It took the EU over a decade of quibbling to approve this mandate. They started talking about it when micro USB was the proposed standard, and Apple was still using the old 30 pin connector.

        Given that track record there is zero chance that this standard moves on from USB-C in our lifetimes.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

          "It took the EU over a decade of quibbling to approve this mandate. They started talking about it when micro USB was the proposed standard"

          That only shows the EU has a proven track record of moving from one standard (micro USB) to another (USB c) while keeping the principle of a universal charger. If a group of manufacturers banded together and told the EU - we've designed a new, better standard connector, let's move to that - you think the EU won't be able to adapt? I agree that nobody has any more incentive to design their own proprietary charger, that's probably not a bad thing anyway.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

            If a group of manufacturers banded together and told the EU - we've designed a new, better standard connector, let's move to that - you think the EU won't be able to adapt?

            What, let a cartel of manufacturers decide something as important as a phone charger standard? Sacré bleu!

            Actually, I'm surprised that they even let it be called USB in official documents, since in French it would be BSU.

        2. esque

          Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

          "It took the EU over a decade of quibbling to approve this mandate. "

          This is misrepresenting the facts to some degree.

          A decade ago the EU gave the manufacturers the chance to sort the standard out themselves. (Note the mention of a "moratorium of understanding" in the article.) Only after it became clear that that wouldn't work (mostly because of one company using a fruit as their logo and name) did they start the process of implementing regulation. This took a few years, sure, but not a decade.

          Also, the regulation contains language that allows for a review of the relevant standard without going through the full process again.

          So yes, switching from USB-C to a yet to be designed new standard will be a lot faster than you expect.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

      There isn't really any need for a new form factor, and that's what matters here. USB-C solves the problem that has bedevilled all other USB sockets thus far: the connections were not only not idiot-proof, they were often difficult to use correctly. I still frequently struggle with USB-A and micro connections and have too few USB-B and mini devices to care.

      USB-C solves the mechanical and electrical problems and the data rate is high enough for consumer electronics for the foreseeable future (10 years).

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

        USB-C sucks from a mechanical perspective because the device side port has something that can break. Lightning is superior in that regard, even though it is deficient in other respects. You want the cheap part (the cable) to be the only thing that can break.

        Just because it was a huge improvement over micro-USB, which was clearly designed by a drunken blind man who hates humanity, doesn't mean it is good.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

          Then it's a pity that Apple never offered its port for standardisation and uses USB-C for its most recent notebooks…

          1. David Lawton

            Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

            Apple was very heavily involved in the design and standardisation of USB-C

            https://9to5mac.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2015/03/apple-invent-usb-c.png

        2. Solviva

          Re: Does this mean there can now never be a USB-D?

          Whilst the internal tab on a USB-C port is potentially vulnerable to attack, you'd have to be somewhat determined to damage it. It stops well before the the end of the port, so any occasional things would be unlikely to touch it. There's no way to accidentally mal-insert a USB-C plug such that it would damage the tab either, although if you tried inserting at maybe > 30 degree angle you could touch the tab with the plug and try to tickle it into submission.

          Sample of 1, but Macbook (16" so a fair bit of mass) slid off the sofa (maybe 40cm), landed smack on the USB-C plug. First thoughts "Oh bugger". Upon inspection, the USB-C plug had sacrificed itself and bent significantly beyond repair (at the point where the metal of the plug meets the plastic), Macbook survived with a seemingly intact USB-C port, which worked perfectly and showed no future mating issues. Sad about the loss of the USB-C cable, but could have been much worse.

  8. Abominator

    How many world leading mobile phone companies currently exist in Europe? Zero. They are all either US or APAC based. Nokia and Erikson are dead as a handset manufacturers.

    The point that the EU knows how to inovate by dictating technical standards is a bit backwards.

    I get the need to stop electronic waste, but this is a hammer to crack a nut.

    Saying that nothing will ever improve on USB-C is insane. Its certainly the best standard so far, but this actually blocks change, unless they say it has to be an ISO standard. There are like 5 different USB socket type. A, B, mini, micro, 3/C.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      This is not about manufacturers, it's about free and fair markets and it is the remit of the European Commission to ensure these.

      Consider the humble mains plug anything that plugs into the mains in any country in the EU must conform to the specification. But, not only does this mean that I can take my device from Germany to France, Portugal, Finland, Greece, etc., it also means that my Siemens washing machine has the same plug as a Moulinex one. There are also plugs and sockets for desktops, printers, etc. that have been through the same standardising process.

      It's not even a secret that phone manufacturers used ports to restrict competition and bind users. Or, in the case of Apple, to drive up the cost of peripherals through licence fees.

      1. Solviva

        Could you plug your EU device in when you visited the formerly-EU-UK? (actually yes if you stick something in the earth hole to open up the L&N holes then push a little). In fact Ireland still being in the EU I suspect you'd have the same issue there, so EU travel isn't painless, more each country specifies their own socket standard and it just happens that most of continental EU sockets reached a point of commonality that you can freely roam with your devices.

        Italy seems a bit late to the party as most of the few buildings I've been in there still had their slightly different sockets, along with an EU type socket somewhere else on the wall.

