Apple to Adopt Micro-USB Connectors for iPhone Charging in Europe

Reuters reports that ten top mobile phone manufacturers, including Apple, have agreed to adopt the Micro-USB connector standard for smartphone chargers in the European Union. The shift, planned to begin next year, will allow smartphones from the companies, which control 90% of the market, to use the same charging cables. Apple currently uses a proprietary dock connector compatible with both the iPhone and iPod touch.

The chargers will be usable only for data-enabled phones, which have more capability than just standard calls and SMS texts. Data-enabled phones are expected to account for almost half of all new mobile handset purchases in 2010.

The Commission hopes that as people discard their old handsets, within three to four years all data-enabled phones in Europe will be using standardized chargers.

The plan also calls for new phones to be sold with Micro-USB chargers for a period of time before ultimately selling phones and chargers separately in order to allow customers who already own chargers to continue using their existing ones. While the agreement extends only to European phones, it is expected that the standard will make its way into phones around the world as companies attempt to keep their design and manufacturing costs streamlined.

Top Rated Comments

tablo13 Avatar
152 months ago
Deleted
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MorphingDragon Avatar
157 months ago
It is about port on the charger not on the phone

Apple won't change anything on the phone, only on the charger. But it is a dumb law from EU, it should have mandated a USB port for the charger (that apple already use), not a micro USB, because computer doesn't have micro, but relugar USB ports.

I think you're confused.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trose Avatar
171 months ago
The big three fought against it for a long time, too. In stark contrast to Volvo, who made seat belts standard across their product line long before the Swedish government had implemented any regulations for it. ;)


Yeah.

The EU is often the subject of flak from Americans who think that all our regulations are silly, socialist, anti-capitalist etc. The most recent example is that they're forcing Microsoft to ship Windows 7 without IE, in order to help level the field for competition between browsers. But honestly, what the EU is doing is very beneficial to consumers. If they smell a hint of monopoly or de-facto monopoly anywhere, they go after it with a sledgehammer. It keeps companies on their toes, the competition is fierce and the consumers have tons of alternatives to choose from. Here in my flat in Sweden I can choose between 24 Mbit DSL (standard for several years, they're rolling out 60 Mbit now) from a dozen different carriers, 50 Mbit cable modem or 100 Mbit fibreLAN (currently they're testing 1000 Mbit but it'll probably be a couple of years before I can get that here). Either solution costs about $30/month. 3G was rolled out in 2004-2005 and has been available from half a dozen carriers ever since. All carriers are required by agreement with the licensor (the government) to offer coverage all over Sweden so that no single carrier can corner the market in select parts of the country. We will have two iPhone carriers this summer, though I can't say TeliaSonera ripped me off when they had the exclusive iPhone deal... I didn't have to sign up for some draconian 24-month plan, I was able to buy the iPhone and keep my old plan, which I pay $3 (yes, 3 bucks) a month for + 3 cents per minute of talk time, then I added the optional unlimited data plan for $20/month. In other words I pay a total of about $25/month for my iPhone usage and I'm free to switch to any other carrier any time I want. When 3.0 enabled tethering I was able to use it instantly for no extra charge, and MMS was enabled too of course. This is by no means related directly to EU regulations, but TeliaSonera's approach is the result of operating in the EU climate. They bend over backwards to be nice and offer competitive pricing even when they technically have no competitors. :D

Meanwhile, in the "land of the free" you're stuck with some Soviet-style dinosaur called AT&T. They can charge whatever the hell they want (and boy do they ever), they implement new services long after the rest of the world... because they can. They wouldn't survive one week in the EU with that approach.


So... jealous...

Paying $50/mo for my *maybe* 10Mbps Cable, and it's more often around 4-6Mbps. Also stuck with AT&T for my 3G iPhone...

I need to get to Sweden. The weather can't be any worse in Stockholm than it is here in Maine :P
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Anuba Avatar
171 months ago
You mean like Apple is forcing you to purchase Apple products (just read the OS X EULA)?

