The EU has been upsetting some major device manufacturers recently as they revealed a proposal to require phones and other electronic devices to include a USB-C charging port. Mostly loudly opposed by Apple, this change would have significant effects on both users and developers. Such standardization, however, is not without precedent and major advantages. Using relatable moves made by online casinos as a basis, we want to explore why this proposal could be a positive thing.
How are Online Casinos Standardised?
There are two main methods in which online casinos have recently undergone a new level of mass standardization. Taking a look at a modern online casino site, it’s not difficult to see these efforts in action. The first element is illustrated by the games, such as Twistar, Big Fishing, and Age of the Gods. Each of these has been moved away from older Flash systems. This move was made years ago because Flash’s compatibility with browsers was beginning to decline, meaning fewer players could access all that was on offer. By making the switch to HTML5, practically all browsers now support these titles.
The other part of this standardization development came from how modern casino websites interact with mobile phones. Again, this was part of a wider systemic change adopted as increasingly more users turned to mobiles as a primary form of internet access. Not only did this make the websites easier for users, but the increased usability also resulted in greater customer retention and thus greater financial success.
The USB-C Shakeup
The argument as made by companies like Apple is that by forcing USB-C connectors, regulators will be stifling innovation. There is some truth to this, in that the highest possible speeds of both charging and data transmission might be better suited to proprietary cables. On the other hand, for the majority of users, these upgrades will be minimal at best. More advantages will be found in standardization, and like in online casinos, these benefits will apply to everyone.
First of the undeniable benefits comes from a decrease in electronic waste. With proprietary connectors, a move to another device means older cables can be useless, discarded to join the already notable problem of electronic waste. It also means greater costs to the user, who need to keep purchasing new components rather than rely on older ones.
In making a move to standardizing USB-C connectors, phones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and even video game consoles could take from the same cables. Again, as with online casinos, this would mean significant usability advantages for the user, with a positive feedback effect for the producer.
It’s also worth noting that this change might not be as costly as the big companies would have their audiences believe. Amateur hardware modders have already been able to create iPhone USB-C prototypes without access to Apple’s infrastructure. This means that such changes would likely be simple to implement on a factory-wide level, at least after some restructuring.
Whether or not this proposal is passed by the EU could have profound run-on effects back to America, and the rest of the world. Depending on where manufacturing plants are located, and where products are shipped, it might be cheaper for companies like Apple to consolidate all of their products into one single line.
This could mean all units worldwide receive the USB-C change, especially if other nations signal they’re considering following suit. Ultimately, whether or not this is a good change is a subjective question, but as online casinos have shown, progress can be the right thing for everyone. Even if the EU’s idea doesn’t go through, unofficial hardware modders could eventually lead the way, especially with upcoming changes to right-to-repair legislation.