06:09 04th Feb, 2020
Sorry Apple, its High Time for a Change!
If you’re using products from Apple’s ecosystem, you might be forced to carry extra accessories to power your gadgets.
Almost when you reached the airport, you realize that you forgot your iPhone or your smartwatch’s charging cable at home or office.
Your entire focus now shifts from getting through the security scan to the anxiety of being able to buy another compatible charging cable for your gadgets. Sure, you do manage the feat, but soon this will be one of the many othersuch forced purchases lying back home adding to the hundreds of now useless charges and cables of devices which you don’t use anymore.
Now that’s an extremely common scenario, isn’t it? Though it can be avoided by being slightly more careful but to err is human. On the flipside, this situation would never arrive had all your gadgets allowed you to use a common charging cable. While it sounds right out of the utopian world scenario, it is about time that these tech giants which spend billions on user experience in the name of R&D, become a bit more sensitive to the problems faced by the people in the real world.
Be it iPhones, Android phones, eBook readers, laptops, headphones, tablets, smartwatches - almost every gadget has a different charging port/cable. The USB type C has already started to phase out the Micro USB port. Since it not only is compatible with fast charging standards but also offers higher data transfer speeds, most new-age laptops, Android smartphones and other gadgets have started using it as a standard connectivity/charging solution. Life indeed has become somewhat easyespecially if you’re not on Apple’s side of the ecosystem. More on that slightly later in the article.
Just last week, the European parliament voted in favour of stricter guidelines for a common charger in mobile radio equipment, a move that the EU has been trying to implement for the last decade or so.What essentially this means is that the companies will now be forced to use a standard charging solution for the devices selling atleast in the region.
According to data in 2016, an average user-generated around 16.6kg of e-waste which totals up to 12.3 million metric tons in Europe itself. This would be much more in developing countries like India and others.
With 93% legislators supporting this motion, the EU has started the process of forming a legislative framework for the standardization of wireless charging for interoperability, increased recycling, reduce e-waste and reduce the need of buying new chargers along with every new device.
Apple, which has been for long using proprietary ports for its iPhones, iPads, iPods, Laptops,etc. is the sole company which has been opposing such a move, citing reasons like ‘slowing down the speed of innovation’, ‘inconvenience to the users’ and ‘generation of a lot of e-waste’ due to the rule. Though the primary reason behind Apple’s pushback seems to be the economics attached to proprietary charging ports. Apple makes a lot of money by licensing third party accessories. Hence, it loses that revenue if it cannot limit users to use accessories it recommends or sells.
Keeping such a myopic POV aside, it is about time for Apple and other companies to lead the innovation which can bring these life-saving innovations to the fore. The company is already sitting on a cash pile and makes millions by selling its devices has been historically known for slow in adapting change. It is ironic that the latest MacBook uses the Type C charging port but not the latest iPhones and iPods. So even if you’re using products from Apple’s ecosystem, you might be forced to carry extra accessories to power your gadgets.
Hope things change for good and other countries come together to make the world a better place to live. If all the companies with such policies think beyond their profits for a larger good for humanity, we will only move one step close to making the world free from unwanted e-waste.
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