Get ready for a bold new future with one charging cable
On an average work day, I’ll carry a laptop, an iPhone, an Android phone, some bike lights, and a pair of earplugs.
As such, I also carry six separate chargers, usually in the form of an intricate knot at the bottom of my bag.
It’s not the worst difficulty in the world, but it’s annoying, especially since it all seems pointless. Why don’t they have a universal charger?
Well, now they will, thanks to the European Parliament, which says the move will help innovation and reduce e-waste.
Interestingly, this is the exact opposite of Apple’s argument for more than a decade, as its lobbyists in Brussels resisted the move.
Apple loses the most because most of its devices use the Lightning port, while Android phones already use USB-C. And, as Apple points out, changing from one standard to another creates a lot of waste. Overall, there may be a reduction, but it will take some time.
When it comes to innovation, the trade-offs are also tricky. Sometimes diversity helps the development of new ideas, and sometimes a common standard does – if you’re reading this online, you’re doing so, thanks to the commonality that most people call “the Internet” standard.
In this case, where Apple has been proving the benefits of going its own way for years, it’s hard to say it’s a particularly compelling case. Lightning is clearly no better than USB-C, and Apple has started incorporating it into its devices. Absolutely will be fine.
The truth is that the next generation of charging will likely be wireless, and the European Parliament is already alone in supporting innovation.
Get ready for a bold new future: one charging cable…for six wireless charging pads.