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        What "peripherals" were having their cost driven up by Lightning's licensing fees? Apple has never made a charger with a Lightning port, just the cables. The old 30 pin connector had a lot of third party stuff made like speakers and car docks that it docked to, but there was never much market for that with Lightning because everyone moved on to using Bluetooth with the port change.

        People want to act like Apple was raking in billions from Lightning licensing fees. You could buy 3 MFi licensed Lightning cables in a bag for $4 from third parties, Apple's revenue around Lightning was a rounding error of a rounding error. It probably cost almost as much to operate the 'made for iPhone' program for Lightning as they made in licensing revenue.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          That's what Apple used to say about the app store, until it became clear they were just taking the piss.

    2. Mike 137 Silver badge

      ISO as a warranty?

      "this actually blocks change, unless they say it has to be an ISO standard"

      There's no warranty that becoming an ISO standard prevents the blocking of change. ISO standards are commonly developed via consensus of current common practice rather than as NIST does by seeking leading edge expertise, and as they typically have a 5 year or so development cycle their requirements can sometimes be quite out of date for quite some time.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      this is a hammer to crack a nut

      True, but it's much easier for a government to mandate something pointless, with enforcement delegated to someone else, than to do anything truly useful, like banning the use of Russian oil. "Look how good we are, we're DOING SOMETHING, send us your taxes so we can do MORE."

  9. John Hawkins
    Trollface

    The BS 546 Brexit connector next

    After the return of Imperial measurements control will naturally have to be taken back with a BS 546 USB connector.

    That's the one that stipulates rubber insulation with red line, black neutral and bare earth leads...

    1. Totally not a Cylon
      Alert

      Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

      Most Earth leads were insulated in flexes, in Green for Earth.

      Pity that a majority of the Male population is red/green colour blind.........

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

        Not the majority.

        1. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

          Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

          My uncle and son are red/green colour blind.

          Former used to work for PO engineering (lifts, ventilation, engines*, heating - worked in Manchester Guardian Exch).

          Latter works for BTP and regularly on the trackside (picking up the 'remains' after a "train incident" - only found c/b at medical)

          So, being male and c/b not that uncommon

          1. Mark #255

            Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

            One in twelve men have defects on the X chromosome which manifest in colour vision deficiencies (red/green anomalous vision being the most common of these)

            For women, it's around one in two hundred.

          2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

            So, being male and c/b not that uncommon

            There is still a large difference between not uncommon and majority. In the case of red-green colour blindness, about 8% of the males has this condition and 0.5% of the females.

      2. RobLang

        Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

        Of course you'll be familiar with the fact that British Standard BS7671 for earth wires are yellow/green striped since 1977, so that no live or neutral wire could be misconnected. Also, red/green colourblindness in males is 8%, which isn't a majority even in post-Brexit-mathematics-land.

        1. TonyJ

          Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

          Not to mention that being green and yellow it's the only dual-coloured wire. The other two being solid blue and solid brown.

          Except the cables where it's bare copper and you supply the required insulation of course but these tend not to be used to run e.g. your kettle... :-)

        2. Mr Larrington
          Coat

          Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

          “Of course you'll be familiar with the fact that British Standard BS7671 for earth wires are yellow/green striped since 1977”

          Yes, but since the main purpose of Brexit is to take us back to a fantasy version of 1953 we won’t be doing with any of those new-fangled stripy wires which were only introduced in the first place by a desperate government trying to channel the zeitgeist of the Summer of Punk.

      3. ChrisC Silver badge

        Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

        Leaving aside the inaccuracies that other commenters have already picked you up on re how many people might be classed as red-green colour blind, I'll instead focus on the other inaccuracy here - namely the idea that being colourblind renders you entirely incapable of differentiating between reds and greens (other colour combinations available on request, see catalogue for details)...

        As one of those people who's learned to live with classic male red-green colourblindness, I can assure you that wiring a plug when the incoming flex is using old-school UK insulation colours has never been a problem for me. Neither is being able to tell the difference between red and green traffic lights, red and green LEDs on consumer electronics devices, red and green balls when playing snooker, Irish and Welsh rugby players, the red and green sides on those little "FEED ME NOW!"/"I'm stuffed, give it a rest" cards you get at Brazilian restaurants or anything else which non-colourblind people constantly seem to find baffling that I'm able to differentiate despite my claims to be red-green colourblind...

        It's correct to say that some (a minority) colourblind people would struggle with some/all of the above, but for most of us the only time we really struggle is when asked to try differentiating between more closely spaced shades, or between colours which are differentiated by the addition of one or the other shade - e.g. don't ever ask me to try choosing between blue and purple towels, curtains etc, because chances are I'll look at them both, even when they're placed side by side, and go "umm, they look the same to me", and genuinely mean it rather than just saying it because I can't be arsed to make a decision...

        1. Giles C Silver badge

          Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

          I am colour blind, and wiring a plug is easy. Stripy, pale, dark

          And as for cat5 cables they are blue red orange orange…

          However traffic lights for me are orange red white (there is a colour on the new led ones) so for them I go via the sequence (I can tell the difference between the top and bottom lights).

          Green / red leds no chance, snooker is confusion - not the red and Green so much but Green/brown is very hard.

          But then grass is orange and picking tomatoes is hard.

