EU Micro-USB charging standard allows iPhone adapter | iLounge News

EU Micro-USB charging standard allows iPhone adapter

Two European standards bodies have released the final specs for a new universal cell phone charging standard based on Micro-USB. In a European Commission press release, the CEN-CENELEC and ETSI announced that the “harmonised standards needed for the manufacture of data-enabled mobile phones compatible with a new common charger” are now available. “I am very happy that the European Standardisation Bodies have met our request to develop within a short space of time the technical standards necessary for a common mobile phone charger based on the work done by industry,” said European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship. “Now it is time for industry to show its commitment to sell mobile phones for the new charger. The common charger will make life easier for consumers, reduce waste and benefit businesses. It is a true win-win situation.”

In June, Apple, along with Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG, NEC, Qualcomm, RIM, Samsung, and Texas Instruments, signed an agreement aimed at standardizing all data-enabled cell phone chargers beginning in 2011; although Micro-USB has been chosen as the standard connector, the agreement allows Apple to bundle some form of Dock Connector to Micro-USB charging adapter with the iPhone in the EU, instead of adding a separate Micro-USB port to the device or abandoning the Dock Connector in favor of the new standard. Given the continued popularity of full-sized USB ports and Apple’s use of the same cables for non-mobile phone products including the iPod and iPad, this adapter most likely will take the form of a USB to Micro-USB adapter for current cables, rather than a redesigned Dock Connector to Micro-USB cable. [via Mac Rumors]

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I never did get the appeal of this initiative. I’d much rather have a standard where devices/phones charge off of USB and rather than worry about the connector on the device, make the cable on the charger removable. That way I have one charger that can use multiple cables to charge whatever USB chargeable device I have. Be it an iPhone, Kindle, Flip Mino, whatever…..ONE charger.

Posted by IGreen on December 30, 2010 at 5:50 PM (CST)


What a punt. By allowing Apple and others to not have a universal connector, there is no actual new standard. 99% of these devices already will charge off of a USB port voltage - it’s the 37 different connectors to the device that turn everything into a mess.

Posted by Code Monkey on December 30, 2010 at 5:56 PM (CST)


The EU is very progressive when it comes to environmental matters, and I admire that.  They have already banned 6 toxic substances (including lead) with their RoHS initiative, and 20+ more substances with their REACH initiative. The intent of this one is to reduce the reasons for people to discard their charger when they get a new phone.

But by letting manufacturers provide an adapter cable, people will now be throwing out adapter cables when they get a new device that doesn’t fit their cable. This is less bulk e-waste than an entire charger, but Code Monkey is right in that this is a punt. You watch, in a few years there will be another move to eliminate the adapter cables that kids and snow pup seals are choking on.

OK, so if adapter cables will be allowed—why not make the standard just the charging head with no cable and a standard (full-size) USB-A port? That way the “adapter cable” can be a normal USB-A to micro-USB (for devices with that interface) or USB-A to dock connector (for iPhones) or any type of connector on the other end of the cable? Smart phones are commonly connected to computers via such cables anyway, and the de-facto standard is USB-A.

As a result of this decision, Apple’s response is to provide EU iPhone users with an intermediate adapter cable to connect their dock connector cable with a micro USB connector on the new standard charger. If the standard charger was just a charging head with a USB-A port, this wouldn’t be required by Apple, or other companies who use a non-standard port on their device.

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on December 30, 2010 at 7:46 PM (CST)


So basically Apple will start packaging a sendstation adapter?

Posted by Bud e on January 2, 2011 at 1:47 PM (CST)


@4: Would that were the case. Somehow the EU got it in their collective head that the key problem was the wall charger unit itself with the permanently affixed and usually proprietary charging cord.

For reasons we can only scratch our heads over, their solution was a single wall charger standard… with a micro USB port and not a standard USB port. And then no requirement that the devices must accept s standard charging connection.

So, basically, Apple will include dongles with their devices that are female micro-USB to male micro-USB so people will be able to plug their iPod into one of these standard wall chargers.

It’s things like this that give our wingnuts fuel. I’d wager I could have taken any 20 15 y.o.‘s from an average American high school and given them 3 days and they would have arrived at the sensible solution: Everything accepts micro-USB, but don’t prohibit propietary data connectors, and all wall chargers use the standard USB female port just like are found on 99.9% of computers. Ban wall charger + permanently affixed corde. Poof, problem greatly alleviated AND simplified, but no.

Posted by Code Monkey on January 3, 2011 at 8:20 AM (CST)


^correction because I was apparently still asleep this morning: a female standard USB to male micro USB dongle is the solution…

Posted by Code Monkey on January 3, 2011 at 4:24 PM (CST)

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