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iPhone 5 Scorns Standards Promise To European Commission

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the we-have-found-that-customers-enjoy-paying-money dept.

EU 543

WebMink writes "Back in 2009, Apple signed an agreement aimed at reducing electronic waste resulting from mobile phone accessories. But this week's launch of the iPhone 5 shows them reneging on that commitment. Instead of including a micro-USB connector on the iPhone, as they agreed to do along with the rest of the phone industry, they created yet another proprietary connector. At a stroke, they have junked earlier iPhone accessories, forced a new industry in Apple-only accessories to arise and broken their promise to the EC. It's a huge missed opportunity both for their customers and for the environment."

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543 comments

Fuck Apple. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340607)

Someone should sue them for this shit.

Re:Fuck Apple. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340787)

No, they shouldn't, but people should just stop buying anything made by Apple.

Re:Fuck Apple. (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41340821)

Why?
I have iPhone and android and the proprietary connector means I can hook my phone into my car's USB port and stream music apps and play my playlists. Not just music off the storage in no order

Re:Fuck Apple. (-1, Troll)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#41340955)

And really...? Having a new adapter is going to somehow harm the enviornment?!?!

[rolls eyes]...Really......?

Re:Fuck Apple. (5, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#41341063)

Yes, new items will increase waste (old items), increase production of new items (emissions), and cause problems for the consumer (multiple cables).
So... unless you have some magical idea that will remove all of this, it will harm the environment.

Re:Fuck Apple. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341099)

Make an adapter for the adapter. It is the only logical way.

Re:Fuck Apple. (3, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#41341067)

And really...? Having a new adapter is going to somehow harm the enviornment?!?!

[rolls eyes]...Really......?

Really.

The idea is not to have a drawerful of one-off adapters and connectors, which is where we were before the mini- and micro-usb connectors became common currency. You save the environment by not having to manufacture and supply new cables with each new device, you save it again by only needing as many adapters and cables as you actively use, and finally, you save it by being able to retain and re-use these cables and adapters long after the original device has been retired/broken.

Small steps, agreed, but every little bit helps. And even if they didn't, I'd be for it just because I've got enough cables and adapters stuffed in my equipment drawers as it is.

Re:Fuck Apple. (3, Insightful)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | about 2 years ago | (#41341075)

I'm hoping this is sarcasm. But just in case it isn't. Yes a new adapter is going to harm the environment. People toss devices that use the old connector instead of reusing them. If they had used a standard (USB) connector in the first place you could reuse chargers etc. from other phones. Not only that but you could you switch from iPhone to Android to Windows Phone without having to buy new devices. Also, realize that that is the only reason for all Apple proprietary connectors. So you can't easily switch to a competitors device.

So yeah, Fuck Apple.

Re:Fuck Apple. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341191)

So yeah, Fuck apple

... said the guy who rushed to Slashdot to tell us all why he'd never by Apple's products, thus underscoring the fact that his desires are irrelevant to Apple's business decisions.

Re:Fuck Apple. (1)

Latinhypercube (935707) | about 2 years ago | (#41341313)

Can you really be that stupid?
Yes 5 million adapters will create tonnes of plastic and precious metal waste.
Apple are pure scum and far worse than Sony or Microsoft ever was

Re:Fuck Apple. (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41341021)

I have Android and can do the same thing without the proprietary connector.
Wait, I don't need a connector at all. Bluetooth.

Re:Fuck Apple. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#41341051)

No. You never needed a propritary connector. Some docking station music players used the analog lines from the propritary connector, but the new 'lightning' connector doesn't even have those, and in any event they weren't required to play audio. They just reduced the cost of doing so a bit.

Re:Fuck Apple. (5, Insightful)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | about 2 years ago | (#41341183)

proprietary connector means I can hook my phone into my car's USB port

What? Are you seriously confused? I can only hope this I've misunderstood your sarcasm. There are so many problems with your comment I'm not sure where to start. If the car has a USB port, it's not proprietary. Being able to stream music and control playlists has zero to do with the connector. Just imagine if iPhone had used USB from the start, then everyone would be able to use any phone in "device enabled" car. Thanks for fucking over everyone that doesn't buy your products Apple. The proprietary connector is only there to lock you into Apple products. Apple's new proprietary connector is only there to continue to lock you into new products and to force 3rd party device creators to have to licence the new connector and create a whole new wave of for-iPhone-only devices. Every time you see any proprietary connector, think of it as someone poking you in the eye with a dick. That's really what it is. They are fucking you. In the eye. With a dick.

So yeah, fuck Apple.

Re:Fuck Apple. (0)

profplump (309017) | about 2 years ago | (#41341297)

I'm all for standard connectors, but could we *please* stop pretending that Apple iDevice connector is equivalent in functionality to USB?

Slashdot, where it's oh-so-hip . . . (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340941)

. . . to tell everyone else what to buy and what not to buy.

Re:Fuck Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341025)

They don't need to be sued, but this is a valid area for regulation. The EU can simply state that adapters for electronic devices sold in the EU need to be approved due to the need to reduce electronic waste and to increase interoperability. Have the micro-USB standard be pre-approved. And if Apple wants to continue with their standard they can include appropriate concessions, like requiring a free computer, wall outlet, and car adapter for every device every year. Also require them to replace all damaged adapters free of charge (and free shipping) and to include free converters from the old standard to the new standard. Also ban the licensing fees required for hardware developers to build devices to any standard.

