Over the weekend, many sites have reported that Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo says that iPhones expected to be released later this year will not have chargers or EarPods in the box. If you want to know what they think of the voice of most tech bloggers, you can go here to see all the tweets, almost all of which equate to “it seems a bad hostile thing to do.”
I say well: drop the supplied charger (but I have a couple of requests).
The clearest piece I saw on taking the charger out of the box comes from risk capitalist MG Siegler. Emphasize that there are four reasons Apple might have for doing this: higher margins, shipping costs, the transition to a future iPhone without doors and the environment. That list, for Siegler, is in order of importance for Apple.
Could be! It is very likely that Apple is making this move for purely selfish reasons, charging the same amount of money and giving one less customer. It also means that people who don̵
To all these problems and much more I say: yes, but I don’t care. Let’s talk about the electronic waste scale. In 2018, my colleague Nilay Patel interviewed Steven Yang, CEO of Anker. Anker is the company that produces the most popular external batteries and chargers and Yang was there to talk about his vision for the future of chargers and USB-C. He said:
There is a hope that we really have, not only in Anker, but also in other sectors of the sector, which is really that of transforming the chargers from most of the packaging to the majority, bringing their own charger.
Of course it would be good for Anker, which sells chargers. But it would also be good for the environment. Yang’s napkin math for how many of those small wall warts sold every year are amazing:
[Say] every smartphone has a charger with it. We had 1.5 billion smartphones shipped last year. … This is for phones only. When we have tablets, laptops, electric drills, [and more], we estimate a total of four billion chargers (they were shipped last year). We estimate around 300,000 tons of electronic waste only from these integrated chargers.
The International Telecommunication Union estimates that “one million tons of external power supplies are produced every year”. Whatever the number that actually turns into waste ends up being unnecessarily high. Yang’s solution appears to be very similar to the solution that the European Union has sought: common universal chargers.
For me, the magnitude of the electronic waste problem overcomes the potential frustration that Apple is conquering consumers by making them buy a charger separately.
Which brings me to my requests, only one of which has the ghost of a possibility.
First, Apple can resolve much of that potential resentment by simply offering consumers a choice: a free charger with an iPhone or an Apple Store gift card for equal value. Hell – for people who take the gift card, Apple still gets some money through their subscription services or the cut App Store anyway.
Secondly, I wish Apple would finally do the right thing and switch the iPhone to USB-C. Apple changed its computers to USB-C, changed the iPad Pro to USB-C, and almost all other smartphones sold today are charged via USB-C. It would reduce electronic waste. It would reduce the number of cables we are all forced to carry around and keep track of. A big change in the form factor (as they say for the iPhone 12) represents a great opportunity for Apple to make the switch.
I am fully aware that this will not happen, there is no need to tweet me about it. I know.
Apple itself has signed a commitment to support universal chargers along with other major consumer electronics companies, although there is a big distinction between the plug on the end of the charger and the plug on the end of the phone. Apple is technically keeping the word by putting USB-C on one end.
By the way, a question still pending is whether the cable that (dear god, presumably) comes with the iPhone 12 will have USB-C on one end. Many people have drawers full of USB-A chargers, but I think those drawers may not have as many USB-C adapters.
If it disappears, Apple’s decision to tear the wart off the wall probably serves as further evidence that it sticks to Lightning. Existing iPhone users have chargers and cables lying around to charge their new phones, but asking them to switch to USB-C is buying chargers is a bridge too far.
There are too many rumors on an upcoming iPhone that only has a wireless charging to ignore. So the idea is that Apple won’t switch to USB-C because it’s planning to go directly to the lack of ports. Everyone seems to assume it’s coming, and I’m not convinced that’s a good idea. Wireless chargers simply cost more, first. In addition, most wireless charging solutions are too slow compared to what you can get with a good wired charger, so something faster needs to be developed. And, well, Apple doesn’t exactly have a solid track record in wireless charging innovation, does it?
That anguish can wait, though. This year, the anguish for charging will be whether Apple puts a power supply in the package or not. I say pull it. We will take care of it and, perhaps more importantly, we could simply start thinking more about how our technology buying habits affect the planet.
Reviews and previews
┏ The best Chromebooks to buy in 2020. Monica Chin:
What most buyers want in the best Chromebook are probably the same things they want in any laptop: a good keyboard, solid build quality, long battery life, a nice display and enough energy to do what you want. Most Chromebooks are able to meet those requirements like never before, but these are the ones that outperform the rest.