          Ps colour blind way to wire a plug

          Green to brown

          Brown to blue

          Blue to bits

        2. Mark #255

          Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

          Evidently, your CVD is quite mild.

          Traffic lights significantly don't rely on colour alone: red is at the top, green is at the bottom.

          I'm also red/green deficient, and red/green LEDs are indistinguishable for me: I didn't even realise that the battery chargers* had them. And I've surprised a number of people at work, asking them to check on the colour of a wire sleeve so I don't solder my electronics wrong.

          * If you're designing/specifying a status LED for a charger, do what Nikon, and DeWalt, (and many others), do, and have a slow blink signifying charging, and steady to show it's finished.

          1. philstubbington

            Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

            Same here. I only found it recently (with hiviz clothing for example) that I can’t distinguish between yellow and green (I think - I have to rely on other people to tell me). You’ve made me wonder with LEDs now too!

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

      Standard connector? What kind of lilly-livered euro-weeny are you ?

      Proper British connections will just give a you a pair of bare copper wires, red and black (none of this euro brn/blu/grn rubbish) and you will connect up your own device for charging.

      1. Warm Braw

        Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

        you will connect up your own device

        Don't you have a butler to sort these things out for you? I'm sure a selenium rectifier connected to the mains and a few series-connected scullery maids would serve as a below-stairs charger.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

          This probably means that we will not be able to take a UK charger into the EU ...

          1. nobody who matters

            Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

            It most probably means that the UK will have exactly the same charging arrangements as the EU - manufacturers are probably not going to ship to Europe a separate batch of devices with a different connector just for the UK.

            1. druck Silver badge

              Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

              They already ship all devices to the UK with a BS 1363 3 pin mains plug.

              1. Screwed

                Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

                Not always!

                And quite a number of devices supply some sort of adaptor from Schuko to BS 1363. A few years ago, got a refrigerator or freezer (can't now remember which). A sort of clamp-on adaptor was fitted which worked fine. Trouble was, being much, much deeper that a BS 1363 plug, it stopped the device from going into the space made for it. So I changed the BS 1363 socket (which was fitted into the under-worktop space) by a real Schuko socket, and removed the adaptor. Worked just fine as it takes much less depth.

                1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                  Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

                  Or, just change the plug on the damn interchangeable appliance, rather than changing one part of the fixed infrastructure.

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

            >This probably means that we will not be able to take a UK charger into the EU ...

            Of course you can. You'll just need a long extension lead

            1. stiine Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

              With floats attached because you won't be able to take the train or fly...

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

          Scullery maids are better when used in parallel.

          1. Warm Braw

            Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

            Only if the device supports fast charging.

      2. cookieMonster Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

        Er….. when I moved in to my house I needed to add a few sockets here and there, mainly change a single to a double. When I took off the cover of the existing one I discovered that all the wires were the same color, other sockets were similar, but different color wire, all brown in one, all blue on another. The entire house is like that. The wire is industrial grade stuff and everything is wired solidly, but fuck me, it was an “interesting” time making those mods.

        Flame icon, cause that’s what happens if you mess up house wiring.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

          I think I read that in some super safety critical environment you are required to have all the wires the same colour.

          The idea is that you HAVE to individually test / trace each wire rather than just assume that this red wire is the same as that red wire in the other room

    3. xyz Silver badge

      Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

      Boris and the Brexiteers will come up with a sovereign spec... All devices must have 3 prongs that go directly into a wall socket and be stamped with a crown or something....

      Oh why are there comments about languages in this thread?

  10. heyrick Silver badge

    "Less chargers for our consumers..."

    Are you sure about that? My Samsung USB-C charger bumps itself up to 9V. My Xiaomi one claims something like 18V on the side, but I've not measured as my dongle only goes up to 9V. My laptop has a big barrel plug and it takes,IIRC,21V. With quite a bit of current to happily run it, plus harddiscs hanging off the USB ports.

    I can understand a common spec for stuff like speakers and phones, but wonder if adding laptops on there isn't a bit of a mistake? Because I'll tell you what, my Samsung charger can fast-charge the Samsung but only regular charge the Xiaomi. And I would imagine neither would be capable of running a laptop. So instead of having a proliferation of chargers and power bricks, we're going to have a proliferation of chargers and power bricks that all look the bloody same....but aren't.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      The specification describes minimum requirements. Manufacturers can go above this but the important thing is that a cable that conforms to the specification will work. For example, I can and do use the same no-name 2 port 2A USB travel charger for both my Samsung Galaxy and my MacBook.

    2. frankk

      USB-C can supply up to 240W of power.

      Get a charger that supports the power delivery spec and a high wattage, and you can use it for everything from earbuds to workstation class laptops.

      I use my macbook charger in such a way. It charges ipad, gaming controllers and portable speakers when not attached to my laptop.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Few devices can accept 240w of power. Earbuds certainly won't, and maybe one off brand Chinese phone will.

        Plus charging at such high power kills the longevity of LiON batteries so it is a stupid practice even if the device accepts it. Even for a laptop you are better off charging more slowly unless you have no choice.

        1. ChrisC Silver badge

          You're assuming that, if the device was actually demanding all of that 240W from the PSU at the other end of the USB cable, then all of it would be going directly to the charging circuit, rather than the majority being expended on driving the CPU, GPU and whatever other power-gobbling stuff is crammed within the chassis of any laptop capable of making use of a 240W supply...

