back to article Operators and handset vendors plug standard charger

An alliance of operators and handset manufacturers has blown a substantial hole in the mobile accessories market by agreeing on a standard power charger for mobile phones. Orange, Telefonica, Vodafone, 3, AT&T, mobilkom Austria, T-Mobile, Telenor Telstra, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson have agreed a micro USB …

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Paris Hilton

Duh...

How has it taken until 2009 for mobile phone manufacturers to agree to a common charger?

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Flame

Green Plug

The technology already exists and it also goes beyond just the universal plug:

http://www.greenplug.us/

And yet they are struggling for acceptance.

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brilliant!

Now we all can be dirty stopouts, all of the time!

*removes requirement that future partners must own a nokia from list*

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@ Duh...

Greed, my friend.

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Dead Vulture

HD video?

1280x720/24p 4:2:0 UNCOMPRESSED requires 332Mbps data rate. Are mobile phones likely to be pumping this out soon?

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Wahooooooo!

For once in my life I'm a trend leader in the Mobile Phone arena. My Hitachi phone has a micro USB charger (well that and fully fledged SIP Voip). Wahoooooo!

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re duh...

"How has it taken until 2009 for mobile phone manufacturers to agree to a common charger?"

the same way we have built in obsolescence and patent trolling welcome to rapent capitlizem

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Oooh

Standards? Whatever next?

Seriously, only 15 years later than they should have thought about it. And just in time for us to all start swapping to inductance chargers. I'd call them Muppets, but that's unfair on the Muppets.

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@Duh...

What do you think makes more money - a generic charger, using an industry standard connector that any company can produce and get certified, or a proprietary one using a non-standard connector that the manufacturer of the phone has to grant a license to produce (or better yet, just makes them themselves), and voids the warranty if a third-party one is used? Especially if the latter costs no more to produce than the former?

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At last!

Some sense! As I have a Nokia phone, it's usually quite easy to find someone with a charger if I'm out of battery but how many times have I seen co-workers with more unusual models being unable to recharge their phones because nobody in the office had a charger that fit.

@Shingo Tamai: interesting web site, thanks for sharing.

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HOORAY

My O2 XDA (HT Universal) and my Nikon D44 both use this standard cable and I have been banging on for years that this should be the standard.

Thankfully the green issue bandwagon has been jumped upon (rather than cost cutting) and we may one day only have one charger in our drawer at home.

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This

is why I always used to buy Nokias, you could be 99% sure that if you ran out of battery, someone would have a Nokia charger. Then they went and made it smaller...

Still, it's about time this happened

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Greenwash Alert!

I read elsewhere that to get approval to sell a new mobile device in China, it *must* have a USB charger / interface socket (mini or micro IIRC).

So what they're actually saying is: "We've been forced to do this by the Chinese and we're really pissed off 'cos we can't sell proprietary chargers any more. We'll present this as a Green initiative though, 'cos it's trendy and makes a good press release."

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Still...

Cant buy a frigging Micro USB car charger in Carphonewhorehouse!

But even if I could it wouldn't save any green, theyd be at least £20 for a £3 part.

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Already there?

My Motorola Maxx V6 has been around a couple of years now and is charged via its micro-usb port. You can even plug it into the computer with a standard micro-usb cable and it will charge from that without any special software. Seemed like a good idea and made me wonder why other vendors don't do something similar. Nice to know it'll become a bit more widespread in the future.

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Gold badge

@Duh...

Simple, profits on chargers. You buy a charger for home, work etc.. £10-20 a go despite them costing £1-3 to make.

I have a Nokia with a mini USB but that can't charge the phone, I'm sure Nokia could have allowed that, but it would mean people using a USB cable to charge instead of buying another charger.

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Go

@Rik Hemsley

"UNCOMPRESSED requires 332Mbps data rate. Are mobile phones likely to be pumping this out soon?"

Probably not, cos they'd be idiots - why would you even consider not compressing it?

Bear in mind that the low-end of HD vid could be carried out by a sub-1MP CCD. All that's left is an x264 hardware encoder to be small enough.

But that'll never happen - 640K will be enough for everyone, 56kbps will be the fastest we can get on our phone lines... :-D

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Flame

But...

What about my iPhone?

(Flame cos I can't find the "troll" icon)

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Happy

Not a moment too soon

Four words for you:

Great Baltimore Fire, 1904.

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Silver badge

Finally!

Now if we could just get a simple USB port in the dash and rid ourselves of that stupid cigar lighter adapter once and for all. Pity automakers seem to run 50 years behind, perhaps there is hope for those that survive.

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Anonymous Coward

We want more

Why stop the wagon at phones - get the camera and MP3 manufacturers on board too!

