Brexit matters

Ediswan

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Probably not. More than likely what would have happened is that the USB Implementers Forum would have gone to the EU and said "We've got a new and improved version" and the EU would have said "Okay, devices manufactured past X date have to use the new standard".

Remember, the EU isn't anti-technology or anti-change. The whole point of this directive is stopping consumers being locked into a particular manufacturer due to propriety connectors.
The history, starting in 2009, is in Section 1 here: https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/46755/attachments/3/translations/en/renditions/native

A couple of quotes from what is a long and wordy document:

In June 2009, following a request from the Commission, major producers of mobile
telephones agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on harmonising chargers
for data-enabled mobile phones sold in the EU1. The signatories agreed to develop a common
specification based on the USB 2.0 micro-B interface, which would allow full charging
compatibility with the mobile phones to be placed on the market.

In March 2018,
following several rounds of discussion among the relevant manufacturers and exchanges of
views with the Commission, the industry proposed a new MoU on a future common charging
solution for smartphones. However, the Commission did not consider the new MoU to be
satisfactory as it is not in line with the EU’s harmonisation objectives, which seek to limit
fragmentation of charging solutions (both the charging interfaces and the charging
communication protocols) for mobile phones and similar items of radio equipment. The
proposed new MoU continued to allow for proprietary solutions (vendor-specific connection
means), which the Commission no longer considers justified in view of the technical
advantages provided by the introduction of the USB Type-C interface.
 
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jon0844

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I don't think there is any expectation that there would be a separate production line for the UK.
You say the rest of the world has adopted USB-C, yet Apple still seem to be happy to continue to use Lightning even on their latest iPhones.
Previously there was an agreement for everyone to standardise on the Micro-B port, since then most manufacturers have settled on USB-C without the EU having to mandate it. Although USB-C looks fairly extensible with multiple protocols using the same cable, who's to say how long that will continue?
If someone comes up with a whizzy new connector that does things better than USB-C, is it really best that they prevented by law from selling devices using it or just leave it to see what people buy and stand or fall by its own merits?

Apple will now adopt USB-C and I sincerely doubt they'll keep Lightning for UK customers.

Apple uses its cable because it can control who can make them, and charge a license fee. It will now lose that, but at the same time it will benefit from easier connectivity with its Mac and iPad line - as well as releasing updated accessories (some of which also used micro USB). It will then get to utilise faster data and charging if it so wishes.

I hear lots of people talking about something new and fancy to replace USB-C but have never heard anyone say what that might be, or why we'd need it when the specs are always improving.

USB-A has been around how long? USB-C is backwardly compatible (albeit maybe having limited data or charging speed).
 

najaB

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Apple uses its cable because it can control who can make them, and charge a license fee.
Exactly. And that's precisely the reason that the EU directive exists, to prevent single manufacturer tie-in. If someone comes up with a better interface then they're entirely within their rights to get it adopted as a standard across multiple manufacturers and then request that the EU update their guidance.
 

Ediswan

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Exactly. And that's precisely the reason that the EU directive exists, to prevent single manufacturer tie-in. If someone comes up with a better interface then they're entirely within their rights to get it adopted as a standard across multiple manufacturers and then request that the EU update their guidance.
Strictly, the EU directive is about the charging interface. I don't see how it would prohibit Apple from using a separate proprietary interface for data. Maybe something in the USB-C standard would.
 

najaB

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Strictly, the EU directive is about the charging interface. I don't see how it would prohibit Apple from using a separate proprietary interface for data. Maybe something in the USB-C standard would.
True. Though I can't see them using one connector for data a second one for charging so they'd probably have to switch to wireless charging.
 

gabrielhj07

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I 100% agree with universal USB-C; however I do wonder, if this legislation came in during MicroUSB, if we would all still be stuck with that; with the advantages and disadvantages of a change to USB-C still being discussed by bureaucrats and failing to gain traction.
Exactly this. It's all well and good standardising with the best we currently have, but when a better product comes along you can bet the bureaucrats will be dragging their heels over it.
 

jon0844

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I would expect the industries to lobby/work with the EU about any new wonder connector early on. It's not like someone just comes up with something overnight.
 

gabrielhj07

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I would expect the industries to lobby/work with the EU about any new wonder connector early on. It's not like someone just comes up with something overnight.
No, but requiring EU permission to indroduce a new standard would invariably slow its introduction. An unwillingness to jump through hoops may cause some to forgo an opportunity at making improvements.
 

