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.