A few years ago the EU tried to get all phone charging cables the same. It was pretty successful, and the USB-C format is now widespread.
The USB-C format works well because you don’t need to worry about which way up it’s inserted (let’s ignore the other end) and it can do so much more. As an example, the laptop I’m using now has a docking station plumbed into it. The mouse, keyboard, webcam, two monitors and my phone are all plugged into that and it all travels into just one socket on the laptop. On some smartphones, you can do a do a similar thing, as we’ve shown in the past.
Anyway, back to the programme. Most mobile manufacturers switched to USB-C, but Apple stuck their fingers up and said, “Nah, balls to you. Sure, we’ll allow USB-C charging, but you’ll have to buy an adapter or use our USB-C-to-Lightning cable and that’ll be £35 thank-you very much“.
Now it looks like the European Commission could force them to adopt a single universal charging method. The regulator states that electronic waste and the environmental impact are behind their reasoning.
Apple aren’t overly happy about the change, stating that it would hamper design innovation. Meanwhile, wireless charging may be on the rise but it’s not for everyone – carrying a cable and being able to plug into any USB port is easier than having to carry a cable and a wireless charging plate.