European Commission Pushing Micro-USB Standard for Cellphone Chargers

Illustration for article titled European Commission Pushing Micro-USB Standard for Cellphone Chargers

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]


Daniel Hertz

but companies like Apple must have a choice, as the "Dock connector" has many other useful pins; stereo line out, stereo line in and video out, etc. Does this mean I will have to have more ports on my phone? If mini USB had some spare pins, then it would be fine, but otherwise, more ports ports on phones, and more cables to connect them!