Technically, Apple IS compliant. (5, Informative)

fluffy99 (870997) | about 2 years ago | (#41341107)

Technically, Apple IS compliant.

From the agreement at http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise [europa.eu]
Undertaking 4.2.1 states that “if a manufacturer makes available an Adaptor from the Micro-USB connector of a Common EPS to a specific non-Micro-USB socket in the Mobile Phone, it shall constitute compliance”. Annex II futher states that “An EPS provided with a detachable cable shall be equipped with a USB Standard-A receptacle. Above requirement also applies to detachable cables used as adaptor i.e. where the Micro-B is replaced by a proprietary plug”

Switching to just a micro-USB would have been stupid as you can't get analog audio or HD video through USB 2.0. Still I feel for all the people who've invested in accessories that use the standar Apple 30-pin. Expensive accessories like docks, iHome clocks, etc.

Re:Technically, Apple IS compliant. (2)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about 2 years ago | (#41341227)

LOL, am I reading this correctly? Let me paraphrase:

Compliance is using a standard, rather than proprietary, adapter*

*Note: Instead of one standard adapter, using two proprietary adapters to emulate a single standard adapter, shall constitute compliance.

What. The. Fuck.

Re:Technically, Apple IS compliant. (3, Informative)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | about 2 years ago | (#41341369)

Not sure if you knew this fluffy99, but the new connector doesn't support analog either. Also, it's proprietary, so it really fucks everyone good. Not sure if you enjoy watching everyone get fucked, but that's what proprietary connectors do. Besides, fluffy, what's wrong with digital audio and digital video? It's coming off a DAC anyhow, why not just avoid the generation loss that you would incur from unnecessarily converting it to analog?

Re:Technically, Apple IS compliant. (3, Informative)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#41341373)

Switching to just a micro-USB would have been stupid as you can't get analog audio or HD video through USB 2.0. Still I feel for all the people who've invested in accessories that use the standar Apple 30-pin. Expensive accessories like docks, iHome clocks, etc.

Analog audio is easily available from the 3.5mm jack they moved right next to the new dock connector. HD video is easily available through HDMI (mini or micro, both of which have cheap adapters to full-size HDMI) or MHL, which can be implemented in a microUSB connector. USB handles all other data you might need.

As you see, there's no reason to use something proprietary, especially if you won't be supporting analog video out anymore.

Re:Fuck Apple. (1)

cffrost (885375) | about 2 years ago | (#41341205)

Apple to EU Cities: Drop Dead

Is USB really better? (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#41340613)

I was under the impression that Apple's dock connectors were designed such that they could be plugged into various accessories (speaker docks, etc.) without the need for a lot of processing power to play music and such.

Wouldn't using USB make this a major challenge for the companies building the accessories? After all, USB requires some heavy lifting on the host side.

Re:Is USB really better? (4, Informative)

petteyg359 (1847514) | about 2 years ago | (#41340695)

Hardly. Any "smart phone" has plenty of CPU power to be a USB host, and various Android devices have been promoting that feature for several months.

With great power... (-1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41340767)

Any "smart phone" has plenty of CPU power to be a USB host

Yes it has that power, but why should it have to waste CPU cycles doing that? CPU eats battery, and also reduces the cycles available for more interesting applications.

various Android devices have been promoting that feature for several months

And iOS products have had a shipping armada of third party devices for years.

Re:With great power... (1)

travisco_nabisco (817002) | about 2 years ago | (#41340909)

So you don't want your phone using the battery while it is sitting in a dock? That doesn't make any sense. The dock charges the battery so there no reason that a bit of extra processing will make a bit of a difference.
Do you have any ideas for interesting application that the CPU cycles can be used for while it is sitting in said dock?

Re:With great power... (3, Informative)

Jerslan (1088525) | about 2 years ago | (#41341321)

Dock's weren't the only accessory that used that connector. Example: I have a dongle for connecting to Ant+ sensors (Heart-Rate, Cadence, Stride, etc..). That's not going to charge it while consuming the extra power.

Re:Is USB really better? (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41341201)

Any "smart phone" has plenty of CPU power to be a USB host, and various Android devices have been promoting that feature for several months.

They've also been proudly promoting their dreadful battery life.

Re:Is USB really better? (4, Informative)

SScorpio (595836) | about 2 years ago | (#41341303)

Or they could be the Samsung Galaxy II and III and support MHL.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_High-Definition_Link [wikipedia.org]

MHL supports power to the device, CEC standard remote control for media playback control, 1080p uncompressed video, and 8 channels of uncompressed audio.

The only issue with MHL is that Apple doesn't paid any royalties for every device that uses the connector. The Roku Stick which is a full Roku that is the size of a large thumb drive is pretty neat as well.

Re:Is USB really better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340707)

All they had to do was include an adapter.

Re:Is USB really better? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340761)

All they had to do was include an adapter.

But that would remove a considerable Apple tax from their user base. As such, it would entirely default the sole purpose of their new proprietary connector.

Re:Is USB really better? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41341019)

I don't see how an adapter helps. If you can lose your apple charging cable, then you can lose the adapter as well.

Re:Is USB really better? (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41341355)

If you can lose the adapter, you can lose the phone as well. Problem solved.

Re:Is USB really better? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340721)

The point is not about if the standard USB dock is better in terms of functionality -- it's better in terms of standards and openness and inter-operability -- it's better we can reduce the amount of proprietary crap we buy and dispose of.

