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EU firms up micro USB phone charging standard

updated 12:55 pm EST, Thu December 30, 2010

EU settles on micro USB for universal phone power

The European Union on Wednesday formally established its micro USB charging standard for phone charging. The approach proposed over a year ago will guarantee that phones and phone chipsets from at least 14 companies, including Apple, LG, Motorola, Nokia and RIM, will support charging over a micro USB connection without needing to switch chargers. The measure was implemented to cut back on both wasted chargers and to let users switch chargers without risking damage or undercharging.

The standard isn't so far mandatory but should be in the majority within the next two years. Some of the first phones adopting the standard are shipping quickly and will be available in the "first months" of 2011.

Although Apple is a signatory for the standard, it won't be required to replace or add to its proprietary Dock Connector. The memorandum of understanding that forms the basis of the standard lets companies bundle adapters with their devices that will allow charging off of micro USB. Most companies regularly have to ship localized versions of phones with chargers and adapters tailored to countries.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -13

    Stupid

    What a pointless law.

    will support charging over a micro USB connection without needing to switch chargers. The measure was implemented to cut back on both wasted chargers and to let users switch chargers without risking damage or undercharging.

    sounds great, except for this:

    The memorandum of understanding that forms the basis of the standard lets companies bundle adapters with their devices that will allow charging off of micro USB.

    So you can switch chargers, but you always have to carry around your adapter?

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000

    -4

    Worse

    It's worse than stupid and pointless. It's brain-dead. Typical short-sighted govt. intrusion.

    First of all, there was already a standard - regular USB. It's everywhere. The simplest and most effective idea would have been to have companies agree (on their own) to ship their devices that are capable of running on 5 volts with a cable that plugs into a standard USB port. The *optional* power brick would have a standard USB port on it.

    Who gives a flying F what type of connector is on the device? All one needs is a STANDARD USB plug on the other end of the 'syncing' cable, because standard USB ports are everywhere - on every computer, on many existing power bricks, in auto adapters, in power strips, in boats, in planes, in hotels, in airports, etc...

    Micro-USB on the other hand is nowhere - on tons of portable devices, sure, but not on the power supplying end - and therein lies the problem. Now what we'll have is everyone filling up landfills with old chargers as they rush to buy the new mandated micro-USB charger, plus companies supplying, err, charging for, a myriad of adapters to make their device comply with the new connector, and all these will eventually end up in landfills.

    And what happens when USB becomes obsolete? Another round of mandated connector fights?

    This mandate solves nothing. It will put even more c*** in landfills. History will show it as the ill-conceived idea that it is... The biggest bone-headed move in technology in a long, long time, perhaps ever.

  1. jbwith84

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +4

    They had good intentions...

    Well the idea is to be able to charge your cell phone using a USB type X (99.9% of the time this will be USB type A) to USB Micro Port cable. You wouldn't want a USB Type A or B port on a phone, it's huge, it would in-fact take up a good percentage of the space inside of your phone.

    Micro USB is going to finally replace USB Type B and it's been a long time coming. USB isn't going to be disappearing anytime soon either with Intel's launch of USB 3.0 (backwards compatible with USB 2.0, 1.1 and 1.0).

    Though only requiring that manufactures to supply an adapter and not necessarily supply a USB Micro Port on the phone itself, that's where this entire idea falls apart.

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