This Micro USB Adapter Might Just Prove China’s More Important To Apple Than Europe

This Micro USB Adapter Might Just Prove China’s More Important To Apple Than Europe See that adapter in the picture above? It’s an Apple 30 Pin Micro USB Adapter. And it might just prove that China is more important to Apple than Europe. For the last few years, the European Union has been trying to (and recently succeeded in) push through a well intentioned but stupidly compromised law that would require all handset makers to end proprietary sync-and-charge cables and agree upon Micro USB as a universal standard. It was a nice idea: forget your iPhone cable and need to sync, and your buddy can lend you a spare micro USB and everything’s hunky dory. But unfortunately, the EU finally said that head adapters to micro USB cables were okay, and the end result is that all Apple devices still need a 30-Pin Dock Connector… but they’ll sell you this adapter if you want to perversely do it through Micro USB. As far as I know, in the EU, iPhones still don’t pack with the Micro USB adapter, despite the legislation. But there is one country where Apple’s bundling the adapter for free: China. Apple’s throwing one into every iPhone 4S box. Weird. Both the EU and China have mandated that all phones applying for a license in the territory be able to charge through Micro USB, but while in Europe, Apple sells the Micro USB adapter separately; the Chinese get it free. Either the Chinese are less wishy-washy about enforcing their regulations, or the country with over a billion people is just too huge for Apple to risk losing.

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  • imajoebob

    Or there is already enough established, fierce competition in China that Apple decided it was good marketing to include a 17¢ adapter at no extra charge. 

  • Anon Developer

    Except that the EU has not “mandated” anything – rather it’s a memorandum of understanding, a voluntary scheme backed by the European Commission, which, it is true has Apple among it’s signatories.  See 
    http://europa.eu/rapid/pressRe

  • vanderweb

    This is ridiculous, instead of a proprietary cable, you now have a proprietary adapter :) If the European initiative was to reduce the ecological impact, I do not see how this adapter is going along with it. Let’s hope for an iPhone 5 or iPad 3 with a USB port instead of the 30-Pin Dock Connector. Finger crossed!!!

  • Anon Developer

    Why hasnt my comment been approved? I wrote simply that it was a case of it not being ‘mandated’ rather a MoU.. The details are on the European Commission’s website as I added in the link. Perhaps that’s why it’s being ‘moderated’ ?

  • m_hardwick

    In China, it’s a requirement; in EU it is not. Simple answer. No news here.

  • baby_Twitty

    to add a link into your comments: 1st you type the stuffs u wanna say. then ‘post’.
    Then click ‘edit’ to add the link and ‘save’. This way your comments + links will be accepted.

    I suppose this extra step is to deter or make it harder for spammers who love to copy paste a whole chunk of ads (with links) in the  comments section on every websites with Disqus feature.

  • Chris

    the problem is that the chinese government wouldn’t mind prohibiting iPhones, whereas the european governments know to this would lose them the little sympathy they have (and need, btw ;) )

  • weid

    yeah…China rules.

  • Al

    That’s a great tip, cheers!

  • Al

    Exactly right. In the EU it’s voluntary. But I guess “Apple complies with the law” ain’t a good headline. :)

  • billsweatt

    TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT.    Seriously.  Telling business what interfaces they MUST have on their devices?   

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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