Re:Is USB really better? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340933)

The point is not about if the standard USB dock is better in terms of functionality -- it's better in terms of standards and openness and inter-operability

At least you admit that you don't care that the product is functionally better. You just want Apple products to be overall less useful-- rather like those of their competitors-- because that sort of mediocrity the standard.

Yeah, sign me up.

Re:Is USB really better? (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41340779)

Wouldn't using USB make this a major challenge for the companies building the accessories?

There are no shortage of accessories for Android phones, so I guess the answer to your question is and emphatic NO.

There are a small handful of USB compatible sockets that allow charging with a standard USB charger, even though a slightly different cable can do additional things, such as direct HDMI tv connections, allow you to mount disk drives and thumb drives to the phone, etc.

The idea is that if you forgot your charger cable, you could still charge your phone without buying a high priced proprietary charger. Any cheap USB charger cable would do.

The fact that you couldn't dock with your bedside speakers was never the issue. Most people don't travel with those.

Re:Is USB really better? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341213)

Really?

Accessories that can change volume through the USB interface?
Accessories that can skip songs?
Accessories that can change playlists?
Accessories that can do video out?

Re:Is USB really better? (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41341361)

Yup.

See your Ford dealer. Or Chevy, or Chrysler, or Mercedes or Volkswagen. Its not that hard.
Now take your cables and go away, I'm busy watching a movie from the Android phone in my pocket on the 50inch TV on the wall.

Re:Is USB really better? (3, Insightful)

emt377 (610337) | about 2 years ago | (#41341323)

The idea is that if you forgot your charger cable, you could still charge your phone without buying a high priced proprietary charger.

No, the idea is to get rid of the proprietary charger. The wall wart. Apple have always charged off USB, and Apple USB chargers can be used to charge any device with a USB cable.

Re:Is USB really better? (2)

DMiax (915735) | about 2 years ago | (#41340785)

It does not have to be a USB for everything. What the EC asked was for USB to be the shape of the charging port. Anyway it cannot be too hard: other companies had no trouble adapting without loss of quality. Plus the EC is fine if they simply include an adapter from USB, IIRC.

Re:Is USB really better? (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41340907)

Plus the EC is fine if they simply include an adapter from USB, IIRC.

How do creating adapters fit with the goal of producing less waste?

Re:Is USB really better? (1)

DMiax (915735) | about 2 years ago | (#41341029)

It is meant to drive us to a point where most people have one USB-based charger, virtually all the phones can be charged with it and the companies are comfortable not including a charger in the package anymore. Already now, think your proprietary charger for X dies, if they included an adaptor in the package you might simply start using a charger from another phone in the household, an old phone, or a friend's spare.

Re:Is USB really better? (1)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | about 2 years ago | (#41341093)

Because instead of a drawer full of obsolete chargers for lost/broken/outdated devices, people will have a drawer full of spare chargers that can be used for any device (along with a small somewhat-less-wasteful pile of current and obsolete adapters from companies that refused to play ball.)

Re:Is USB really better? (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41341085)

Plus the EC is fine if they simply include an adapter from USB, IIRC.

Well, no, the EC is not fine with that. That was Apple's response last time, some silly little converter dongle that was MORE likely to be lost or forgotten while traveling than the cable itself. But because Apple was already committed on the iPhone 4 design at that point they got a pass.

Fast forward 2 years, and Apple just abrogates the entire agreement because their engineers are too dumb to figure out what every other phone manufacturer has already figured out.

Re:Is USB really better? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341305)

Yeah, except they include a USB wall charger (easily re-used with any USB charging cable from any other device), a USB-to-lightning cable (easily used with any standard USB port, or USB charging cable), and if you really want to use some other USB wall plug/port as your power source, and a MicroUSB cable... you can buy a simple adapter that'll work, too.

Your argument is pretty much as dumb as the arguments that "having a replaceable battery for each and every device is so much better." If you really want to carry around an extra battery, you get an external power pack like a mophie, and use that to power *any usb-powered device you own,* instead of a bag full of proprietary extra batteries for every device you might ever want to swap a battery for.

Jesus you lot surely are thick.

Re:Is USB really better? (4, Informative)

kenorland (2691677) | about 2 years ago | (#41340823)

Android devices not only support USB Host (and support it well), the same micro-USB connector is also used for HD video and audio via MHL. Samsung shows that you can make a micro-USB connector that allows simultaneous micro-USB, charging, and MHL connections.

Re:Is USB really better? (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41341215)

Android devices not only support USB Host (and support it well), the same micro-USB connector is also used for HD video and audio via MHL. Samsung shows that you can make a micro-USB connector that allows simultaneous micro-USB, charging, and MHL connections.

Yes, but that is not a standard MicroUSB port on the Samsung. Go count pins.
Its compatible with any Mirco USB charger for charging purposes. But its not strictly a MicroUSB port. Its got something like 11 pins or something.

That solution works for the EU's purpose.
Too many people buying unnecessary chargers and cables at ridiculous prices while traveling, only to throw them all away again when they change phones.

Re:Is USB really better? (2)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41341287)

"you can make a micro-USB connector that allows simultaneous micro-USB, charging, and MHL connections."

That' semi-correct, but in practice it's of limited utility. You can have a micro-USB connector, which can work as either USB or MHL, not both at the same time, as you claim. When it's running as MHL, what would normally be the USB data lines are in active use for MHL, so it's impossible to sense that a USB charger (which basically shorts the data lines together to indicate its presence) is connected, and it's also impossible to enumerate on the USB bus. As a result, the phone can't detect whether it's connected to a USB charger which can provide up to 1.5A, and it can't negotiate for the 500 mA allowed for a regular USB connection, so it's limited to drawing the max 100 mA allowed in those circumstances. That's if it's following the USB spec. Some phones will try to draw 500 mA regardless, that's a pretty widely encountered violation of the USB spec.

