Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Should companies be forced to use USB-C?

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We’ve begged companies like Apple to adopt USB-C on its devices for years — and we aren’t the only ones. The dream of plugging in every device with a single cable feels closer than ever, but if there’s even a single iPhone somewhere in your home, keeping around a Lightning cable is essential. The EU wants to pass legislation mandating companies use USB-C on all gadgets sold in Europe, but not everyone thinks that’s a good idea.

There are plenty of reasons to want companies like Apple to finally move to USB-C — including the environmental benefit of reducing e-waste — though as former AP contributor Martim Lobao argued this week, a mandated port might not be the answer. USB-C has room to grow, but it’s also nearly a decade old, which could stifle innovation if the wording of the bill isn’t carefully considered. And with the iPhone the only true holdout, it’s easy to see Apple skipping over a universal port entirely, opting instead for a port-less device that charges via MagSafe.

Apple isn’t the only business that would be affected by this law, though it’s undoubtedly the largest. Micro USB gadgets are still out there — hell, Amazon only just upgraded the Kindle to Paperwhite last week — preventing us from creating our one-cable utopia. There’s no doubt that some Android users wouldn’t consider a switch to the iPhone purely based on USB-C. However, it’s unclear how many average smartphone owners actually care all that much about using multiple cables for their array of devices.

It’s a tricky situation, one with no real easy answers, and that’s why we want to hear from you. Do you think companies should be mandated to use USB-C, or is this something better left for the market to decide? As always, this is a tricky subject, so feel free to expand on your thoughts in the comments section.

News Summary:

  • Should companies be forced to use USB-C?
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