Brenda Holt would have been at the front of the line to get her COVID vaccination this morning, except there was no line.
- All Australians over 50 are eligible for the AstraZeneca shot today
- Victoria’s mass vaccination hubs were all reporting wait times of under 15 minutes this morning
- People are being told to wait 14 days between the flu vaccination and the COVID vaccination
Brenda walked right on in to Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building vaccination hub, got her jab and left with a tear in her eye as she moved a tiny step closer to being able to visit her family in Texas.
Anyone over the age of 50 can now get the AstraZeneca vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic but, in Melbourne at least, it was a seemingly slow start.
Wait times of under 15 minutes were being reported for people who arrived without an appointment at all of the high-volume vaccination centres in Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat this morning.
By midday, wait times had stretched to more than an hour at the Exhibition Building, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.
The state health department said the Royal Exhibition Building was booked out for appointments, and it was experiencing very high call volumes through its vaccine phone booking service.
Brenda expected more people to be waiting in line early to get the jab when the centres opened.
“I just am shocked and really disappointed,” Brenda said.
“I think that we’re in a bit of a bubble here in Australia, we don’t understand how devastating it’s been, and it’s not real to us.
“We’ve been so lucky and we’ve handled this so well until the vaccination rollout, I have no idea why it’s taken so long.”
Everyone who booked will be vaccinated
Jeroen Weimar, Victoria’s COVID-19 Response Commander, said by lunchtime, 8,500 people had called the COVID-19 hotline to make a booking.
“At the moment, what we’re seeing is a really healthy demand for people coming out who want to get vaccinated,” he said.
“Everybody who’s got an appointment today will be vaccinated today. Everyone in line will get a vaccination today.”
If the queues were too long at the end of the day, Mr Weimar said people would be asked to come back the next day.
The Box Hill Hospital vaccination centre, in Melbourne’s east, was very busy in the morning and some people were asked to go to a nearby clinic at Ringwood East, Mr Weimar said.
He said there were wait times of up to 90 minutes for some people who had not booked appointments at the large vaccination centres.
With a staff of 700 people handling the calls, he said the operation would be scaled up as appropriate.
“We will quite happily put hundreds more people into the phone lines if the demand is there to book vaccinations,” Mr Weimar said.
“My request for Victorians would be, if you’re eligible, come forward now so we can get you vaccinated.
“Let’s have a really busy few weeks and months and then we can get on and get the rest of the community done.”
So far, 520,000 Victorians have received their first dose of a vaccine.
There are now six high-volume vaccination hubs operating in Victoria, at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the former Ford Factory in Geelong, the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Sunshine Hospital and Mercure Ballarat.
Another 15 vaccination centres have opened today at these locations:
- Bendigo Hospital
- Latrobe Regional Hospital – Traralgon Racecourse
- Albury Wodonga Health – Wodonga Community vaccination clinic
- GV Health – Shepparton Showgrounds, McIntosh Centre
- Eastern Health – Box Hill
- Eastern Health – Ringwood East Community Clinic*
- Northern Health – Epping
- Monash Health – Monash Medical Centre*
- Monash Health – Dandenong*
- Monash Health – Kingston*
- Monash Health – Moorabbin*
- St John of God Hospital – Berwick*
- Peninsula Health – Rosebud Hospital*
- Peninsula Health – Frankston*
- Austin Health – Olivia Newton-John Centre*
(* Phone bookings only initially, no walk-ins)
Another mass vaccination hub will open tomorrow at the Cranbourne Turf Club.
There are about two million Victorians now eligible to get the COVID vaccination.
The majority being vaccinated now are receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, with a limited number of people under 50 in the 1a and 1b priority groups getting the Pfizer vaccine.
Epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said there may be some hesitancy to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, given reports of blood clots in a small number of people.
“As more people take up the vaccine, I think other people will then think yeah, there’s a lot of benefits of this, and my friends are fine, and I’m OK with this,” she said.
Professor Bennett said the vaccination scheme was starting to gather speed after a slow start.
“We’ve actually had four times as many jabs go out in the last four weeks, as did in the previous first six weeks of the rollout,” she said.