In any case, since MHL is typically used for viewing video, the phone is unlikely to be able to draw more power than it consumes - so it discharges, not charges, while using MHL.

Re:Is USB really better? (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41341003)

USB is better because I have a bunch of USB cables right here. When my son loses his apple charging cable I have to go out and buy a new apple licensed cable.

Re:Is USB really better? (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#41341389)

You can just get audio from the 3.5mm jack, video can be output through HDMI or MHL, anything else needs more complex processing anyway (all of which is easily done by the phone)

Steve Jobs is happy... (0)

madhatter256 (443326) | about 2 years ago | (#41340633)

that his products still "sticks it to the man". I can picture him flipping the bird to EC...

Re:Steve Jobs is happy... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340799)

that his products still "sticks it to the man". I can picture him flipping the bird to EC...

Yes. Look up the word "hipster" and you will see a picture of Steve Jobs.

In the definition, however, you will see the term "douche-bag".

Re:Steve Jobs is happy... (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41340811)

How happy will he be when the EU bans import?
The law wasn't a suggestion.

Re:Steve Jobs is happy... (4, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#41341247)

The law also doesn't say what the summary claims it says.

It specifically allows [europa.eu] for adapters to be used, and Apple has had a micro-USB adapter [apple.com] available for quite awhile now that complies with the standards that have been set.

RTFA (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340669)

From TFA:

"Which is the agreed common interface?

On the basis of the Micro-USB interface, the companies have agreed to develop a common specification in order to allow for full compatibility of chargers and mobile phones. These specifications have been translated in European standards.

N.B.: The agreement allows for the use of an adaptor."

Apple supplies adaptors, therefore they're not "scorning" the agreement.

Re:RTFA (1, Flamebait)

burne (686114) | about 2 years ago | (#41340817)

Damn. Fresh out of mod-points, and somebody says something insightful instead of -1 troll or -1 flamebait.

FWIW: I have 5 different models of nokia-charger. Some are 'backward' compatible (ie: it takes a day to charge your phone), others wont even fit the wrong phone. I have 4 different models of motorola-charger (all are mutually incompatible. the plug fits, but it doesn't charge).

I have two models of Apple charger. Both use an USB-connector and a cable. One is slow, the other is fast, but only when charging my iPad. iPod and iPhone charge at the same pace. Better still: iPad, iPod and Iphone charge from any USB-port. iPad charges slow, iPod and iPhone charge at usual speed.

From where I'm standing Apple has been doing what the EU wants since 2003.

Re:RTFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341065)

What the EU wants is that you should have one cable to fit ALL new devices. No matter if they're from Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Apple, Microsoft, whatever. So no, Apple is definitely not doing what the EU wants: they are moving from one format that fits only Apple devices to another format that fits only Apple devices. What they want is that any charger will work for any phone. The iPhone 5 charger won't work for an HTC One X (for example), so they're definitely not complying.

Re:RTFA (3, Insightful)

vakuona (788200) | about 2 years ago | (#41341291)

No, that is not what they want. That is what _you_ want them to want.

If that is what they had wanted, they would have said so. How hard would it have been to say, "everyone phone should include a micro-usb port that you can use for charging and syncing"?

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341037)

More apologetics from a fan boi.

Re:RTFA (4, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#41341061)

Apple supplies adaptors, therefore they're not "scorning" the agreement.

Exactly correct. This agreement has already been in place for years, as the summary was quick to point out, but they failed to note the fact that Apple has been complying all along by including adapters. You can expect the same to be true for the iPhone 5 as well.

And even if they had they changed to micro-USB, they would have exactly the same problems as the ones being cited in the summary, so this strikes me as a bit of a double standard. Since the data handling via USB on smartphones is not standardized, meaning that there is not necessarily any interoperability between devices with a particular accessory, you'd still have an industry dedicated to making Apple-specific accessories, simply due to the volume of devices that they could work with. Similarly, you would have rendered all of the previous accessories obsolete by moving to a new standard, and you'd have also been forced to introduce a new adapter. Also worth noting is that micro-USB is incapable of charging an iPad [brockerhoff.net] according to that article, which this new dock connector will surely be used for.

The only argument left from the summary is that they've broken their promise to abide by the standard, and as you aptly pointed out, that is untrue.

Considering how often this stuff has come up on Slashdot (particularly with the fact that it was a major point of discussion when the new dock connector leaked a few weeks back), I'm surprised it's not common knowledge on Slashdot how Apple has handled that agreement, even for our non-European friends.

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341071)

The box [apple.com] also includes a USB-to-Lightning cable and a USB power adapter - so you can plug the single cable right into a USB port, or a wall outlet. If you MUST use a MicroUSB charger that works with other devices, a usb-to-lightning adapter for that is available for 15 pounds in the UK, as well.

Personally, I've never found chargers to be that big a deal, and I have multiple devices - they all charge over USB, and I have a powered hub that I plug them all into when I want to charge them - each power cable stays plugged into the hub, ready for the device to be connected, unless I'm traveling, in which case the cables come with me.

I can't think of any time I've needed to charge multiple devices one after another off a single cable, because I tend to need them to be charged in parallel - e.g., phone, camera, tablet all need charging overnight.

