Proprietary chargers are supremely annoying, but they're also an affront to consumers and the environment, according to the European Commission. They want a universal charger, and surprisingly, manufacturers are happy to oblige. UPDATED
The main driving force behind the Commission's campaign is the reduction of e-waste, which is sensible. After all, a proprietary charger generally dies with its chargee, which seems like a waste. Surprisingly, cellphone manufacturers appear to be relatively eager to comply. The GSM Association announced today that 17 manufacturers, including Nokia, Motorola and Samsung have agreed on
miniMicro-USB as the standard—following a (to date hollow) precedent set by others nearly two years ago.
Micro-USB in cellphones as been trending up anyway, and seems like a sensible choice. Accordingly, it's not really surprising to see companies like Samsung and Motorola agree to a standard that they already sometimes use, or for others to switch to a standard that, while it cuts lucrative charger sales, makes things simpler and cheaper in the long run. The real challenge for the commission will be to convince companies like Apple to join in—not they they'll necessarily have a choice. UPDATE: AFP says the standard in mini USB, but the GSMA press release confirms that it's micro-usb. [AFP]