“And in another two weeks, it steps up again, because that’s when they can also access the vaccine through their GP.”
Brenda said she understood the hesitancy some people might feel about the COVID vaccine, but the risk was small.
“Any of us who’ve taken any drugs at any time, I mean you take a risk and I think the risk of what this vaccine can do compared to what COVID could do to you are pretty stark,” she said.
Dianne McKenzie was also among those getting vaccinated at the Royal Exhibition Building, and said she felt a sense of relief.
“Gotta say I’m really grateful, because I’ve been trying to keep safe, trying to keep my elderly mum safe by staying away from people, and this feels like a little bit of extra protection so I can stop worrying about myself and worrying about her and relax a little bit after a hard year,” she said.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp urged people to follow the advice of doctors after receiving her vaccine dose at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.
“The scariest part is actually admitting publicly that you are 50,” she said.
“If that’s the scariest bit then we’re going to be OK. We know that all of the health experts have said that AstraZeneca is effective and I think it’s really important that we keep listening to that health advice.”
The Victorian health department is also recommending people who have had the flu vaccine wait for two weeks before receiving the COVID vaccine.
The department said there was no evidence the two vaccinations interact with each other, but if a person does have a reaction, the 14-day time frame would make it clear which vaccine they have reacted to.
iPhone 13 benchmarks — Apple just blew away Android phones – Tom's Guide
All four of our iPhone 13 reviews are in, as are our benchmark results from testing. Apple promised gains with the new A15 Bionic chip, and while it’s an iterative upgrade over last year’s A14 Bionic in most respects, it crushes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 that powers several of the best Android phones.
From synthetic benchmarks to real-world testing, the iPhone 13 series (especially the Pro models) pulled even further ahead from the best chips Apple’s competitors use. In some cases, the gap is incredibly wide. Qualcomm has its work cut out for it with the next-generation 800-series Snapdragon, not to mention the Tensor chip Google is working on to power the Pixel 6.
Apple even said that the A15 Bionic’s GPU in the Pro models would be 50% faster than the competition. (The best rival graphics engine right now is the Adreno 660 in the Snapdragon 888.) In our testing, that proved true in many cases. The A15’s performance hike over iPhone 12 phones is middling, but Apple upgraded the Neural Engine on its chipset this year. This has allowed for the new Cinematic mode and Photographic Styles, which heavily leverage AI to do their thing.
Measuring a phone’s performance goes beyond raw numbers. It’s more about what the phone can do in a real-world setting, and in that regard, the iPhone 13 certainly delivers. But those raw numbers do tell an important story, so here’s how the iPhone 13 stacks up to what’s already out there, for both the Pro, standard and mini models.
iPhone 13: Geekbench results
Geekbench 5 measures the CPU’s overall performance, broken out into single- and multi-core results.
|iPhone 13 Pro||A15 Bionic||1733||4718|
|iPhone 13||A15 Bionic||1688||4436|
|iPhone 12 Pro||A14 Bionic||1595||3880|
|iPhone 12||A14 Bionic||1593||3859|
|Galaxy S21 Ultra||Snapdragon 888||1123||3440|
|Galaxy S21||Snapdragon 888||1048||3302|
|Galaxy Z Fold 3||Snapdragon 888||1107||3418|
|OnePlus 9 Pro||Snapdragon 888||1126||3685|
|Asus ROG Phone 5||Snapdragon 888||1127||3672|
|Pixel 5||Snapdragon 765G||596||1617|
Geekbench 5 scores are arbitrary in a vacuum, but they help measure a device’s performance in context to other devices — even if you get slightly different scores every time you run the test.
As you can see, the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini models are quite a ways ahead of the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 765G. More than a thousand points separates the iPhone 13 Pro from the two most powerful Android phones we’ve ever tested, the OnePlus 9 Pro and Asus ROG Phone 5. That’s not to mention that the new iPhones pull well ahead of the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 3, the best that Samsung has to offer.
And we’ll just skip over that delta between the iPhone 13 and the Pixel 5. Let’s hope the Pixel 6 helps Google catch up a bit.
iPhone 13: Graphics benchmarks
A lot of people play games on their phones, with the iPhones leading the charge. For the following benchmark, we use 3DMark’s Wild Life Unlimited test, which produces a score and average frames per second. It’s meant to provide a realistic impression of a phone’s gaming performance.