Re:RTFA (1)

Anaerin (905998) | about 2 years ago | (#41341081)

I have to make a correction here. Apple doesn't SUPPLY the adapter, but it does make one available for you to BUY (At increased cost). And even with the adapter in question, it still means you can't use your Apple charger to charge your friend's Micro-USB phone.

Wrong, ships with adaptor in EU (5, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41341237)

I have to make a correction here. Apple doesn't SUPPLY the adapter, but it does make one available for you to BUY

In the EU they DO ship with a Lightning->MicroUSB port.

You are probably thinking about the U.S., where it does NOT ship with a Lightning->iPod 30-pin adaptor. But it does ship with a Lightning->USB cable to connect to any standard USB port... if you can connect to a standard USB port already does it matter so much if there's an adaptor? It's mostly for accessories.

Re:RTFA (1)

vakuona (788200) | about 2 years ago | (#41341341)

I have an iPhone and a (work) Blackberry. I lost my BB charger a long time ago. I charge my BB using my iPhone wall plug and a micro-usb cable that I bought with a pair of bluetooth headphones. I charge the headphones using the same wall plug by the way.

That's not what was agreed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340687)

The only thing apple agree to was to provide the ability to plug into a USB port for charging/syncing/compatibility with existing USB ports.

They include an adaptor for the EU (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41340713)

Apple ships a Micro-USB adaptor with every iPhone in the EU.

The new connector is not a missed opportunity. Micro-USB sucks, the cables suck, the connectors are weak and prone to failure - not to mention by any measure it's superior to have a directionless connector. How is it better for the environment to buy cables more often?

And what about the NUMBER of micro-USB connectors. There are at least three that look nearly alike, I'm sure one of them is the official Micro-USB connector but how can you tell when you have multiple cables each with slightly different tiny connectors?

I would say the EU has failed you all by locking the nation into a poor standard for all phones to have to use, instead of allowing companies to continue to iterate over better connector designs. Instead you wound up with the least common denominator of connectors, dooming yourself to poor power transfer abilities and as I said badly designed connectors prone to breaking.

Re:They include an adaptor for the EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341017)

In the article provided it says an adapter can be used. Keep the Iphone as-is and ship out an adapter. Problem solved. Now you need your phone and adapter to charge your phone from a "common standard connector". This is great for those airport Kiosks that are available to quick charger your phone. They provide the Micro-USB adapter and any inconvenience is put onto the consumer to carry an additional adapter for their phone. If you don't like to carry an extra adapter, then purchase a phone that does have the Micro-USB port. This doesn't really change much as phone companies want to sell the adapter too since it is known to work with the phone. If I buy a $600 phone, I demand that it comes with a plug-in charger.

This was a good idea for the EC to save on waste, but I think there is a lot of other electronic waste out there. Next thing I'm going to hear is that the phone manufacturer is going to void my warranty because of a faulty power adapter that was used. But it's the standard??? But it is not "blessed" by the manufacturer.

Article states:
> N.B.: The agreement allows for the use of an adaptor.

Re:They include an adaptor for the EU (3, Insightful)

spleck (312109) | about 2 years ago | (#41341095)

If the EU had standardized on a free (no royalties) Lightning connector, everyone would be crying foul over government mandates and how it stifles innovation.

The goal was to get rid of large power bricks attached to proprietary connectors. Apple has for MANY years supplied a power plug with a standard USB connector and used the same cable/connector for 10 years. THAT has reduced waste. What other phone manufacturer has stuck with their plugs that long? How many phones will charge from a 10 year old cable?

What about all those phones that include a micro-USB port for charging, but then have ANOTHER port or a ANOTHER special proprietary cable to get audio/video out?

Re:They include an adaptor for the EU (2)

Anaerin (905998) | about 2 years ago | (#41341097)

They don't ship them in the EU, they just make them available to buy.

Maybe Apple Has Done It Better (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340723)

From what I've read, the lightning connector is in every way superior to micro-USB. So I don't think we should care that some Euro weeny bureaucrats are upset that one company doesn't sink to the lowest common denominator just because it is "standard".

If we all just rested our laurels on what is good enough and doing what everybody else was doing, there would never in any innovation in the world. I applaud Apple fo pushing out old tech and bring in new tech as soon as possible. It is Apple that leads, and their competitors follow.

connector - usb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340735)

Does anyone know if they make a USB powered dildo or a blow up doll that can suck like a mother fucker? The reason I ask is for a friend, who asked me to ask the tech community.

The only reason I am asking this embarrassing question is because I am sick of giving him blowjobs and ramming my 12 inch johnson (outboard motor?) up his ass while giving him the fish hook.

Back in the 90s, he used to sit on the joystick with it up his ass while he played flight simulator. It was amazing that he could still push the button somehow with his insides. Of course I had to use my own controller after he was finished since his was dirty.

So, back to my original question. USB powered or perhaps a lawn mower engine powered dildo? I really need to vibration to wiggle good.

Import Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340741)

Why don't Apple's competitors get EU countries to ban import because they are not following trade agreements?

So lame! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340757)

All this complaining is so lame.

If you don't like the connector, then grow some fucking balls and don't buy the product. Period. As for me - don't have an iPhone/iPad/iWhatever and don't want an iPhone/iPad/iWhatever - and the same for Android whatever too.

As for the bitching about changing the connector - so, what, are they supposed to make one connector and then support it forever, never changing it? How long is long enough? It's been TEN YEARS! Christ - you're lucky it made it THAT long. Besides which, if you keep using the product (Phone/Pod/whatever) you bought for your whatever, you will run into no problems with the connection at all.

