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Micro-USB Charging Standard in Europe

It’s 2011 and cell phones still use one of a handful of charging standards, if you walk down the street and ask twenty people what standard is used to charge their cell phone, you will likely get a half dozen answers. Just off the top of my head there is the Apple 30-pin connector, Nokia has two – a standard plug and the mini – there are a plethora of phones that use mini-USB or micro-USB and then there is the ever annoying Samsung proprietary plug.

apple_micro_usb_newsThis leads to a rats nest of cords if your family members utilize different phones, not to mention car chargers galore in your vehicles.

Well, the European Commission is looking to put an end to the collection of cords. The Commission will adopt micro-USB as the universal charging standard for all smartphones sold in Europe starting in 2011. The commission chose to adopt the standard back in August after nearly twelve months of debate.

Fourteen manufacturers will participate in the agreement, including Apple, Nokia, RIM and Samsung. Apple being on this list was a big surprise for me initially as I could hardly see them abandoning their well known 30-pin dock connector. After a bit more research, I read the Memorandum of Understanding Agreement which was signed in 2009 and basically states that Apple can comply with the regulations by,, “including with their iPhone a small adapter to connect between the dock connector and micro-USB or between the USB connector on the end of the existing charging cable and the micro-USB.”

So it doesn’t look as if Apple will have to ditch their 30-pin dock connector for the European market after all, and honestly, I think I heard a big sign of relief coming from the Cupertino campus. I could imagine the manufacturing nightmare if Apple has to produce two phones with different charging systems. I just couldn’t see Apple moving all their iOS devices to the micro-USB standard, could you?

So TechnoBuffalo faithful, is this a good idea? Should the United States adopt a charging standard for all smartphones or just keep things as they are?


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Tom Moccia

Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...


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