European Commission Set to Adopt Universal Micro-USB Smartphone Charging Standard in January

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Late last week, Deutsche Welle reported that the European Commission has formally approved a policy that will require nearly all smartphones and simpler data-enabled phones to adopt a standard micro-USB charging connector as of January 2011. The policy is a formalization of an agreement signed by ten top mobile phone manufacturers, including Apple, last year.
"Introduction of the universal charger will make life much simpler for EU consumers," said Dennis Abbott, a European Commission spokesperson. "When you discover you've left your charger at home or work, you will be able to use someone else's, knowing it will fit your phone. How cool is that?"

The industry agreed that the new charger will be for all smartphones and all "data-enabled" phones - and will use a micro-USB connector. The new universal chargers will not cover older mobile phones.
As Wired notes, it is unclear how Apple plans to comply with the standard, given its proprietary 30-pin connector compatible with all existing iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch models, as well as certain other iPod models and a host of accessories.
Ultimately, economics will force handset makers in the U.S. to change, say industry experts. As companies move to a universal charger in Europe, they will bring the same connectors to U.S. models.

It's not clear how Apple will make the change, but it is certain that if the company moves to a micro USB-based connector for its new iPhone model in Europe, U.S. customers can expect the same.

"It makes so much sense that I believe the U.S. will follow," says Banos. "It would be insane not to."
The European Commission is the executive body for the European Union, which comprises 27 countries with a total of over 500 million people. Consequently, design changes adopted to meet European Union standards are almost certain to trickle down to the rest of the world to provide for simpler design and manufacturing processes, as well as to ensure interoperability.

Article Link: European Commission Set to Adopt Universal Micro-USB Smartphone Charging Standard in January
 

Tyre

macrumors regular
May 23, 2010
143
0
Baltimore, MD
Amazing. No more buying a new phone and wasting your old charger. Not that that applies to the iPhone, but good to have anyway. Apple doesn't need to change. just MintyBoost v3.0 plus the new :apple: rechargeables...

EDIT: Also could fit in with reports of new iPhone in January to meet these standards as well as fix an unnamed issue.
 

rlmccormick

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2008
120
5
I would think they would simply include an adaptor that would allow you to connect the phone to a micro-usb charger. An adaptor wouldn't be that costly.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,044
116
Canada, eh?
I like this idea!

"It would be insane not to."
Of course, this has been said about many things, and Apple sometimes still finds a way to be on the other side of that fence. I hope this won't be one of them.
 

rorschach

macrumors 68020
Jul 27, 2003
2,064
587
I would think they would simply include an adaptor that would allow you to connect the phone to a micro-usb charger. An adaptor wouldn't be that costly.
Yep, that's all that will happen. They will just include this in the box for iPhones sold in the EU. Nothing fancy.
 

cRuNcHiE

macrumors 6502a
Jan 2, 2007
752
27
Won't just affect apple. what about sony ericsson who use the same port for charging and for hands free?

so they'll change the port for charging to USB and presumably invent some other port for the handsfree making all the current handsfree kits useless with newer phones?
 

superknoppix

macrumors member
Jul 12, 2008
74
0
I think Apple can just leave their connector the same.... How many people have an iPod or something that requires a connector like that? millions, I think its safe to say more people carry Apple proprietary connector than carry micro-usb... Now for other players in smartphone market, like RIM, Nokia, and others its a great idea.
 

Kid A

macrumors regular
May 1, 2008
238
0
I know Steve thinks ports are the enemy of sleek design, but would it be so difficult or horrendously ugly to just put a little mini USB port on the side somewhere, kinda low? Or maybe up near the headphone jack? If not, I'll take one of those on future iPod touches and iPads too, thank you very much.

Making Europeans (and eventually me here in America) carry around an adaptor seems to defeat the point of the "how cool is that" scenario from the article. Because if my adaptor is sitting in a drawer at home, and I'm at my friend's house, then NO, I can't use their charger.

But dropping the classic 30-pin connector and reducing everyone's existing docks and accessories to useless or impracticable seems an equally bad solution.
 