Fanbois be quiet... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#41340773)

All connectors wear out. Id micro usb the best possible? No. But it strikes a good compromise and likely does reduce wast, though I have no studies to back that up.
Apple: The bottom line and 'image' are most important. To that end we only play at giving an actual two shits about you, our workers, and the environment.

Re:Fanbois be quiet... (2)

MBCook (132727) | about 2 years ago | (#41340991)

Apple has been complying since that ruling was made, they give European buyers a little adapter.

The new Lightning connector (not a fan of that name, btw) has some benefits over micro-usb. Reports say that it plugs into the phone pretty securely. When I use micro-USB on my Kindle, I can tell you it doesn't feel like the most secure thing. More importantly from an ease of use perspective, the new connector doesn't have to be plugged in a specific way, there is no "up".

I'm curious to see what the pinout ends up being. Apple might have some surprises in store for us.

Re:Fanbois be quiet... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#41341127)

I know exactly what the pinout will be.

Patented.

Re:Fanbois be quiet... (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 2 years ago | (#41341203)

You can't patent a pin out.

Now the physical design of the connector... we all know that's patented to hell.

Re:Fanbois be quiet... (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#41341197)

Well, there's no reason you couldn't make a micro-USB compatible plug that does in fact lock. You could probably even make one that's reversible...

Re:Fanbois be quiet... (2)

MBCook (132727) | about 2 years ago | (#41341315)

If you do, it's not micro-USB anymore. And if you wanted to call it "USB" then you have to get the standard committee to approve it. At that point you'd just have a non-proprietary Apple connector, but it still wouldn't be compatible with any other phones or cables without an adapter. Plus we already have USB A, B, micro-A, micro-B, micro-AB, 5 pin mini-B, 4 pin mini-B, USB 3 A, USB 3 B, and USB 3 micro-B.

They all have problems. USB A would be good, expect it's a perfect rectangle that can't be inserted in either direction. There is no way to tell if you have it right-side-up or not. Some of the later ones, like micro-B, are obviously keyed so they can't be inserted the wrong way, but they still have to be positioned correctly. Plus most of the micro ones are so short they don't feel like they're gripped very well by the device (at least in my limited experience).

FireWire 400 had a great connector. It only went in one way, but it was very easy to figure out which way it went either visually or by feel. The FireWire 800 connector is quite a bit worse. It has a small notch on top so can feel which end is up on the cable, but it's not visually distinct enough.

I think Apple actually came up with a very nice design. I haven't touched one yet (so it could turn out to feel terrible), but it seems well designed.

Re:Fanbois be quiet... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41341057)

All connectors wear out.

Yes, but micro-usb wears out faster than other designs.

The small shape with sharp corners means you are always putting some force on the thing to plug it in. Over time I've had a number of connectors fail on cords, and had to throw away the cords. It's also rough on the connector in the device, if it's not built well that can work loose or fail over time also.

But it strikes a good compromise and likely does reduce wast

I do not see how a design that makes me buy cables more often reduces waste.

I understand the theory, you can have just one cable - but that remains true if you want to use the iPhone that way, as it comes with a Micro-USB adaptor.

And does it really matter that much? Most people just have one phone to charge. So they can use whatever cable and then isn't it better that they can have a design for the plug that's easier to use? I really prefer reversible designs, they are much less frustrating over time.

Furthermore the thing that really annoys me about standardizing on USB is that it places a cap on how much power you can transfer. I would prefer to be able to use a system that allows for faster charging.

Why are people not up in arms over the phones shipping with wireless chargers? That's almost a worse situation at the moment, you need a very bulky adaptor that likely only works with that one device. Only you are still traveling so you also need a USB charging cord. At least with the iPhone you could use the USB cord for home and travel and just use the one tiny adaptor.

Apple: The bottom line and 'image' are most important.

I posit an alternate explanation. Apple is about producing something they think will work best for the user, regardless of government regulations that standardize on the lowest common denominator of connectors. And Apple is producing cables a lot better for the environment than your average cheap USB cable that goes in the trash eventually.

Thinness (4, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41340805)

I still don't really understand the rationale behind the new connector. It seems the whole motivation for it was to make the iPhone thinner... which, I don't see as a real selling point at this point, especially given all the frustration with having to replace accessories or buy a new set of $30 adapters, and the fact that the iPhone 4s is really thin enough. As for simplicity, it really goes against the Apple aesthetic. One picture [cloudfront.net] from the event made that evident.

Meanwhile, the rest of the industry seems to be moving away from wires and toward wireless. Wireless payments, wireless charging, wireless audio, etc. with NFC and other related technologies. Apple is for some strange reason the last to adopt these innovations, and it will be a whole year before they come up with an answer. In the mean time, they're piling on connectors and dongles galore. It's very strange.

Re:Thinness (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 2 years ago | (#41341111)

The old connector had a few problems. It was big and bulky, that's certainly true. But it also had a ton of extra pins that aren't needed. It supported USB, USB charging, Firewire, Firewire charging (not supported on the iPhone 4 and beyond), analog audio out, analog audio in, and composite and s-video out.

In fact, that's one of the reasons for the $30 price. There are no analog out pins in the new connector. So those adapters have to include DACs to provide audio to whatever gets plugged in. If the adapter did nothing but charging and data it would probably be cheaper. I wonder how many adapters they'll end up selling. I need one for my car, but will many "normal" people bother to buy one?

