EU passes law mandating USB-C

The European Union today voted to make USB-C the mandatory standard for charging ports in consumer devices, in hopes of reducing electronic waste and pleasing consumers tired of having to have special chargers for each one. Most popular models have already switched in recent versions, with one prominent exception: Apple's iPhone, still using the company's proprietary Lightning connector. The law, passed 602 to 13, anticipates future upgrades and legislation about wireless charging, while exempting small devices such as watches and fitness trackers.

Regardless of their manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port.

I still like Lightning, especially how compact it is. And while basic power delivery is always covered, you still can't tell what a USB-C cable or port can handle just by looking at it. "Engineers in charge" is unambiguously a mistake, but is "supranational bureacrats in charge" going to be better, in the long run, than just buying another cable for your €549-and-up iPhone? That having been asked, the fury of some Apple guys at all this is oddly deflating. It reads more like some kind of parasocial consumerism than a rational objection to overzealous standardization.