12 Comments

Summary:

Nokia, Motorola, Research in Motion, Apple (yes, even Apple) and six other cell phone makers have agreed to a European Commission request to develop a universal charger. The agreement was announced today by the the EC. The new handsets will use Micro-USB connectors, and will be […]

666px-Micro_USB_and_USBNokia, Motorola, Research in Motion, Apple (yes, even Apple) and six other cell phone makers have agreed to a European Commission request to develop a universal charger. The agreement was announced today by the the EC. The new handsets will use Micro-USB connectors, and will be available in Europe beginning next year. The GSM Association had been working on a similar effort to deliver a universal charger by 2012.

Importantly, only data-enabled phones will be able to accept the universal charger, since those are the phones that currently contain Micro-USB ports. While the Micro-USB standard may be replaced by a different one someday, for now having a universal charger will make it easier to replenish phones while on the road. As for reducing waste, I’m less certain that will happen unless cell phone providers stop including a charger with each phone. The EC hopes that the universal charger will spread beyond its borders, which is likely to happen given that the powerful GSM Association is also in favor of such a standard, but perhaps not by 2010.

Our friends at jkOnTheRun are wondering if this standard will make its way to the US? I certainly hope so. 

Micro-USB and USB image courtesy of George Shuklin

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  1. Jesse Kopelman Monday, June 29, 2009

    The real issue isn’t the charger that comes in the box with the phone, it is the additional chargers that most people like to buy (car charger, spare to keep in your briefcase, and so on). Vendors charge excessive prices for their proprietary accessories. What costs $15-20 with the Motorola tag on it can usually be got in OEM form for $1 from eBay or Amazon.

    Without the government forcing vendors to do this, I doubt we’ll see it in the US. In theory you can already charge an USB-port equiped phone with any generic USB charger, since the max amperage specified by USB is very low (0.5A) and using lower than the vendor specified amperage is safe (just makes charging a bit slower). But it didn’t take long for vendors to start adding little modifications to their phones so that they’d only charge if given exactly the expected amperage — as delivered by their overpriced proprietary chargers.

  2. Viens lādētājs mobilajiem telefoniem? Jau nākamgad? | Kristapa Skuteļa (krizdabz) blogs Monday, June 29, 2009

    [...] Oma Malika blogā šodien izlasīju kādu varbūt ne īpaši skaļu, tomēr ļoti praktiski noderīgu ziņu. Proti, Eiropas Komisija aicina mobilo tehnoloģiju industrijas flagmaņus (kā ražotājus, tā tīklu operatorus) izstrādāt un piedāvāt Eiropas Savienības klientiem vienotu mobilo tālruņu lādētāju standartu. Galvenie mobilo telefonu ražotāji (Apple (!!!), LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research In Motion (RIM), Samsung, Sony Ericsson un Texas Instruments) ir vienojušies saskaņot ES lietotos lādētājus. Saprašanās memorandā (SM), kas šodien tika iesniegts Komisijai, nozare apņemas nodrošināt lādētāju savietojamību, izmantojot micro-USB savienojumu. Pirmā jauno savstarpēji savietojamo mobilo telefonu paaudze ES tirgū nonāks 2010. gadā. [...]

  3. ircpresident’s Bookmarks on Delicious Tuesday, June 30, 2009

    [...] Europe Gets Handset Makers to Agree to Universal Charger SAVE [...]

  4. the image you have is the MiniUSB, not the MicroUSB.

  5. Global Geek News Podcast #29 | Global Geek News Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    [...] Europe gets handset makers to agree to universal charger [...]

  6. New Handset Chargers Aren’t Quite Smart, But Power Phones Twice as Fast Friday, May 7, 2010

    [...] aimed at providing a more universal charging solution, however. Several top handset makers agreed last year to use the Micro USB interface for charging handsets and T-Mobile’s new offerings follow suit. All three chargers provide a second USB port as [...]

  7. New Handset Chargers Aren’t Quite Smart, But Power Phones Phones 50 Percent Faster Friday, May 7, 2010

    [...] aimed at providing a more universal charging solution, however. Several top handset makers agreed last year to use the Micro USB interface for charging handsets and T-Mobile’s new offerings follow suit. All three chargers provide a second USB port as [...]

  8. Your Next iPad: What Features Will It Have? Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    [...] the European Commission, several smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, have agreed to create a universal charger, likely via micro-USB port. Of course, USB and cameras aren’t all that will be in iPad [...]

  9. Your Next iPad: What Features Will It Have? « Apple News Daily Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    [...] the European Commission, several smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, have agreed to create a universal charger, likely via micro-USB port. Of course, USB and cameras aren’t all that will be in iPad [...]

  10. Wireless Phone Charging — Worth $50: Cleantech News « Monday, October 11, 2010

    [...] proprietary mobile charging solutions are annoying, according to the In-Stat survey, although, micro-USB regulations will change all that by [...]

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