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            If it is turned off, which is how devices are often charged, all the power goes into the charging circuit, or at least as much as it is demanding.

        2. gotes

          Few devices can accept 240w of power. Earbuds certainly won't, and maybe one off brand Chinese phone will.

          If you plug a 240W charger into a low power device, it won't just force 240W into it until it catches fire. They negotiate a suitable voltage & current for charging.

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        "USB-C can supply up to 240W of power."

        How???????????? When carrying anything like that sort of voltage you are required to have the supply end female so's you can't touch it, and the load end male. 240 freely available on the external surfaces of an unprotected open metal tab? Are you *insane*?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          >How????????????

          5A @ 50V, requirement is that the cable can handle 63V

          Only cables with a special logo on meet the spec - don't know if there is logic so the charger knows the cable is legit?

          But normally CE etc specify that 48V is 'totally safe low voltage, nothing to see here, don't worry" while they chose 50V for the specification ? Don't know of there is an exemption or if the totally arbitrary 48V limit has changed

          1. Mark #255

            48V vs 50V

            Knowing a few safety engineers, I suspect that the voltage specification is absolutely intended: if your device is going to operate at 50V and supply 5A, it absolutely ought to be undergoing safety testing.

            (As an aside, CE safety standards derive from the IEC, and national deviations tend to arise from historical differences)

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: 48V vs 50V

              Yes the devices (at least from reputable makers) is going to be safety tested.

              But my memory from CE stuff was that under 48V was low voltage and so you didn't have to worry about electric shock. Above 48V certification rules were supposed to get 'intense'

              Personally don't like anything above 5V so was happy not to be involved.

              So if those are still the rules it's odd that they didn't pick 47.9V and save a lot of testing+paperwork for the sake of 10W.

              My main concern would be that your Apple laptop and charger can handle 240W but if you link them with a Poundland cable does it know ?

              1. nobody who matters

                Re: 48V vs 50V

                It's the Amps that bite, not the Volts - Watts/Volts=Amps.

                1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                  Re: 48V vs 50V

                  Yes but it's the volts that jump out and bite you.

                  If the Holy Scripture of CE/IEC says that 50V means you have to prove that nobody can come into contact with a live conductor, even if the case is broken, or you pour 2 litres of water onto it, or you use a ISO standard small child's finger - then that seems an unnecessary expense

                  1. nobody who matters

                    Re: 48V vs 50V

                    Nope, it's the current that bites you (the Amps), not the potential difference (Volts). At a very low level of current, you will feel very little from quite large voltages.

                    You not study electricity at your school?

                    1. ChrisC Silver badge

                      Re: 48V vs 50V

                      I think the "jump out" part of the previous comment is the bit to focus on here - it's voltage which controls how close you need to get to a conductor before current will start to flow through your body...

                      1. nobody who matters

                        Re: 48V vs 50V

                        Whilst technically correct, at domestic voltages, the difference in distance is relatively small. The current still remains the bit that does the damage.

                        250V at 0.1A is not going to do the damage that 250V at 13A (or 50V at 6A) will.

                        Downvote all you like. It won't change the Laws of Physics.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          When carrying anything like that sort of voltage

          The statement was 240W(atts), not 240V(olts).

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Everyone can use proprietary charging methods over USB C if they want, but most USB C laptops support USB C PD - a protocol that allows higher wattage charging, if the cables are up for it.

      Samsung have been civilised in recent years; my S8 would *fast* charge using a S7 charger (a phone that still used micro USB) or the Apple USB C PD charger that shipped with a MacBook.

    4. Overflowing Stack

      You can even run your laptop from a DeWalt power tool battery now, up to 100W:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVtd30a1Vdc

      In that same video there's a barrel port to USB-C adaptor for older laptops!

  11. jharek

    Why ?? USB-C is the WORST connector in history. It never stays in, constantly popping out the port, its woeful.

    1. Tessier-Ashpool

      Despite the downvotes, it is true that USB-C cables can wear out.

      I used one virtually every day for 3 years to connect my laptop to a monitor. After 3 years, the connection did become noticeably looser, with attendant video break up. Fixed by a new cable.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        My USB-C plug is absolutely fine.

        The cable it's attached to...not so much.

        Like with headphone jacks, it's annoying that a big chunky plug ends with a fairly flimsy bit of wire. You know that right there is where it's going to eventually break. There should be, I don't know, some sort of flexible sheath for a centimetre or two to protect it. Like they used to do on quarter inch headphone jacks way back when.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          You can buy cables like that, you know.

          The problem with USB-C isn't the cables (all cables have the same constraints depending on their size) but with the connector. Having a piece in the device side port that can break off is criminally stupid for a from scratch design in the mid 2010s - and with Lightning to show them how it could be done to boot.

          Not that Lightning is perfect, far from it, but it did get right the most important mechanical thing which is that if something breaks make sure it is on the cheap part - the cable - and not the device port which is often expensive or infeasible to replace!