RoadKill

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2003
100
1
LONDON UK
A separate adapter would completely miss the point of this law and I hope the EU would come down like a ton of bricks on any company that deploys that as "a solution"

Hopefully Jonny will find a cool way of both ports
 

nascimento

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2010
151
0
The Eu members of parliament are a bunch of pariahs and pass the time hassling the people of the member states with bureaucracy and paperwork.

They are happy measuring bananas and inventing banana standards, something that is critical to the civilized world. (its normally the women that measure the bananas) Most have been placed there because there was no other place to put them but once in a while someone sensible thinks about something sensible!
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,335
386
Boston, MA
Amazing. No more buying a new phone and wasting your old charger. Not that that applies to the iPhone, but good to have anyway. Apple doesn't need to change. just MintyBoost v3.0 plus the new :apple: rechargeables...

EDIT: Also could fit in with reports of new iPhone in January to meet these standards as well as fix an unnamed issue.
yes it does apply to iPhones and iPods. My old iPod firewire chargers do not work with iPhones from 3G and up. That is quite stupid because the connector works and the phone recognizes the charger and then says "this device is not made for this iPhone...".

Add to that the third party docks and chargers that won't work anymore and then say again "Not that that applies to the iPhone,".
 

kernkraft

macrumors 68020
Jun 25, 2009
2,456
1
Yep, that's all that will happen. They will just include this in the box for iPhones sold in the EU. Nothing fancy.
That would defeat the whole point of the proposed legislation. I'm sure that it will be regulated, how manufacturers have to comply with the standard.

Let's not forget that the current iPhone is already using USB 2.0 cable. Apple Inc might lose a fair share of licence fee after their proprietary connector. No other mobile manufacturer has been able to monetize from the chargers and adaptors as Apple.

What the future means is perhaps less rip-offs?
 

djrod

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2008
1,009
25
Madrid - Spain
Apple dropping their dock connector for a micro USB ? Not gonna happen.

Why?

MicroUSB can only do 2 things : Charge the phone and transfer data.

Can not work as an audio/video output/control the iDevice using an external peripheral.

The law says every mobile phone has to be compatible with the new universal power adaptor, so an adaptor will be fine.
 

The Stig

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2006
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On the track
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I see the EU's point and I see how it would be a good idea, but I don't like the law. What if using something else is better? Maybe not right now, but how long will this law hold back innovation from a new port and standard being better to use? Maybe you can't do everything with a micro-usb port, and I don't want two ports, or some big thing to make everything run through usb. I don't care for the 30 pin, but Apple can use that port for EVERYTHING including usb, which is nice. I just wouldn't want two ports on my phone, one for some stuff and one for other things. It would get stupid and can hurt the future because they get around to updating the law.

Also, I don't like how the EU can make a law and it will pretty much change every country, because if you want to sell there you'll just make all your products do that. Sometimes it is a good thing, but sometimes not. I don't like how they have control over my country because they wanted to do something in theirs. Why does the EU like to stick their noses into everything? I do agree that most things I hear about the EU "sticking their noses" into is good for consumers, but they just seem to do it a lot.

The Stig

Also, yes, Apple will just make an adapter. It would be pretty easy since that is what they already do. They will just need to change the head of the 30-pin to usb to micro-usb, and change it from male to female. They don't care because it doesn't effect them at all, so why not play ball instead of getting the EU pissed and making the front page of the paper around the world.
 

mrgulabull

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2010
12
0
"It makes so much sense that I believe the U.S. will follow," says Banos. "It would be insane not to."

I thought this article was about USB chargers not the metric system.
 

iPhoney:)

macrumors member
Jan 15, 2009
80
0
Whatever standard they adopt it should be thinner and flatter than a dock connector, I can imagine that cell phones in the future will be to thin for the current usb ports.
 

mcmlxix

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2009
516
1
Making Europeans (and eventually me here in America) carry around an adaptor seems to defeat the point of the "how cool is that" scenario from the article. Because if my adaptor is sitting in a drawer at home, and I'm at my friend's house, then NO, I can't use their charger.
Exactly.

The Eu members of parliament are a bunch of pariahs and pass the time hassling the people of the member states with bureaucracy and paperwork.
I would add, that the more governmental agencies decree what technologies someone can or cannot manufacture/sell, the more technology is stiffled.