The A15 Bionic pushes the boundaries on mobile gaming, as you’ll see in the results below.
|Processor||Score||Frames per second|
|iPhone 13 Pro||A15 Bionic||11,693||70|
|iPhone 13||A15 Bionic||9331||56|
|iPhone 12 Pro||A14 Bionic||8619||51|
|iPhone 12||A14 Bionic||8555||51|
|Galaxy S21 Ultra||Snapdragon 888||5739||34|
|Galaxy S21||Snapdragon 888||5805||35|
|Galaxy Z Fold 3||Snapdragon 888||5622||34|
|OnePlus 9 Pro||Snapdragon 888||5755||35|
|Asus ROG Phone 5||Snapdragon 888||5806||35|
|Pixel 5||Snapdragon 765G||1160||7|
Like Geekbench, the Wild Life Unlimited score is meaningless on its own and should only be used for comparison to other devices. However, the important metric is the average FPS, which is a real-world benchmark.
The iPhone 13 Pro with its five-core GPU smokes the competition, even its iPhone 13 sibling and that phone’s quad-core GPU — the extra core seems to really matter, based on these results. But look at how far ahead the A15 Bionic is compared to the Snapdragon 888 phones, which hadn’t caught up to the A14 Bionic from last year.
The iPhone 13 Pro netted double the Snapdragon 888’s best framerate in our testing, which is insane. The Wild Life Unlimited benchmark is pretty hard on phones. (I didn’t even include the newer Wild Life Extreme Unlimited, which we’ve only recently started using in our testing.) So seeing the iPhone 13 Pro fare so well is a bit mind-boggling.
iPhone 13: Video encoding speeds
Another real-world application to gauge a phone’s performance is our Adobe Premiere Rush test. This tasks a phone to transcode a 4K video file to 1080p. The results below are listed as minutes:seconds.
|iPhone 13 Pro||A15 Bionic||0:26|
|iPhone 13||A15 Bionic||0:26|
|iPhone 12 Pro||A14 Bionic||0:27|
|iPhone 12||A14 Bionic||0:26|
|Galaxy S21 Ultra||Snapdragon 888||1:03|
|Galaxy S21||Snapdragon 888||1:03|
|Galaxy Z Fold 3||Snapdragon 888||0:50|
|OnePlus 9 Pro||Snapdragon 888||1:03|
|Asus ROG Phone 5||Snapdragon 888||1:00|
|Pixel 5||Snapdragon 765G||2:52|
Year-over-year, there’s functionally no difference between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 — maybe a second here or there. However, Apple’s lead over Qualcomm remains, performing the transcode in half the time that most of the Snapdragon 888-equipped phones needed.
Transcoding is a CPU-intensive task, and it makes sense that Apple’s phones would lead the way on this particular benchmark. Apple has said that you can perform a full video workflow from shooting to rendering on the iPhone 13. The iPhone 13 can also record in the ProRes format natively, which is what many professionals use.
The poor Pixel 5 needed triple the time required by the other Android phones.
iPhone 13 performance outlook
Another year, and Apple has further cemented its lead over Qualcomm. Not only does the iPhone 13 series have excellent battery life (excluding the mini, which is below average) and stellar cameras, but it’s the most powerful suite of phones you can buy. If having the best performance is a top priority for you, then you’ll want to look at the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max.
