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120226-iphone_4_dock_connector.jpg


Over the past year and a half, we've been following the efforts of the European Commission to make micro-USB a universal charging standard for smartphones as of January 2011. Follwing the European Commission's adoption of the standard in August of this year, two European standards bodies have now weighed in with their approval on the technical specifications for the standard to be used.
Following a mandate from the European Commission, the European Standardisation Bodies CEN-CENELEC and ETSI have now made available the harmonised standards needed for the manufacture of data-enabled mobile phones compatible with a new common charger. This is the most recent development in the process towards a global common mobile phone charger initiated by the European Commission. It follows the June 2009 agreement of fourteen leading mobile phone producers to harmonise chargers for data-enabled mobile phones (i.e. that can be connected to a computer) sold in the European Union.
The fourteen mobile phone manufacturers participating in the agreement include Apple, as well as Nokia, Research in Motion, Samsung, and a number of other prominent smartphone manufacturers. According to yesterday's press release, the first smartphones and standalone chargers supporting the standard are expected to debut in Europe early next year.

There has been considerable speculation about whether Apple will be able to meet the requirements of the micro-USB standard, as the company currently uses a proprietary 30-pin dock connector for charging and interfacing with computers over USB. But based on the original Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) signed in June 2009, it appears that Apple can comply with the regulations by including with the iPhone a small adapter to interface either directly between the dock connector and micro-USB or between the USB connector on the end of the existing charging cable and micro-USB.
In order that compatibility of as many Mobile Phones as possible with a Common EPS [external power supply] may be enabled, if a manufacturer makes available an Adaptor from the Micro-USB connector of a Common EPS to a specific non-Micro-USB socket in the Mobile Phone, it shall constitute compliance to this article.
Consequently, Apple will not be required to abandon the 30-pin dock connector currently in use on the iPhone or include a separate micro-USB interface directly on the device for charging purposes.

It is unknown whether any changes Apple makes to comply with the new European regulations will also be made in other markets around the world.

Article Link: European Commission Moves Forward on Micro-USB Smartphone Charging Standard
 

iBaloney

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2010
435
0
i hope apple doesnt rid the 30-pin connector from the iphone or any of its products. the best part of the iphone is the 30 pin connector!
 
Comment

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
34
i hope apple doesnt rid the 30-pin connector from the iphone or any of its products. the best part of the iphone is the 30 pin connector!

Agreed! at most I hope they'll just include an adaptor or something
 
Comment

asdf542

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2010
490
0
tldr version:
Apple will be including a dock connector adapter for Micro-USB in Europe early next year.
 
Comment

ten-oak-druid

macrumors 68000
Jan 11, 2010
1,980
0
The thirty pin connector isn't going away. I'm glad to see macrumors point out that alothough there is speculation, Apple is meeting requirements because the other end will be micro usb.

I think apple would use one wire: 30 pin connector to micro usb. The article mentioned having an adapter cable but that seems messy. If the standard is going to be micro usb then go with it.

I wonder about USB in Europe in general though. Although this is going to be the standard, will Apple sell a separate wire for those that choose to use standard USB? Do people now tend to gravitate to micro usb for everything seeing the trend going this way or are people clinging to the standard format as an option now? I guess hard drives and other computer devices are not covered by this standard. (or am I wrong on that?) So standard USB will stick around. But if the standard goes for all devices such as hard drives and printers then it might be hard to find any devices around that use the standard in a year or two.
 
Comment

4nNtt

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2007
388
84
Chicago, IL
This could have turned out worse. What happens when micro USB is obsolete? This whole thing is trying to solve a problem the wrong way. They want to keep chargers out of the landfill. Why not require the chargers to be highly recyclable instead of reusable? I would just throw out the chargers anyway if I had more then a couple.
 
Comment

JPT

macrumors regular
May 4, 2006
247
0
What are the advantages of Apple's 30pin USB over a micro-usb?
 
Comment

Norcalchavo

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2007
108
0
Santa Clara, California
I just don't understand what is so wrong about having a different type of connection for different devices? They all achieve the same purpose. If you don't want to use a 30 pin connector then don't buy Apple products.
 
Comment

snebes

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2008
803
684
The thirty pin connector isn't going away. I'm glad to see macrumors point out that alothough there is speculation, Apple is meeting requirements because the other end will be micro usb.

