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New world. Why Apple Refuses A Universal Charging Connector

Micro-USB, USB-C and Lightning … The three connectors on the market that the AU would like to reduce to one. (JEROME COLOMBAIN / RADIO FRANCE)

Too many cables and chargers incompatible with each other, it's annoying for users and not good for the planet (51,000 tonnes of electronic waste / year, according to the European Union). It therefore wants to impose a single connector, that is to say the same socket to charge all our devices.

The story is not new. The single connector, we were already talking about this in 2009. At the time, the problem was worse since there were no less than thirty different connectors (thank you Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, etc.). Finally, there was no strict regulation but discussions with the manufacturers who adapted. Technologies have evolved.

Today, there are hardly more than three connectors in circulation:

– The micro USB, this small non-reversible plug (you always plug it in the wrong way …) found on many Android smartphones and on most small electronic devices.

– TheUSB-C, this recent, reversible plug, which is spreading to new generation smartphones and Apple laptops.

– The connector Lightning, found exclusively on iPhones and select Apple iPads.

The apple brand is standing up against the idea of ​​a single connector for several reasons. First, according to Apple, it would block innovation. The proof ? If the European Union had imposed the micro-USB in 2009 as it wanted to do, the current USB-C would never have developed. Then, according to the American firm, this would generate new waste because iPhone users would have to buy new chargers in addition to all those they already own. The brand cites a European study according to which an average household has approximately one charging cable per mobile device and often charges several devices at the same time. This shows, according to Apple, that consumers are attached to multiple chargers. Having three types of connectors instead of just one would not be a problem, especially since there are adapters.

However, one cannot help but think that life would be even simpler (a concept dear to Apple …) if the iPhone also adopted the USB-C socket, like Android smartphones and like its own laptops. But there, the American draws his shock argument: this would risk posing design problems, finesse, on the devices of the future (the USB-C is very slightly larger than Lightning). One can not help but think that it is above all, for the firm of Steve Jobs, to continue to cultivate its difference and maintain its hold on an ecosystem – very lucrative – of proprietary accessories. Apple has changed connectors for the iPhone only twice in 12 years, but it wants to reserve the possibility of inventing yet another connector for its smartphones tomorrow without having to ask anyone for permission.

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