          1. ChrisC Silver badge

            OTOH, placing the sprung contacts in the socket (a la Lightning) rather than on the cable (a la USB) runs a close second in the "dumb ideas of the 21st century" rankings, and depending on exactly how ham fisted you are when connecting cables, or the environmental conditions in which the device is being used (sockets with unsprung contacts are less prone to being damaged whilst cleaning out accumulated crud from the bottom of the socket recess), may even warrant promotion to the top spot...

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              I clean my Lightning ports about once every six months using the business end of a safety pin, and have never had an issue. It is quite amazing the volume of fluff that can fit into such a tiny space.

  12. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Next week:

    New, massively more efficient changing tech invented that requires a new port design. Promptly rolled out globally....bar Europe where two years of hand wringing and bullshit is required to approve the change.

    EU bureaucrats. Fuckwits to a man.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Next week:

      Er, the UK is part of Europe. It's not part of the EU. But that's a different thing.

      Our fuckwits have told us we've taken back control from those pesky EU bureaucrats who took away our hundredweights and furlongs. So relax. Apple can still sell us overpriced Lightning ports/chargers at rip-off prices. We've shown Johnny Foreigner who's boss.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Next week:

        >Apple can still sell us overpriced Lightning ports/chargers at rip-off prices

        That's the brilliance of no import customs checks.

        You can buy very cheap "Appel" Lightning chargers everywhere

    2. H in The Hague

      Re: Next week:

      "New, massively more efficient changing tech invented that requires a new port design. "

      Nope. USB C can carry enough power for most devices in this class. Any "more efficient charging" tech is likely to be implemented within the battery or its battery management system inside the device, so the connector supplying the power to it is irrelevant.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Next week:

      EU bureaucrats. Fuckwits to a man.

      FTFY

  13. bigtimehustler

    It will either block innovation or it won't work at all. If they agree new standards due to improvements, once all the manufacturers switch over (imagine how long that will take to get through EU legislation) then everyone will throw their charging cables away again to adopt the new enforced standard. Either the tech never improves, or the waste continues. Just, at the behest of the EU instead.

    1. frankk

      My current dishwasher uses the exact same power connector as the one it replaces, yet it is quieter, uses less water and less energy than the one it replaced.

      Also the water inlet and waste outlet connectors were exactly the same.

      Power connector being standard did not stiffle innovation where it matters.

      1. bigtimehustler

        Pretty sure with your dishwasher, you only want power going in, not data in and out as well. I am also pretty sure that unless your washing clothes for insects, size isn't an issue with the connection either. On top of that, I presume the cable isn't removable either. Any more smart comments?

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          I can remove my dishwasher plug from its wall socket. After spending about 30 mins pulling out of its space in the kitchen so I can reach it.

          1. bigtimehustler

            What does that have to do with it? The issue here is the size the port takes up on the device. The innovation isn't going to be happening in the plug. It happens in the device. This is a mandate for a certain port size and shape in the device. Not in the wall.

            1. stiine Silver badge

              You've just given Apple a great idea.

  14. jonathan keith
    Flame

    What, something like charging your phone from a three-phase supply?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_09_1049

    There would be no USB C chargers if manufacturers had not ignored the EU after 2009.

    The bigger the bureaucracy the more profoundly stupid the regulations proposed regarding tech.

    1. Hawkeye Pierce

      Re: Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

      What a ridiculous statement.

      No-one is saying, or expecting, that every electronic device will have a USB C connector from when this legislation kicks in until the end of time.

      Right now, there's a very good case to be made for standardising. Right now, there's a very good case to be made for selecting USB C as that standard.

      If - in five years time - there's something better that could be used, the EU would be quite justified in saying that from a subsequent point in time, devices should now use that as a standard.

      The fact that all those USB C adaptors are now redundant is a) false - as they'll only redundant once the device they are used for are redundant and b) a far better position than not having any standard at all and everyone using a multitude of different adaptors.

      1. bigtimehustler

        Re: Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

        OK, so given this has been brought in to stop waste. If what you are saying happens, which obviously it will have to eventually. All new devices will have to follow the new standard and everyone that buys any new device will throw their cable away. How on earth does it stop waste?

        You say that people will only throw it away when their device is no longer required, that's exactly what happens now. I've never needed to buy a different cable spec for the same device in its lifetime. Once two, maybe 3 standards are in force, you'll have devices of different ages snd again, different cables for all of them, that you throw away when you buy the new standard device.

        1. frankk

          Re: Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

          Fewer chargers need to be made and shipped in the future.

          1. bigtimehustler

            Re: Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

            This is a requirement on the device port. Not the charger. So it really has nothing to do with chargers, just cables. Pretty much all of them are standard USB anyway, regardless of what the device port end is.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

        >Right now, there's a very good case to be made for standardising.

        Is there?

        Fifteen years ago there was a very good case for getting Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG et al to stop arsing about shipping chargers with *integrated* cables with tips that were specific to phone *models*. Nokia weren't quite as bad, but still used proprietary headset / headphone connectors on many models. It was a frustrating wasteful mess back then.

        Things feel civilised now. I don't see how barring Apple from using a physical connector that is smaller than USB C tangibly benefits anyone though.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

          shipping chargers with *integrated* cables

          This was really the biggest problem. If everything had shipped their weird cables with a USB-A connector on the other end and a separate USB-A charger I doubt the EU would have even started talking about this.