StKeverne1497

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Manufacturers are likely to make it standard worldwide anyway - it will cost them more to produce different chargers for different markets.
Which is exactly what they did (well, apart from Apple) when the EU mandated micro-USB as a charging port back in 2009 or 2010. All the headlines claiming USB-C as a standard is a "world first" haven't done their research. Now micro-USB is a bit of a fiddly connector but it sure made life easier because it started appearing on just about anything with a rechargeable battery and if you broke your charging lead, guaranteed there would be another immediately available, even if just to borrow. USB-C, by comparison, is much, much less fiddly and has the advantage both of supporting faster USB data and charging standards and of allowing various other interfaces to be carried on the same connector. Good choice, I reckon.

I don't see why that is relevant. Devices for the UK require a three pin plug because that is what fits British sockets,
As I understand it there is legislation which requires that all consumer goods are supplied with such a plug already fitted - can you remember the last time you bought an appliance which came with a mains lead but no plug fitted? It used to be common.

Some companies get around this - particularly for non-earthed equipment - by supplying a two-pin "Euro" style plug, and clamping it in one of those big adapters. A bit annoying. Some of the commercial stuff I buy for work comes with two, or sometimes three, leads - UK style, earthed "Euro" style (the sort which fits both French and German sockets), and often an Australian plug too. It probably costs pennies to supply two utterly redundant leads and means they don't have to stock three different versions of the kit.

Rarely see a US-style plug though, which in these days of universal (100 - 250V & 50/60Hz ) power supplies I find a bit odd.

As for the approvals, check the bottom of almost any power supply for something like a laptop, it likely not only has CE (and now UKCA - whatever happened to the Kitemark?) but also UL (for the US), the Canadian thing, the Australian thing, a Japanese thing, possibly India and several others,
 
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Ediswan

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Some of the commercial stuff I buy for work comes with two, or sometimes three, leads - UK style, earthed "Euro" style (the sort which fits both French and German sockets), and often an Australian plug too. It probably costs pennies to supply two utterly redundant leads and means they don't have to stock three different versions of the kit.

Plenty of euro power cords have gone in the appropriate recyling container. Don't recall ever receiving an AU/NZ lead. Not saying it can't happen.

From the other side. A company I worked for includes 'all the power/video/data cables you might possibly need'. The cost is considerably more than pennies, but deemed the overall best option.
 

najaB

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No, but requiring EU permission to indroduce a new standard would invariably slow its introduction. An unwillingness to jump through hoops may cause some to forgo an opportunity at making improvements.
If it is a multi-manufacturer standard then the EU would likely approve it very quickly. What they are against is single-manufacturer lock-in.
 

najaB

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Plenty of euro power cords have gone in the appropriate recyling container. Don't recall ever receiving an AU/NZ lead. Not saying it can't happen.
It may well have been a US-style plug.

How quickly? Anything more than a matter of days is too long in my mind.
Given that the process of bringing a new standard to market is measured in years, I doubt that would be a major problem.
 
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Cdd89

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If it is a multi-manufacturer standard then the EU would likely approve it very quickly. What they are against is single-manufacturer lock-in.
I sort of think they wouldn’t be doing their job if they rubber-stamped any old change. The benefits of the new standard would need to be significant enough to justify the disposal of millions of existing connectors. “Why can’t the new design have the same form factor and be backwards compatible” would be an argument likely being made.

Then we have to assume that, if this is good law, other regulatory bodies would be imposing similar requirements and need to be similarly persuaded. As alluded above, the same phone with different charging ports per market would be a ridiculous outcome.