Let’s hope Qualcomm’s next high-end Snapdragon or Google’s Tensor can narrow the gap with what Apple has built.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio With Unique Hinge Design Unveiled, Surface Pro 8, Surface Duo 2 Launched – Gadgets 360
Microsoft on Wednesday hosted its hardware-focussed event where it unveiled the new Surface range of devices that include the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, and Surface Go 3 — all running Windows 11 out-of-the-box. The event also brought the anticipated Surface Duo 2 dual-screen phone that is a successor to the earlier Surface Duo. Additionally, Microsoft launched its new accessories, namely the Surface Slim Pen 2, Surface Adaptive Kit, Ocean Plastic Mouse, and Microsoft Modern USB-C Headset. The existing Surface Pro 7+ and Surface Pro X also received updates to reach new customers.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, Surface Go 3, Surface Duo 2 price
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio price begins at $1,599 (roughly Rs. 1,18,000). It is identical to the launch price of the Surface Book 3 that debuted last year as Microsoft’s 2-in-1 device. The Surface Pro 8, on the other hand, starts at $1,099 (roughly Rs. 81,100). It comes as a successor to the Surface Pro 7 that was launched with a starting price of $749 (roughly Rs. 55,200) in 2019. The Surface Go 3 price starts at $399 (roughly Rs. 29,400), which is just the same that we saw with the Surface Go 2 last year. Furthermore, the Surface Duo 2 carries a starting price of $1,499 (roughly Rs. 1,10,600). It is $100 (roughly Rs. 7,400) more than the initial launch pricing of the original Surface Duo that started at $1,399 (roughly Rs. 1,03,200).
Alongside the new devices, the Surface Pro 7+ is now coming in the consumer channel with a starting price of $799 (roughly Rs. 59,000) — an upgrade over its earlier commercial-only offering. The Surface Pro X has also received a new Wi-Fi only option that starts at $899 (roughly Rs. 66,300). The LTE variant of the Surface Pro X came with a starting price of $999 (roughly Rs. 73,700) in 2019.
In terms of accessories, the Surface Slim Pen 2 is priced at $129.99 (roughly Rs. 9,600), Surface Adaptive Kit at $9.99 (roughly Rs. 700), Ocean Plastic Mouse at $24.99 (roughly 1,800), and the Microsoft Modern USB-C Headset at $54.99 (roughly Rs. 4,100).
On the availability front, Microsoft said at the event that its new devices would go on sale starting October 5 — alongside the release of Windows 11. We can certainly expect some delay in the availability of the new devices in India as the official sale date is meant for the US and some other developed markets where pre-orders for the devices have already started.
The product listings on the Microsoft India site at the time of filing this story were showing that the Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Pro 8 would come early 2022, while the Surface Go 3 was tagged with a “coming soon” banner. Details about the India launch of the Surface Duo 2 are yet to be revealed.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio specifications, features
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio was one of the biggest announcements at the Microsoft event on Wednesday. The new device is designed as an “evolution of Surface Book” and is touted to be “built on the heritage of both Surface Book and Surface Studio.” The device is targeted at developers, creative professionals, designers, and gamers, who want a creative studio with the portability of a laptop. The Surface Laptop Studio features a 14.4-inch PixelSense display with touch support that is attached to a Dynamic Woven Hinge, allowing the display to move in multiple angles. The hinge allows the device to transform from a traditional notebook to a tablet or a canvas. However, the display is non-detachable — unlike the Surface Book 3 where you could pull the screen from the keyboard and use it as a tablet.
Microsoft has provided three distinct modes on the Surface Laptop Studio. The first one is a Laptop mode in which you are provided with a full keyboard and touchpad for a regular notebook-like experience. You can, however, move the display to the Stage mode. This comes after pulling the display forward to an angle where the keyboard is covered but the touchpad is exposed to allow gaming, streaming, docking, and presentation in an immersive way. The third mode is called Studio mode where you can move the display on top of the keyboard to use it like a canvas or for writing notes.
The Surface Laptop Studio also includes an area underneath the keyboard where you can place the Surface Slim Pen 2 that magnetically attaches and charges when not in use.
Under the hood, Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is powered by 11th-generation Intel Core H35 processors, along with Nvidia GeForce RTX GPUs. The device also includes studio microphones and 1080p webcam for an enhanced video conferencing experience. Further, the touchpad on the Surface Laptop Studio also includes haptic feedback.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 specifications, features
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is essentially Microsoft’s 2-in-1 flagship of this year as the Surface Laptop Studio doesn’t allow users to detach its display from the keyboard. The Surface Pro 8 comes with a 13-inch PixelSense display with touch support and a 120Hz refresh rate. It also supports Adaptive Colour Technology that is designed to adjust colour production on the display as per the ambient environment. The Surface Pro 8 also includes support for Dolby Vision display technology and Dolby Atmos sound.