          A lot of small electronic devices still ship with power bricks with a cable integrated and one of several tip sizes, plus at least a dozen different voltages from 5v to 24v. I mean, I have an Asus router that has a 19.5 volt power supply with the cable connected to the mini-brick. Why? Was 18 or 20 volts not good enough, they had to go with 19.5 volts?? That's where this ruling really is needed, not with Apple who have always shipped a USB charger and separate cable.

          1. Falmari Silver badge

            Re: Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

            @Dave 126 & @DS999 You are right it was chargers with integrated cable that was the problem. That has not been a problem for a few years as phone makers have been shipping USB chargers Apple included.

            Today manufacturers don’t include the charger with the phone. Apple don’t on their latest phones, charger can be purchased if needed.

            Charger was not included with my new Fairphone, neither was it needed. I can charge from the USB charger that came with my 7-year-old MS phone. I won’t though, I have never used the USB charger came with my MS phone. Because I could use the USB charger that came with the phone before, so the charger has remained in it’s box unloved and unwanted and will continue to do so.

            Now both my Fairphone and old MS phone are USB C and both can use the USB charger from the phone I had before them. A phone with a different type of USB port. They can also use the Apple USB charger and Apple’s iPhone can also use other USB chargers.

            So, what does it matter what the charging port a phone has is if it supports USB charging standard? It does not save on electronic waste for chargers that was achieved when chargers became USB and then not including them with the phone. Neither does it save on cables phones still ship with them.

            When it comes to phones the EU are solving issues that no longer exists.

          2. Screwed

            Re: Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

            And there is a good safety reason to consider non-integrated cables for many, many devices.

            You can often see the integrated cables on tools such as electric drills, the other sort of router, sanders, etc., which have suffered obvious damage. But they don't get replaced because of the difficulty (and cost) of opening up the tool and fitting a new cable.

            Indeed, you also see cables either being pulled because they are too short, or in loops everywhere because they are too long.

            (I think Festool have removable cables on many of their power tools. But 'tis proprietary.)

            IEC connectors are not suited because most of them come adrift too easily.

            1. Barrie Shepherd

              Re: Remember how well it worked last time...back in 2009.

              My brother in law, who uses many power tools, has lopped all the cables off his tools about 15 inches from the tool and put IEC male plus on.

              He has a selection of power leads of differing lengths, with female IEC plugs, which he can then use as appropriate. Absolutely no issue with the plugs pulling apart other than when needed. Sometimes he just changes the power lead between plugs meaning only one power lead trailing around.

  16. 9Rune5

    Repair

    I fear that all USB-C ports are going to be surface-mounted to the main PCB.

    My Dell laptop has a powerjack that, granted some digging is required, is attached with two or three screws.

    Although my soldering skills have picked up a lot this past year, I'm not 100% confident I could do the job. A hot-air gun might help I suppose.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Repair

      It wouldn't be necessary if USB-C was designed better. Having a piece that can break off in the device side port is stupid. If not for that you wouldn't care if it was surface mounted, because the odds of needing to replace it would be almost zero.

      1. psychonaut

        Re: Repair

        Not so, there are no end of people who rip the dc jacks of any flavour out of the board, I get 4 or 5 a month. Usb c is incredibly difficult to resolder. Its a terrible choice for power. And always attached to the motherboard. If it was on a harness or daughterboard, then no problem but it drops the repairabilty of the device down the list.

      2. 9Rune5

        Re: Repair

        I'd like to see what a better design would look like. A stronger bond between the port and the pcb would increase the chance of breaking the pcb instead. I'm guessing that the next step would be to affix the port to the chassis/frame itself, but with that many pins I suspect it becomes a cost issue. (I am guessing/asking)

        I'm watching a couple of repair guys on Youtube, and both xbox and ps suffers a lot of failures with their displayports. (none of "my" guys do laptops or mobile phones though, so I'm just guessing that USB-C would be similar problematic)

    2. John Riddoch

      Re: Repair

      I hope not. I've managed to extend the life of a few of the kids' phones by virtue of replacing the small part with the charging port. While USB-C is certainly harder wearing than micro USB in my experience, kids have a special knack of breaking stuff....

  17. psychonaut

    One problem

    Usb c sockets are very very difficult to resolder, and they are usually directly connected to the motherboard, not a daughterboard. Makes repairing them very difficult indeed.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Oi! Big ears...

    Under the new rules, manufacturers wishing to sell smartphones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles, and portable speakers (charged via wired cable) in the single market will have to ensure they are equipped with a USB Type-C port.

    Those are going to be pretty big earbuds if each has to be be big enough to incorporate a USB-C socket.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Oi! Big ears...

      I think I could fit a USB-C plug into my ear... I also think I shouldn't.

  19. Overflowing Stack

    USB-C, why not IEC C14?

    An IEC C14 socket would have been a much better choice for charging a mobile phone and retro compatible with office equipment. Mobile batteries are getting higher and higher in capacity so it would be ideal for quick charging!

    1. bigtimehustler

      Re: USB-C, why not IEC C14?

      You need to hook up with the guy who replied to another one of my comments relating this to a washer.

    2. KSM-AZ

      Re: USB-C, why not IEC C14?