Finally there’s the elephant in the room that this is a non problem (USB-C is already standard) except for one hardware manufacturer who has done its best to skirt the requirements (with long grace periods, then dodgy adapters, then claims that Qi is already the universal standard). I’d much rather see a certain fruit-based manufacturer threatened such that they comply voluntarily, in order to avoid otherwise needless legislation (but maybe after 7 years of trying this the EU is at the end of their tether).
 

Ediswan

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It may well have been a US-style plug.
Definitely not. AU/NZ plugs have the power pins at 45 degrees. If that had arrived, my general inquisitive nature would have led me to look it up.

I needed to look this up when 'home' for when the covid WFH plan for one employee would have been New Zealand.
 
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JamesT

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Given that the process of bringing a new standard to market is measured in years, I doubt that would be a major problem.
The USB-C 1.0 standard was published in 2014. The USB Power Delivery rev 1 specification was released in 2012.
Though maybe we should be thankful they didn’t immediately make using USB PD law (which is in the EU directive), as rev 1 was very inflexible (six fixed charging rates up to 100W) and has been superseded by rev 2 and now rev 3.
 

dgl

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And, of course, USB-C connectors are used for Thunderbolt 4, which probably has data rates that are more than adequate for a decent length of time.
 

najaB

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I sort of think they wouldn’t be doing their job if they rubber-stamped any old change. The benefits of the new standard would need to be significant enough to justify the disposal of millions of existing connectors. “Why can’t the new design have the same form factor and be backwards compatible” would be an argument likely being made.
For it to get to the stage of being supported by multiple manufacturers then that leg work will already have been done by the industry. That said, other than the fruit-brand, I don't imagine we'll see proprietary connectors again.
 

GusB

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Finally there’s the elephant in the room that this is a non problem
Exactly. It's only a problem for those who see the continuing existence of the EU as a problem, no matter how trivial it is to the majority if those of us who just want to get on with our lives.

Heaven forbid that an organisation that advocates for common standards should ever exist. BSI, anyone? :rolleyes:
 

TheSeeker

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I found that it was beneficial to have a Nokia phone because so many other people also used one, or had done previously; if you went somewhere and forgot your charger, the chances are that there would be one kicking around.
Always handy to ask at a hotel reception if you'd forgotten your charger. They typically had a box full of them under the counter.
 

jon0844

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Exactly. It's only a problem for those who see the continuing existence of the EU as a problem, no matter how trivial it is to the majority if those of us who just want to get on with our lives.

Heaven forbid that an organisation that advocates for common standards should ever exist. BSI, anyone? :rolleyes:

If the UK had mandated USB-C as the charging standard, free of the shackles of the EU, I suspect everyone would be behind it. As the EU has done it first, of course we had to be against it.

Forget the politics. USB-C is the best connector for the job of providing high levels of power to devices to charge (and the USB Power Delivery standard should win through on that) and fast data transfers that are sufficient for the needs of today and many years to come.

It seems rather silly to be taking sides, as if you take the side of the UK for the sake of supporting Brexit or your love of Jacob Rees-Mogg, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I'd wager that Apple already had plans to switch on the iPhone anyway, as many iPhone users have wanted faster charging and data transfer (as well as Thunderbolt/USB 4 speeds) and being able to use the same cables as with their MacBook and/or iPad. Again, the UK wanting to stay as things are will have ZERO influence on what Apple does or doesn't do.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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They do say that when you get older, you can remember things from the past with clarity, but with recent matters, you appear to have the same memory time of a goldfish. This being the Brexit thread where certain rights have been discussed, I want to pose a question.

I unfortunately at the age of 77 have, over the last two years, suffered two TIA which has affected my long term memory somewhat and about sixty five years ago, I think that I was taught that the Magna Carta was eventually annulled by Pope Innocent III, which led to the First Barons War.

Is that right or am I mixing it up with another matter.
 

eoff

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I lost track after 137 pages, did the bonfire of red tape happen, are scientists able to participate in Horizon Europe research programmes?
 

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