Apple agrees to Micro-USB for iPhone charging in EU | iLounge News

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Apple agrees to Micro-USB for iPhone charging in EU

Apple is among a large group of cell phone manufacturers that have signed a new European Commission agreement aimed at standardizing all smartphone chargers starting next year. “People will not have to throw away their charger whenever they buy a new phone,” said EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, suggesting that unwanted phone accessories account for thousands of tons of waste in Europe each year. The new chargers will use the Micro-USB standard to ensure compatibility, and will be usable only on data-enabled phones. Along with Apple, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG, NEC, Qualcomm, RIM, Samsung, and Texas Instruments have all signed the agreement. All iPods and iPhones since the third-generation iPod have used Apple’s 30-pin Dock Connector for charging; it is unclear whether future Europe-bound iPhones will adopt the new connector or simply offer a pack-in converter for use with standardized Micro-USB chargers.

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Comments

1

So phones of the future won’t come with a bundled charger then?

:(

Posted by Fanman on June 29, 2009 at 4:23 PM (CDT)

2

This will be limited to the EU (for now), but in the future the charger would be an optional accessory so that you’re not tempted to throw your old one out when you get a new phone. Of course, I think we can expect to pay more the “standard charger”, perhaps a lot more.

But a standardized charger interface would be nice for the car—I hate having to keep a separate charger for each phone type in the family. At least there’d be a little less clutter in the glove box.

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on June 29, 2009 at 8:33 PM (CDT)

3

#2: It’s extremely unlikely that the chargers will cost more. They’re using USB, the thing that’s on every single computer that’s currently made, as well as countless accessories. The drug store sells stand-alone USB chargers; that’s how common they are.

I guess they could try to sucker some people into paying a lot for a charger, just like how some people pay $20 for a USB cable for their printer at Office Max that’s worth $1. However it would be impossible for them to sucker everyone in when they’re adopting USB voltage and connection types.

I know what you’re thinking, but Ned, not every USB charging adapter works on the iPhone. This is because a dummy signal is needed for those stand-alone chargers for the iPhone to start charging. At least that is the case for current iPhones/iPod touches. By agreeing to this standard Apple will need to work something else out. (the reason this “dummy signal” is sent is because the iPhone is expecting the computer to report back how much power it can supply over the port, something that’s normally not a concern with most stand-alone USB chargers)

Even if this wasn’t USB, but something totally new, the fact that all of these new phones in some areas (likely to spread in more nations) means higher volume which equals less expensive.

So why on earth would the phone companies do this? I’m not sure on all the details that prompted them to choose functionality over profit, but it might help explain why this seems like such big news to everyone.

Posted by Ned Scott on July 1, 2009 at 1:28 PM (CDT)

4

The problem with the current range of phones & chargers is that there is a variety of voltages and connector tips.

For iPhone & iPod I figured this EU-based change was neither here nor there as the chargers themselves have a neat USB port rather than an integral cable. And iPods don’t come with any charger these days. I’m surprised that iPhone still does.

I’m surprised that phone manufacturers didn’t move years ago to having a USB—>phone cable in the box rather than a full charger. If they continue to issue chargers with phones I don’t see that this move has any value. What will make the difference is being able to use a charger until it breaks. And then ignoring the charger and just plugging into a laptop or any other USB-toting device.

The move to using a micro USB connection on the phone is icing on the cake and means that manufacturers could reasonably supply only the phone and battery. Now, there’s an idea that Apple could listen to - battery standards for mobile phones.

Posted by PrettyGreenParrot on July 4, 2009 at 5:38 AM (CDT)

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