I think apple would use one wire: 30 pin connector to micro usb. The article mentioned having an adapter cable but that seems messy. If the standard is going to be micro usb then go with it.

I wonder about USB in Europe in general though. Although this is going to be the standard, will Apple sell a separate wire for those that choose to use standard USB? Do people now tend to gravitate to micro usb for everything seeing the trend going this way or are people clinging to the standard format as an option now? I guess hard drives and other computer devices are not covered by this standard. (or am I wrong on that?) So standard USB will stick around. But if the standard goes for all devices such as hard drives and printers then it might be hard to find any devices around that use the standard in a year or two.

I have to ask...you do know that micro USB is just a standard usb connection? And that not every single device on the planet will need to use it?
 
Comment

daneoni

macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
10,807
79
What are the advantages of Apple's 30pin USB over a micro-usb?

-
a MicroUSB Connector is about 40% as wide as an Apple Dock Connector but only provides less than 16.67% of the functionality

Micro USB Connection List:

  1. +5 V
  2. USB Data −
  3. USB Data +
  4. Signal Ground
  5. Signal Ground

Apple Dock Connection List:

  1. Ground (-)
  2. Audio and Video ground (-)
  3. Line Out - R (+) (Audio output, right channel)
  4. Line Out - L(+) (Audio output, left channel)
  5. Line In - R (+)
  6. Line In - L (+)
  7. unknown
  8. Composite video output
  9. S-Video Chrominance output
  10. S-Video Luminance output
  11. Serial GND
  12. ipod sending line, Serial TxD
  13. ipod receiving line, Serial RxD
  14. NC
  15. Ground (-)
  16. USB GND (-)
  17. NC
  18. 3.3V Power (+) Stepped up to provide +5V DC to USB on iPod Camera Connector.
  19. +12V Firewire Power 12V DC
  20. +12V Firewire Power 12V DC
  21. Accessory Indicator/Serial enable
  22. FireWire Data TPA (-)
  23. USB Power 5 VDC (+)
  24. FireWire Data TPA (+)
  25. USB Data (-)
  26. FireWire Data TPB (-)
  27. USB Data (+)
  28. FireWire Data TPB (+)
  29. FireWire Ground
  30. FireWire Ground
 
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dstankus

macrumors member
May 19, 2010
98
12
good idea

I think that a standard connection/charger is an excellent idea; most people change phones every two or so years, and most have a drawer full of wall chargers, car chargers, data cables, etc that are useless. Requiring all of these devices to be charged via a standard charger is very consumer friendly.

I'm embarassed for the US that we weren't willing to take this step ourselves, first.
 
Comment

OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
17,113
6,499
The Black Country, England
i hope apple doesnt rid the 30-pin connector from the iphone or any of its products. the best part of the iphone is the 30 pin connector!

Did you even read the story? :rolleyes:

Consequently, Apple will not be required to abandon the 30-pin dock connector currently in use on the iPhone or include a separate micro-USB interface directly on the device for charging purposes.
 
Comment

Biolizard

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2008
314
0
London, United Kingdom
The thirty pin connector isn't going away. I'm glad to see macrumors point out that alothough there is speculation, Apple is meeting requirements because the other end will be micro usb.

I think apple would use one wire: 30 pin connector to micro usb. The article mentioned having an adapter cable but that seems messy. If the standard is going to be micro usb then go with it.

I wonder about USB in Europe in general though. Although this is going to be the standard, will Apple sell a separate wire for those that choose to use standard USB? Do people now tend to gravitate to micro usb for everything seeing the trend going this way or are people clinging to the standard format as an option now? I guess hard drives and other computer devices are not covered by this standard. (or am I wrong on that?) So standard USB will stick around. But if the standard goes for all devices such as hard drives and printers then it might be hard to find any devices around that use the standard in a year or two.

Apple accessories being traditionally low profile, how feasible is a small adaptor that clips into the 30 pin port and offers a micro USB port on the other side? No cables, just plastic, in the same way you have a DVI to VGA adaptor (though those are bulky). The charger will have a micro USB connector instead of the 30 pin connector as happens now.

Want to charge your iPhone? You'll need both the charger and the adaptor.
(Misguided :p) Friend needs to borrow your charger for their Android phone? Lend them the charger.
Want to use an iPhone accessory? Slot your accessory straight into the 30 pin port.

Simplez.