Remember that Apple has been using that connector for 8 or 9 years. It used to be common (before other makers went to micro-USB) for each new phone model to have a new connector, requiring new power adapters. The iPod/iPhone universe has kind of spoiled us.

I would like wireless charging, I've wanted it ever since I saw the Palm Touchstone. Apple claims people are happy enough without it... it's not a big enough thing to stop me. Maybe having to set my phone down on a specific spot where I kept a special charging pad/device would annoy me. Since Nokia just put it in the new Lumia, I'm hoping it shows up later. There are also claims that NFC isn't in there because it would require a plastic back (less durable, feels cheaper) or an additional antenna.

I will say the gizmo-nerd in me was really hoping for NFC. It seems so perfect for Passbook, I thought that alone might do it. If NFC ever catches on, I'm sure Apple will include it. I was hoping Apple would because I figured that would cause an explosion in adoption.

Apple moving heavily into wireless (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41341125)

Wireless payments, wireless charging, wireless audio, etc. with NFC and other related technologies.

Apple has adopted Bluetooth LE (as have other companies) which allow all those things to occur. NFC is not required for any of those things.

Furthermore Apple instead of providing NFC, has a much more practical means (for the U.S.) of electronic payment in Passbook. There's almost no NFC support in the U.S..

Apple of course also heavily promotes AirPlay, which is quite wireless...

In the mean time, they're piling on connectors and dongles galore. It's very strange.

They are not "piling on" anything. They fully support Bluetooth LE as noted, they are simply changing out a connector standard for something more modern. Who would not prefer to have charging and video output options that all come out of a single port? It also allows for faster charging than you could have if you simply support USB, important for tablets.

Re:Thinness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341151)

I don't see as a real selling point at this point, especially given all the frustration with having to replace accessories or buy a new set of $30 adapters, and the fact that the iPhone 4s is really thin enough

Don't worry, an Android phone will be released soon that's as thin or thinner, then you can come here and tell us how superior android devices are because they manage to be thinner than Apple's iPhone.

As far as "simplicity" there is almost NO scenario where you will need the 30-pin to Lightning connector, except - perhaps - in a car stereo adapter kit (and even those are mostly using Bluetooth for connection these days (which the iPhone has supported for some time), so it'd just be for charging the device while you're in the car). The devices COME with a USB-to-Lightning cable in the box, so for just about any typical charging or connecting scenario, you'll simply use that cable.

My pet peeve... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340807)

The proprietary connector, whether it's the old one or the new one, is the reason I don't buy Apple gadgets (although I do buy and love Apple's laptops). The recent development that all devices use microusb for charging is the best thing ever. I can charge my Kindle, cellphone, cordless mouse, and bluetooth hands-free, all with the same, omnipresent standard cable.

A couple of years ago, I worked in a small desert town in Iran. I had forgotten to bring the Apple cord for my iPod Touch. I had any number of "normal" usb cords available, including micro and mini, but there was no place where I could get hold of an Apple cord. My iPod was useless. I can't believe they still haven't wised up to the idea of a standard connector.

Certainly a pet peeve of mine. If it wasn't for the stupid connector, my awesome Macbook Pro would be connected to an iPhone right now, instead of to a Galaxy S3.

Re:My pet peeve... (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41341009)

My Galaxy Tab's cable looks similar to Apple's pre-Lightning cable.

So are we ready to sharpen our pitchforks and light our torches at Samsung?

Re:My pet peeve... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341277)

I do have one issue with micro-usb however. They really should have made it agnostic to which side is up.
USB in general is a fairly decent standard, but darn is it annoying trying to guess which way the contact goes.
I suppose that would have made the receptible slightly more complex, but imo it would be well worth it.

This is also why I like the TRS connectors used for audio. They are simple, easy to use, and generally gets
th ejob they're supposed to do done. There's also a 4-contact TRRS version, which could in principle
have been used for serial data + power, but I guess that would have been confusing, and maybe the contacts
do not handle a large enough bandwidth or something.

Tough for the EU, tell them they can buy it 2014 (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#41340829)

The new adaptor is cheaper and more useable.

But basically the EU can choose: either you get what comes out or you get to wait until 2014.

Your choice.

if you buy apple (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about 2 years ago | (#41340837)

expect Pips>

lock in & license fees. (5, Insightful)

hxnwix (652290) | about 2 years ago | (#41340843)

If you invest in accessories for the new connector, you'll be less inclined to buy a non-Apple phone.

Perhaps their connector has additional pins for HDMI, but they could have placed a real HDMI connector beside the USB connector for easy docking. Alternately, they could sell a dongle to pipe HDMI video out from USB2 as other manufacturers already do.

But then they couldn't lock their customers in and charge exorbitant licensing fees for their connector.

Re:lock in & license fees. (2)

MBCook (132727) | about 2 years ago | (#41341153)

They have actually said they will be selling Lighting to HDMI and Lightning to VGA adapters. I'm interested in finding out what the pinout is. I doubt it carries pins dedicated to HDMI. The adapters could be active devices. One of the reasons for the $30 and $40 cost on the adapters (besides "they can") is that they have DACs for audio, since the new connector doesn't have analog audio pins.

Hyperbolie much? (2, Insightful)

rabtech (223758) | about 2 years ago | (#41340913)

Geez, nice hyperbolic story.

First, Apple is keeping to the requirement by offering a micro-USB cable.