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Never Happen

It'll never happen for the same reason that printers and clothes dryers don't come with a cables. There's as much or more money in the accessories than that handset. Greed will get (screw) us every time.

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Stop

@Never Happen

I may have missed the sarcasm, but last time I checked my printer came with a cable, and im pretty sure my clothes dryer came with one!

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@ Finally!

My O2 smartphone came with an adaptor that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket. And the car stereo has a USB socket.

@ We want more

It's started. My Cybook ebook reader charges via USB. As does my Rio MP3 player, which is a few years old now.

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Again?

Am I not right in thinking this 'initiative' was launched about 3 years ago? It's not a technical problem, it's a marketing one. The EU should make themselves useful for once and decree that any phone model launched after 30th June this year should charge through a micro USB connector or include an adaptor cable.

Simples...

It's so bloomin' obvious it makes me weep...

And while we're at it - cameras, protable games machines, GPS boxes etc.

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Coat

What do you think makes more mone

@Nick Palmer

"What do you think makes more money - a generic charger, using an industry standard connector that any company can produce and get certified, or a proprietary one using a non-standard connector that the manufacturer of the phone has to grant a license to produce (or better yet, just makes them themselves), and voids the warranty if a third-party one is used? Especially if the latter costs no more to produce than the former?"

Do you really think that Average Joe (especially if from the USA) would actually understand that a <b>universal</> charger branded Motorola is actually able to charge a Nokia phone?

Average Joe, like the majority of idiots out there would still buy a <b>universal</b> Nokia branded charger.

So, I really do not think that the manufacturers would lose money because they can always count on the "idiot factor".

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Gates Halo

nokia

the nokia comment was correct about 5 years ago.. but not now... noone has a nokia kicking about, but the number of mini USB cables is increasing all the time... portable hard drives, mp3 players, cameras.... it all makes sense! and one reason ive had Windows mobile phones for years... standard mini usb on all of them!

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Anonymous Coward

Motorola knows a way round this....

I've seen a Motorola phone with a mini USB shaped port, but it pop's up a message about an "unauthorised charger" if you try to charge with an ordinary USB cable.

By the way, this new standard refers to "Micro USB". All those cables that you're using with your hard drives, MP3 players etc are "Mini USB".

Which isn't the same thing at all, at all, at all!

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Anonymous Coward

3 quid?

"By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 17th February 2009 12:45 GMT

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Cant buy a frigging Micro USB car charger in Carphonewhorehouse!

But even if I could it wouldn't save any green, theyd be at least £20 for a £3 part."

£3??

I happen to knoe BRANDED nokia chargers ar bought in at less than £1.70 Now sold for £20, previously £25

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Anonymous Coward

Lack of trust in proprietary connectors has blown the hole in the mobile accessories market

"An alliance of operators and handset manufacturers has blown a substantial hole in the mobile accessories market by agreeing on a standard power charger for mobile phones."

This is a fallacy. Customers are not stupid. If you try to rip them off by selling a hideously overpriced charger, they will simply *not buy it*.

And by the way I picked up a USB charger cable for my old Japanese cell phone with a proprietary connector in a 100 Yen store. That's less than 1 Euro.

What's worse, the connector idiocy has convinced most people that it's just not worth it to buy any other accessories unless you really really need them.

How many people do you know who actually bought a headset for their cell phone, or an extra charger? The standard method to get a second charger that I know is buy the same phone as your g/f.

There could be a lot more peripheral equipment for cell phones, like mini photo printers, camera flash lights, watches with SMS notifiers, car chargers, battery packs, foldable keyboards for message writing, mics for voice recording (think interviews) etc. etc., but these never ever sell because customers don't trust that they can use the device in 2 years when they get a new cell phone!

Screwing the customers over repeatedly has blown a substantial hole in the mobile accessories market.

Especially bad are companies that can't even keep their proprietary connectors consistent between model generations of their own products. Apple is guilty of proprietary standards in many areas, but at least the small pedestal that came with my 3rd gen iPod in 2003 still works with my iPhone and its charger.

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Paris Hilton

@ Hooray

I too had the o2 XDA exec and used it a lot. The micro USB broke free and rattled around inside the casing giving me a) worries about bits of metal going where they shouldn't and b) no way to charge the phone. Got it replaced with another o2 XDA exec and used it a lot. The micro USB broke free and rattled around inside the casing giving me a) worries about bits of metal going where they shouldn't and b) no way to charge the phone.

Micro USB as standard: fantastic idea, but c'mon, manufacturers, good build quality and ruggedisation please!

Paris, because nobody has broken her socket twice.

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