The only grey area is that the charger doubles up as a data transfer cable when you take the plug off the end (USB A to 30 pin). By replacing the cable with a USB A to micro USB, will this also work for data transfer? No technical reason why it can't, everyone else does it.
Also, you'd have to carry the adaptor with you if you plan on ad-hoc charging via generous friends allowing you use of their chargers, but if the adaptor is tiny, it won't be that much of a disadvantage vs the convenience afforded.

To your question about the standard, this is for mobile phones only, as the EU decided that proprietary ports mean lots of thrown away chargers each year = lots of plastic that isn't going to degrade nicely in landfill. If you buy a new phone, you should be able to charge it with your old charger. In time less chargers can be manufactured and we can save resources. W00t.
 
Comment

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
8,389
2,406
192.168.1.1
What are the advantages of Apple's 30pin USB over a micro-usb?

Apple's 30-pin interface can be used to interface with all sorts of different hardware - not just for charging and syncing.

For example, my car's iPod interface can control the iPod/iPhone itself right from the car's touchscreen - all controls, song names, etc. get displayed on the car's screen. So it's more than just power, more than just audio.
 
Comment

kas23

macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
5,628
288
What are the advantages of Apple's 30pin USB over a micro-usb?

I would like to know this too. Besides giving snobby Apple product owners a strange sense of exlusivity, why have the 30 pin connector at all? Seems to me a mini-USB is more compact. And we all probably have many extra mini-USB adaptors laying around the house, you would think charging would be more convenient for people.

For example, my car's iPod interface can control the iPod/iPhone itself right from the car's touchscreen - all controls, song names, etc. get displayed on the car's screen. So it's more than just power, more than just audio.

Cool story bro, but couldn't a mini-USB interface (if one was on your connection to your car) offer the same thing?
 
Comment

Damian.

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2009
153
18
I think Apple will release an Micro-USB adapter next year and later on completely replace the 30 Pin connector with Lightpeak technology.
 
Comment

Long

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2006
26
0
A separate, proprietary adapter seems to defeat the purpose of a standardized interface.

It seems to me there's nothing magical about the 30-pin dock connector if the other end of the cable is always USB anyway.
 
Comment

bbydon

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2005
584
91
ATL
This could have turned out worse. What happens when micro USB is obsolete? This whole thing is trying to solve a problem the wrong way. They want to keep chargers out of the landfill. Why not require the chargers to be highly recyclable instead of reusable? I would just throw out the chargers anyway if I had more then a couple.

Reuse is the better than recycling. The 3 "R's" have and order of importance.
 
Comment

kas23

macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
5,628
288
It seems to me there's nothing magical about the 30-pin dock connector if the other end of the cable is always USB anyway.

Excellent point. The connection still has to travel through a USB interface anyway, thus negating/neutralizing all the magical unicorn-like properties of the 30-pin connector.
 
Comment

aristotle

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,768
5
Canada
I would like to know this too. Besides giving snobby Apple product owners a strange sense of exlusivity, why have the 30 pin connector at all? Seems to me a mini-USB is more compact. And we all probably have many extra mini-USB adaptors laying around the house, you would think charging would be more convenient for people.



Cool story bro, but couldn't a mini-USB interface (if one was on your connection to your car) offer the same thing?
That's micro USB, not mini-USB dude. Sure, you could implement some sort of emulation via software but what would you gain? Nothing. You would lose battery life with the CPU on the portable device having to do more emulation and then you would also have to write the emulation client on the car end to accept this "smart" USB connection. Then if you wanted to implement USB audio in/out as well as USB control you would be adding on yet another protocol on top of USB and you would also have to create a client for USB audio on those speaker systems instead of just accepting an audio signal to decode the digital USB audio to something the speaker can understand. Any third party devices wanting to take advantage of it would have to also reimplemented the protocol to take advantage of it.

There is a huge third party ecosystem of accessories built around the 30pin connection. With the current connector, speaker systems can provide support for iOS devices via the dock connector and simple functionality for other devices via usb and/or phono jack input.
 
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lostngone

Contributor
Aug 11, 2003
1,427
3,799
Anchorage
What happens?

What happens if a new phone doesn't run on 5-volts? Are manufactures required to put step-up/down transformers in their devices?

Some manufacture is going to make a 12-volt transformer with a micro-usb connector on it and you are going to blow-up any other usb device you plug it into.


So some new wiz-bang phone comes out that runs on 12-volts and it is going to take 15 hours to charge on 5-volt 500mA..
 
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