One of the many ways Apple is making billions is by offering proprietary software and hardware. It’s not just the obvious product like MacOS or iPhone. Everything that Apple can claim – such as the size of a tablet – so that it can charge you more, it will. So it is that an official Apple will charge you জন্য 19 for a lightning cable from a 1-meter USB-C, whereas the best USB-C cable found in the PC World’s latest round-up costs 13.
For Apple, it’s all about money. But the European Union (EU) was apparently enough.
The 27-nation European Commission has decided that its citizens deserve a standard charger cable standard for their smartphones and all other devices. (The Commission has been working on this since 2019.) It argues, and I agree, that having a lot of mismatched charging standards is a waste of money and resources.
And, I can add, it’s seriously annoying. I must carry a USB-C, mini-USB, micro-USB, USB-A, Lightning and a Qi charging pad for all my gadgets when I travel. Inevitably, I waste time trying to fit the wrong cable to the wrong port – and that is “Which-Path-Is-Up USB-A Fandango?” Before starting the dance.
Under the new law, which is due to take effect in the fall of 2024, “USB phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles and portable speakers, regardless of the manufacturer of the rechargeable wired cable, are a USB Type-C.” Must be equipped with a port. “
That means you, Apple.
Everyone else has moved to USB-C. You are not special and neither is Lightning Cable.
In fact, USB-C cable and USB-C standard are better than Lightning in almost every way. First, there’s the obvious. Lightning only works with Apple devices. USB-C works with almost all modern devices. Oh, and anyway, Apple can just support USB-C. It has been used in third-generation iPad Pro models since 2018. Of course, Apple will sell you a Lightning for USB-C cable. How fitting.
USB-C can support data transfer speeds up to 40Gbps. Lightning strikes while talking to a USB device at a speed of 480Mbps. That’s a tiny bit of a difference.
When it comes to power, USB-C also cleans the floor with electricity. USB-C’s power delivery supports 3-to-5 Amps with fast-charging standard, which makes it much faster than standard lightning cable. Lightning only supports up to 2.4 Amps. So Apple offers Lightning Cable from a USB-C with most products. Used with a 20 watt or higher power adapter, USB-C enables Apple users to quickly charge the iPhone.
If that sounds weird, have you noticed Apple’s charging situation? All I need is Lightning, USB-C and MagSafe to get my relatively small Apple collection of Macs and gadgets. Oh, and a proprietary Apple Watch charger.
It’s all too much!
Maybe it’s just me but I hope standardization can be a good thing for Apple’s customers and European users.
So far, Apple has not commented on the new law. In the past, though, the Cupertino crew claimed that abandoning lightning would create an “unprecedented amount of electronic waste.” I’m sure they’ll sing the same thing again.
But we are already wasting a lot of chargers on landfills every year. Well, without me. There’s a closet full of exploding things! Now if we could all use a standard for all chargers, wouldn’t that save waste in the long run? Why yes, I think it will.
Perhaps the European Commission should address that particular hardware issue later.
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