      IEC-320-C7. Small flat ac build in the ac-dc converter.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Apple will have to include a USB-C charging port in iPhones it sells into Europe by 2024 ..."

    Or at least an adapter. ;-)

  21. DrXym

    Meanwhile in Cupertino...

    ... I bet they're already thinking of ways to be dicks about this. Maybe getting rid of tethered charging altogether, or DRMing their chargers / cables to enable functionality other than charging that incentivizes people to purchase them to use with Apple phones, or some fugly dongle with USB in it that nobody will want to use.

  22. GinBear

    No more charging sockets on iPhones then!

    For the iPhones Apple has its recent proprietary charging solution, the MagSafe wireless interface, so it can stop having any form of socket… remember how headphones used to connect anyone?

  23. Screwed

    Other devices? Other features?

    Why, dear EU, do you stop at fifteen types of device?

    There are many other electrical devices which should have been included. (Though maybe applying to new models only, or some such get-out clause?)

    Shavers (come on, Philips) and trimmers. Toothbrushes (or at least, the charger bases, come on Oral-B), water flossers, etc. Torches. Lower-power kitchen, garden and workshop tools/chargers. Smart meter remote displays (mine, yes, it really does have a micro-USB connector despite being brand new the other week). Blood pressure, TENS, and other health-related devices.

    However, I would like to see a specific improvement such as others have suggested. First, breakaway connections like new MacBook MagSafe. Second, a waterproof version which enables safe use in wet, steamy environments (possibly power only, using Bluetooth for data if needed). It's quite easy to see that it might be possible to come up with a standard which addresses both issues in one. Even just a USB-C waterproof blanker could help protect devices when not being charged.

    Let us also see a universal visible marking scheme to help identify chargers, cables and devices and their capabilities/requirements. For example a single green band meaning it conforms to some basic level, double orange that it goes up to 60 watts, triple cyan that it is good for 100 watts. Something that has negligible cost, is easily visible, doesn't rely on colour alone.

    If you look at Amazon, many vendors are offering USB-based devices in many of these classes. Though sometimes they use micro-USB, USB-B, or some proprietary aspect. Get everyone over, please. Let me go on holiday with just one charger!

    1. Giles C Silver badge

      Re: Other devices? Other features?

      The biggest problem with usb-c is the mess of cables as you say.

      Power only

      Power up to x

      Data only

      Data high speed

      Thunderbolt (same port different signalling)

      Power and data with different speed / power capacity.

      The port might be standard the cables are a mess.

      Also I have ripped a few usb-c sockets out the board on laptops when the cable got pulled at an angle.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Other devices? Other features?

      This is becoming a de-facto standard anyway, more and more DIY tools now ship with a USB-C power connector. Volume makes it cheaper, so it will spread into even more things.

    3. Fred Daggy Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Other devices? Other features?

      On one hand I see the positives. Such as all the damn wall warts that came with things like switches, Wifi boxes, small powertools, etc. Never could remember which paired with which device. Looking at the wall wart was NO help as the plug came from some no name manufacturer. Sorting all devices with their plug TYPE only limited the choices, but sometimes you could put the wrong plug in the wrong devices and provide too much power, killing two devices.

      Conversely, technical innovation in new data/power cables and or mag safe is a legit concern.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Other devices? Other features?

      "Something that has negligible cost, is easily visible, doesn't rely on colour alone."

      Yes please. I still own devices that have an LED that apparently changes from red to green when they are charged, and I have to ask my wife or kids the colour of the LED. Saying that, there's something about the light wavelengths those LEDs generate. I can easily see the difference between red and green traffic lights, even if grass looks the same colour as an orange colouring pencil to me....

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Other devices? Other features?

      >Let us also see a universal visible marking scheme to help identify chargers, cables and devices and their capabilities/requirements.

      That is something HDMI also needs.

      It seems currently vendors only need to clearly mark the box a cable is sold in not the cable itself.

      So once out of the box there is no indication on the cable as to which variant it is...

  24. arachnoid2

    So...........

    What if a device is wireless charging only do they have to include a usb-c port. Also is this not stiffling innovation ?

  25. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    "Apple also said it would harm innovation"

    Bollocks. Moving to a UK-wide single electricity standard in the 1920s/1930s *BOOSTED* innovation as manufacturers weren't wasting resources making dozens of different versions of equipment. Moving to world-wide common "kettle lead" appliance connectors in the 1970s boosted innovation for the same reason. Probably a huge part of modern productivity and living standards arises from standard interchangable common parts.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Probably a huge part of modern productivity and living standards arises from standard interchangable common parts.

      True, but that's mostly been driven by industry-related standards bodies which understand the technical issues. Mandating such things by government fiat, through bureaucrats who have little or no technical knowledge, rarely works.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Groupe Spécial Mobile?

    2. arachnoid2

      Innovation is running at an exponential rate these days its only a matter of a few years and the port will be obsolete, as others have been superceeded so will they.

  26. Barrie Shepherd

    IHMO the USB C plug body need to be about 1.5 mm longer to give it better retention in the socket.

    Just how a USB C socket is going to be fitted to ear buds is a challenge!