For video chats, Microsoft Surface Pro 8 houses a 5-megapixel camera at the front. The tablet also includes a 10-megapixel 4K rear camera.
Microsoft claims that the Surface Pro 8 is more than twice as fast as the Surface Pro 7 — thanks to the 11th-generation Intel Core processors. The 2-in-1 device is also built on the Intel Evo platform that is specifically meant for premium, ultra-slim devices.
The Surface Pro 8 also includes two Thunderbolt 4 ports and supports a new Surface Pro Signature Keyboard as an optional accessory. The new keyboard includes storage and charging support for the Surface Slim Pen 2 — just like the Surface Pro X. Moreover, the Surface Pro 8 is rated to deliver up to 16 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Microsoft Surface Go 3 specifications, features
For consumers who don’t want to spend much on the Surface Pro 8, Microsoft has the Surface Go 3 as an affordable 2-in-1 option. The new Surface Go model is design-wise quite similar to its predecessor. However, Microsoft claims that it is 60 percent faster from the earlier model with up to Intel Core i3 processor. There is also an optional LTE Advanced support for an enhanced connectivity while on-the-go.
The Surface Go 3 comes with a 10.5-inch touch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and features 1080p cameras on the front and back. It also includes Dolby Audio and studio microphones. Microsoft also claims that the Surface Go 3 is designed to deliver an all-day battery life.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 specifications, features
The last major announcement of Microsoft’s hardware event this year was the Surface Duo 2. The new dual-screen phone by the Redmond company comes with a list of improvements over the original Surface Duo that was more like a concept in the market. However, there aren’t many changes at the design level.
Running on Android 11 out-of-the-box, the Surface Duo 2 features two 5.8-inch PixelSense displays that make a larger 8.3-inch viewing experience when the device is unfolded. There is also a glance bar that lets you check all the notifications when the phone is folded. You can also check battery levels when charging through the glance bar — without requiring to unfold the phone. Under the hood, there is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, which is a significant upgrade over the Snapdragon 855 powering the first-generation Surface Duo.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 also carries a triple rear camera setup that houses a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 ultra-wide lens, a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 wide-angle lens and optical image stabilisation (OIS), and a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4 telephoto lens and OIS support. This an upgrade over the single rear camera available on the original model. The rear camera setup is also accompanied by a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor and an LED flash. Additionally, the Surface Duo 2 carries a 12-megapixel selfie camera sensor at the front.
Connectivity options on the Surface Duo 2 include 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port. The phone also comes with a dedicated cover that can attach the Surface Slim Pen for an enhanced user experience. Further, the Surface Duo 2 includes a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.
The dual-screen form factor of the Surface Duo 2 is designed to run two apps simultaneously. Microsoft also claimed that it has worked with developers and game studios to bring 150 optimised games for the dual-screen setup. These games include Asphalt Legends 9, Modern Combat 5, and Dungeon Hunter 5.
Microsoft will bring the Surface Duo 2 in Glacier and Obsidian colour options.
Microsoft Surface Pro X specifications, features
The new Microsoft Surface Pro X is based on the same Microsoft SQ2 silicon that was powering the model launched previously. However, it brings Wi-Fi only connectivity over integrated LTE to deliver the earlier experience with some affordability. It is claimed to come with an all-day battery life and offer Windows 11 out-of-the-box.
Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2, Surface Adaptive Kit, Ocean Plastic Mouse, Modern USB-C Headset details
Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2 is an optional accessory that is designed to take the experience on the Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Pro 8 to new levels. The stylus is powered by a custom-designed Microsoft G6 chip and includes a digital ink that is meant to offer tactile feedback when drawing and writing on the screen. Microsoft claims that it has improved haptics and interaction feedback using the digital ink on the new Surface Slim Pen to give users the feel of pen on paper. The stylus can be stored and charged magnetically.
The second interesting accessory that Microsoft unveiled at the virtual event was the Surface Adaptive Kit that is specifically designed for differently abled people who want to use Surface devices. It includes stickers that can be attached to the keyboard, cable, and even the lid of Surface laptops and tablets for ease in their use — specifically for people with low vision, blindness, and/or limited strength.