┏ Sony WF-SP800N review: noise cancellation for your workouts. Chris Welch:
The 800N don’t sound the same or refined as the 1000XM3 at all and still lack wireless charging and simultaneous pairing with two devices. But they pack a low wallop and offer a lot of refinement of the EQ. Unlike the latest wireless headphones focused on Sony’s gym, these have a more discreet design that clearly takes after the 1000XM3.
┏ LG Velvet review: elegant, not smooth. Sam Byford:
LG Velvet is an unusual phone that has no direct competitors; it’s an attractive mid-range device in a world of ultra-powerful flagships with an ok look. If you don’t care about screen refresh rates and camera performance as much as the sleek appearance and lightweight design (or a bulky dual-screen case), it might be right for you, particularly if 5G is also a priority. . For everyone else, however, it could be a difficult sale. We have not yet announced the final prices in the United States, but I think it will be difficult to recommend if it comes to more than $ 600 with the Dual Screen.
┏ Level block review: smart that you can’t see. Dan Seifert:
Level Lock is a new smart lock that counteracts these trends: once installed, it is completely invisible and hides all its electronics and mechanics inside the existing deadbolt lock.
┏ Cyberpunk 2077 practical: Night City is full of choices. A preview of Nick Statt:
After playing a small slice of Cyberpunk 2077 – about four hours, including initial character customization and in-game combat drills – that’s my big goal: this game has an almost absurd amount of freedom of choice and customization. You can look the way you want, talk and act the way you want, and handle virtually any situation in half a dozen different ways, to the point that making a decision can seem very overwhelming.
And the ban continued
The whole Internet was in turmoil with the bans yesterday, while social platforms hurried to finally impose their rules against hate groups all in one race. At the time of this writing, Reddit, Twitch and YouTube had done it. In a possibly related story, the previous three or four days have seen major advertisers publicly extracting their advertising dollars from social media platforms for hate issues.
Were those companies still trying to cut advertising spending during the pandemic? Sure. Were social media companies trying to protect their profits as well as taking truly moral positions? Could be. Whatever the real reasons are, I will take it. It’s the mirror of one of the most important rules for managing online trolls: you can’t actually know the real intention behind their posts, so you just have to focus on what is literally said and what the effects are.
My colleagues Casey Newton and Zoe Schiffer will discuss this in the The Interface newsletter later today in more depth than I can here. So, hey: sign up!
┏ Unilever will pull ads from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the rest of the year.
┏ Dr Disrespect breaks the silence, but Twitch still refuses to say what’s going on.
┏ Reddit bans r / The_Donald and r / ChapoTrapHouse as part of a major expansion of its rules.
┏ Twitch temporarily bans President Trump.
┏ YouTube bans Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, Richard Spencer and others for hate speech.
┏ India has banned TikTok, WeChat and other China-based apps.
┏ Twitch calculates the sexual assault when he begins to permanently suspend the streamers. Jake Kastrenakes:
Streamers don’t trust that Twitch is about to change. Shear has been CEO for nearly nine years, since before Twitch was Twitch. (He was a co-founder of the site’s predecessor, Justin.tv.) “The statements are fantastic, but when you have a past history of doing the exact opposite, well, I won’t believe what you’re saying until I see action.” said Katie Robinson, who spreads like PikaChulita The Verge.
More from The Verge
┏ Lululemon is purchasing Mirror to boot the operating hardware for half a billion dollars.
┏ The human cost of the ban on Trump’s guest workers. Russell Brandom:
The Verge he spoke to four people affected by the order – some caught outside the country and unable to return, others on American soil but unable to leave. All four asked for anonymity out of reasonable fear that immigration officials would react if they spoke publicly. Their statements have been changed for clarity and, in some cases, the identification of the information has been removed.
┏ Microsoft definitively closes all its retail stores. I have gained and gained support in the San Francisco Microsoft Score at least a dozen times and every single time without fail has been affected by the knowledge and availability of employees.
There aren’t many stores left like that. I’m old enough to remember that I was able to go to Radio Shack and get people to know a lot about circuits and so on. A manager of Radio Shack was the first to show me a Motorola StarTAC.
I hope it is true that the Internet has filled this gap, but when I was a kid I could go to the mall and go out to a shop where employees knew that their shit is one of the things that interested me in technology in the first place. The Microsoft Store looked like this.
Of course, the comparison with Radio Shack is suitable because … it was possible to go out with the Microsoft Store and talk to employees because, unlike the Apple Store, it has never been so busy. So probably not a money maker for Microsoft.
┏ Apple News has just lost the New York Times.
┏ Google will automatically delete your search location and history by default for new users.
┏ Google to allow you to use a Fi number and a Voice number on the same account.