    Manufacturers of products with tethered leads (e.g. web cams) should be made to supply replacement leads should the USB C Plug / cable connection fail - I have three web cams (one an expensive one) which are useless because the cable has pulled away from the plug body and there is no way to repair it.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      There's a USB-C with locking retention in the spec, but I've never seen it in person.

      https://www.usb.org/document-library/usb-type-c-connectors-and-cable-assemblies-compliance-document-revision-20

      download the zip, open pdf, page 52/53, single and dual locking screw retention

  27. BOFH in Training

    I have not read the law / regulation on this.

    But I hope there is a sunset clause, maybe 10 years or so, so at that time we can see if there are better form factors / standards that may be suitable.

    It will be irritating if we are forced to use USB C if there are better options in the future.

    1. I am the liquor

      As far as I can see, there is not.

      The Commission has reserved the right to executively alter the specifications "in the light of technical progress." But that looks rather like a chicken-and-egg situation, doesn't it. They won't allow a new connector until someone's created one, and no-one's going to create a new connector that's not allowed.

      Enshrining a specific connector in law seems like a mistake. We're now stuck with USB-C for good or ill. A better idea would've been to allow any connector that meets some standard of non-proprietary openness.

  28. glococo
    Facepalm

    Printer Cartel lobby as usual

    It seems only to me that the Printer Cartel is untouchable ?

    I am getting frustrated every time a friend ask me a printer recommendation.

  29. philstubbington

    What about USB-D?

    Whenever that comes along?

    I understand the issue, but USB-C has been around since 2014, and isn’t used by many devices I have. Something new will come along, and USB-C will eventually be obsolete. History repeats itself….

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: What about USB-D?

      They've been extended USB-C to a great degree.

      USB 4 is USB-C only and allows PCIe and USB 3.2, essentially Thunderbolt.

      USB-PD up to 100W is already absurd for phones, and if it isn't, we're doing something wrong with chip efficiency. Extended power delivery up to 240W is already in the spec.

      It might be a total cluster in terms of what works with what, but the actual connector seems to have been designed with some forward thinking in mind.

      iPhone users are happy with 480 Mbps right now to their device, USB 2 - an upgrade to 20Gbit/s is a comical leap.

  30. Paul Uszak
    FAIL

    Apple will still sell proprietary chargers anyway and make more money still.

    What's really in the Radio Equipment Directive? Has anyone checked the detail? The rules now say there must be a USB-C port on those relevant devices.

    So what? That doesn't affect chargers. USB-C is a data cable as well as a power cable. Apple will make smarter chargers that talk to the OS/firmware of the device and acknowledge each other. Probably with some cryptographic signature. Common 3rd party chargers will not be able to replicate the handshake, so Apple products will only charge with Apple signed chargers. Then forcing you to buy either genuine Apple, or Apple licensed chargers. And due to all of the additional complexity thrust upon them by the Socialist EU bureaucracy, Apple unfortunately have to charge more for them. Remember that it's for your safety which is Apple's number one priority.

    Shame on you EU. I had an old Dell 19V charger with a really common jack plug. Yet it talked over the DC wires with the laptop's firmware so no 3rd party charger would work. That was probably for my safety too. And it's why I no longer buy Dell anything. Also think John Deer tractors.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Apple will still sell proprietary chargers anyway and make more money still.

      The Dell thing was smart to be honest, you could use a lower power adapter with a workstation Dell, and it would inform the laptop of its capabilities and throttle back. Better than the laptop just pulling all it can, and the power brick burning up or simply cutting out.

      There was probably no standard to communicate that data at the time, so they did it their way.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And all the Apple fanbois

    Go cry in a corner because someone stuck it to Apple.

    I'm glad this has passed, it's a right PITA having to lug all sorts of different cables and chargers around, this should mean I can reduce the number of chargers and cables in the case and never be stuck having forgotten or lent one to someone who didn't return it.

  32. McAron

    Why not both ports?

    OK, Apple really loves their Lightning. Fair enough. So how about adding USB-C as second port, rather than replacing Lightning? There's no law or something that forbids you to make phones with two ports. And there's plenty of space on the bottom side too.

    Of course they won't do it, it's kinda kludge thus not "an Apple way". But then the discussion shifts from superficially reasonable "we won't do it because usb-c is technically inferior and removing lightning would produce tons of waste" etc., to a simple "we won't do it coz we don't like it". And that kind of argument is much easier to deal with.

  33. Maventi

    Neat, MacBooks and iPhones will actually ship with the same charge connector. Now that's courage!

  34. adam 40 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Brexit upvoting

    Good job we left the EU, eh?

  35. This Side Up
    WTF?

    Bonkers

    It's hard to see the logic of this. Instead of two camps (Android/usb and Apple/lightning) we'll add a third: Apple/usb. What about all the existing kit? Will Apple users need to buy new chargers for future equipment? Why can't Apple just make usb/lightning adapters available for a fee. Why can't they standardise on the other end of the cable which is normally the larger USB A? - the big one used on mains sockets. Then we'd only need different cables.

    But won't we need different chargers or mains adapters for different types of equipment. Whilst 1A will be OK for phones, laptops and tablets can swallow 2A or more.

    In any case, by 2024 won't we be using wireless charging? That's when standardisation should kick in.

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