Did you know that it took 50.000 casualties (car crashes) in the USA before the US car manufacturers adopted the seat belt? And that it took nearly ten years before they did? Seems like regulations works after all ;)
The big three fought against it for a long time, too. In stark contrast to Volvo, who made seat belts standard across their product line long before the Swedish government had implemented any regulations for it. ;)

I just looked up Euro NCAP (http://www.euroncap.com/home.aspx) and Euro-5 (http://www.euractiv.com/en/transport/euro-5-emissions-standards-cars/article-133325) which to me seems like perfect things to adopt for the US of A.
Yeah.

The EU is often the subject of flak from Americans who think that all our regulations are silly, socialist, anti-capitalist etc. The most recent example is that they're forcing Microsoft to ship Windows 7 without IE, in order to help level the field for competition between browsers. But honestly, what the EU is doing is very beneficial to consumers. If they smell a hint of monopoly or de-facto monopoly anywhere, they go after it with a sledgehammer. It keeps companies on their toes, the competition is fierce and the consumers have tons of alternatives to choose from. Here in my flat in Sweden I can choose between 24 Mbit DSL (standard for several years, they're rolling out 60 Mbit now) from a dozen different carriers, 50 Mbit cable modem or 100 Mbit fibreLAN (currently they're testing 1000 Mbit but it'll probably be a couple of years before I can get that here). Either solution costs about $30/month. 3G was rolled out in 2004-2005 and has been available from half a dozen carriers ever since. All carriers are required by agreement with the licensor (the government) to offer coverage all over Sweden so that no single carrier can corner the market in select parts of the country. We will have two iPhone carriers this summer, though I can't say TeliaSonera ripped me off when they had the exclusive iPhone deal... I didn't have to sign up for some draconian 24-month plan, I was able to buy the iPhone and keep my old plan, which I pay $3 (yes, 3 bucks) a month for + 3 cents per minute of talk time, then I added the optional unlimited data plan for $20/month. In other words I pay a total of about $25/month for my iPhone usage and I'm free to switch to any other carrier any time I want. When 3.0 enabled tethering I was able to use it instantly for no extra charge, and MMS was enabled too of course. This is by no means related directly to EU regulations, but TeliaSonera's approach is the result of operating in the EU climate. They bend over backwards to be nice and offer competitive pricing even when they technically have no competitors. :D

Meanwhile, in the "land of the free" you're stuck with some Soviet-style dinosaur called AT&T. They can charge whatever the hell they want (and boy do they ever), they implement new services long after the rest of the world... because they can. They wouldn't survive one week in the EU with that approach.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
niuniu Avatar
171 months ago
Excellent news, you should see the mess of chargers in one of my drawers.. terrible waste..
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Anuba Avatar
171 months ago
Don't you have a similar problem with the dock connector?
Not really... it's never on the back of anything, you have it right in front of you when you insert it, and it would have to be pretty damn dark for me to not be able to see that big ol' symbol on one side of the (white) dock connector.

The connector is pretty big though, do the really need all those pins? Some of them are probably for firewire which iPods haven't supported for ages. Something like micro-USB would allow them to shrink the iPod Nano, and put a bigger speaker (or even stereo speakers... silly but whatever) on the iPhone. But they'd lose video and audio output of course.

:D:D:D:D


What's with the "micro" stuff, folks? Why not something big like this:



External Molex connectors...now we're talking! :p
Hell yeah! Give us something fat and sturdy, like a Scart connector. Sure, it's bigger than the power adapter and probably bigger than the cellphone too, but that's easily fixed by making those much bigger.



I love Scart connectors because they're so easy to insert. You just reach inside the dark and cramped cabinet where your DVD player is, and the connector just slides into the port effortlessly. After 6,000 failed attempts. I love the cables too, they're so flexible and thin.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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