Second, the reason they didn't use micro-USB is because it doesn't have the requisite number of pins. As we saw with Thunderbolt, the USB folks will *not* allow you to add non-standard pins to their connector.

This connector must support at least 2 amps of charging for the iPad (in the future presumably). That puts micro-USB right out of the picture.

It must also support digitally sending all the data necessary to support the 30-pin compatibility, including the upcoming HDMI and VGA adapters. Building any sort of intelligence into the cable or other end would require an actual USB interface chip and would require extending the USB specification in non-standard ways... not that you could push enough data on the 2 data pins to run a 720p HD display anyway, unless you piggy-backed some custom protocol on top of USB, then had some sort of hand-shake mode to figure that out... assuming the USB people didn't sue you for abusing their standard to begin with.

The connector itself is far better designed than any USB connector ever; it is reversible and it has self-cleaning contacts, yet it is stronger than micro-usb.

It's OK though; I expect a barrage of anti-Apple FUD every time they release a new device. I'm used to it by now. If you want a legit complaint, the price of the 30-pin adapters is ridiculous.

Re:Hyperbolie much? (1)

bobbutts (927504) | about 2 years ago | (#41341173)

The Micro-USB charger for the Nexus 7 [google.com] is 2amps

Tech Specs
AC INPUT
110V-240V
DC OUTPUT
5Vdc/2A

Re:Hyperbolie much? (1)

Anaerin (905998) | about 2 years ago | (#41341195)

They offer a cable for sale, not included in the box, and it still means you can't use an Apple charger to charge any other device, which is the whole point of the standard. But that aside, given that the adapters/cables for Lightning->30 pin ALREADY have a chip in them for this, that point is moot. As for "Extending the USB specification in non-standard ways", how about the MHL standard [wikipedia.org] , that Android phones have been using for some time now to output HDMI over MicroUSB. In fact, Samsung has got it down so well, you can charge your phone, access it's contents AND output HDMI at the same time over one MicroUSB connector. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Hyperbolie much? (1)

Apotekaren (904220) | about 2 years ago | (#41341281)

First, yes Apple is keeping to the requirement with the micro-USB adapter, but since no-one will be carrying it around, the iPhone 5 users will not get the advantage of just using a friends charger(especially now that their friend needs to have a Lightning-charger instead of the quite ubiquitous 30-pin).

One link to refute your point on digital video:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_High-Definition_Link [wikipedia.org]
Uncompressend 1080i. Yup.

Jimmy Kimmel's take on the "new" iPhone 5 (5, Funny)

nullchar (446050) | about 2 years ago | (#41340935)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdIWKytq_q4 [youtube.com]

Enjoy watching Apple fans "fall in love" with the "new" iPhone 5 !

(Spoiler: they're all playing with an iPhone 4s, thinking it's the new iPhone 5)

I don't get the EU's stance on this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340965)

Apple ships a generic USB charger. It has a USB A hole on one end and comes with a cable designed to convert that to whatever hole Apple put on the phone. If you want a microUSB plug end, just get a USB A - to microUSB cable and you're done with it. When you dispose of your iPhone, you're free to keep the generic USB charger and use it on your next iPhone, of Galaxy S12 or whatever. The only eWaste is the proprietary cable. Now granted, you can't use a microUSB charger with a captive USB cable on it to charge your iPhone, but I'd argue the captive cable problem is more wasteful than what Apple does.

Re:I don't get the EU's stance on this.... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41341043)

It has a USB A hole

:D

Late Friday afternoons, my maturity level drops significantly...

Misleading story, Apple complies by making adaptor (4, Informative)

Master Of Ninja (521917) | about 2 years ago | (#41341023)

This is just another misleading story - Apple actually has complied by providing an adaptor for charging. They specification that they are adhering to is the Common External Power Supply [wikipedia.org] and allows the use of adaptors. They already have on for older type of dock connector. I suspect Apple has valid reasons as they want data transfer to be as fast as possible with their proprietary adaptors, but still allow micro-usb charging if people want it.

"Apple Only Accessories" (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#41341131)

If it is a "bad deal", Apple's competitors will eat the "Apple" marketshare up.

I can see the need to modernize connectors and to present the best you can to give long term value to customers over a long time period, just like the prior connector.

The future iPhones will break traditions again and people will keep saying "but it isn't like other smartphones."

The only thing needed is to answer customer needs. For me that is lighter, smaller, more adaptable to varying use conditions.

A comment from the article (3, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41341351)

Someone posted some interesting points in the linked article, I've pasted it here. ( Don't shoot the messenger who is an android fan.) Discuss... *** “Apple has reneged on that commitment to the European Commission to change to micro-USB”. This is simply false. Undertaking 4.2.1 states that “if a manufacturer makes available an Adaptor from the Micro-USB connector of a Common EPS to a specific non-Micro-USB socket in the Mobile Phone, it shall constitute compliance”. —http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise... Annex II futher states that “An EPS provided with a detachable cable shall be equipped with a USB Standard-A receptacle. Above requirement also applies to detachable cables used as adaptor i.e. where the Micro-B is replaced by a proprietary plug” —http:// ec.europa.eu/enterprise... Apple’s decision not to use a Micro-USB connector is in keeping with the agreement, as they also offer a Micro-USB to Lightning adaptor. Their charger also appears to be a common EPS, so that any USB-A to Micro-USB cable can be used with it to charge any other compliant phone; and the iPhone 5 can be charge from any other common EPS with a detachable cable (i.e. with a USB-A port, as per the standard."
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