Microsoft also brought the Ocean Plastic Mouse as a wireless accessory for computing users. It is claimed to be 20 percent recycled and has plastic that came from oceans and beaches. The device also comes in a plastic-free, recyclable packaging.
The last accessory of the event is the Microsoft Modern USB-C Headset that is certified for Microsoft Teams and is designed with a lightweight build to enable hours-long audio and video calling. It includes dedicated meeting controls and USB Type-C connectivity.
EU proposes mandatory USB-C on all devices, including iPhones – The Verge
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has announced plans to force smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices. The proposal is likely to have the biggest impact on Apple, which continues to use its proprietary Lightning connector rather than the USB-C connector adopted by most of its competitors. The rules are intended to cut down on electronic waste by allowing people to re-use existing chargers and cables when they buy new electronics.
In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras. Manufacturers will also be forced to make their fast-charging standards interoperable, and to provide information to customers about what charging standards their device supports. Under the proposal, customers will be able to buy new devices without an included charger.
The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless, chargers, EU commissioner Thierry Breton said in a press conference, adding that “there is plenty of room for innovation on wireless.” A spokesperson for the Commission subsequently confirmed to The Verge that a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable. But, if a device charges exclusively via wireless, like Apple’s rumored portless iPhone, there’d be no requirement for a USB-C charging port.
To become law, the revised Radio Equipment Directive proposal will need to pass a vote in the European Parliament. If adopted, manufacturers will eventually have 24 months to comply with the new rules. The parliament has already voted in favor of new rules on a common charger in early 2020, indicating that today’s proposal should have broad support.
“Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that,” said commissioner Thierry Breton. “With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.”
“European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger,” European Commission executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager said.
Today’s proposal is focused on the charging port on the device end, but the Commission says it eventually hopes to ensure “full interoperability” on both ends of the cable. The power supply end will be addressed in a review to be launched later this year.
The proposals follow a vote in the European Parliament in January 2020 when lawmakers voted for new rules on common chargers. As of 2016, the amount of electronic waste produced across the bloc amounted to around 12.3 million metric tons.
The biggest impact of the new rules is likely to be felt by Apple, which continues to ship phones with a Lightning connector as opposed to the increasingly universal USB-C port. As of 2018, around 29 percent of phone chargers sold in the EU used USB-C, 21 percent used Lightning, and around half used the older Micro USB standard, according to an EU assessment reported by Reuters. These proportions are likely to have shifted considerably as USB-C has replaced Micro USB across all but the least expensive Android phones.
Efforts to get smartphone manufacturers to use the same charging standard in the EU date back to at least 2009, when Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Nokia signed a voluntary agreement to use a common standard. In the following years, the industry gradually adopted Micro USB and, more recently, USB-C as a common charging port. However, despite reducing the amount of charging standards from over 30 down to just three (Micro USB, USB-C, and Lightning), regulators have said this voluntary approach has fallen short of its objectives.
Apple was a notable outlier in that it never included a Micro USB port on its phones directly. Instead, it offered a Micro USB to 30-pin adapter.
Apple said it disagreed with today’s proposals in a statement. “We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” a spokesperson from the company told Reuters. The company has also previously objected to the proposals because it says they risk creating e-waste by forcing people to throw out their existing Lightning accessories if they’re incompatible with the universal standard.
Although it’s continued to use Lightning, Apple has made its own efforts to reduce charger e-waste. Last year, it stopped shipping charging bricks or earbuds in the box with new iPhones and supplied them only with a Lightning to USB-C cable. However, the move was met with a mixed response, with some arguing that it helped Apple’s bottom line more than the environment.
While European lawmakers focus mainly on wired chargers, wireless charging is becoming increasingly popular across smartphones and has largely converged on a single cross-platform standard: Qi. There have even been rumors that Apple could ship an iPhone without a Lightning port and have it rely entirely on wireless charging for power.
Update Septeber 23rd, 9:22AM ET: Updated to note Breton’s comments about wireless chargers from Q&A, and confirmation that a completely wireless phone would not need to include USB-C. Also added comment from Apple.
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