back to article ITU joins microUSB bandwagon

The ITU has decided to turn its attention to the problem of mobile phone charging, underlining in green the microUSB standard already being adopted by the industry. Just when you thought everyone who was anyone had already endorsed microUSB as the standard connection for all mobile phones - and by extension all mobile gadgets …


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  1. Mark Boothroyd
    Thumb Up

    Charging rates

    Quote: 'That does make for slower charging, as the amount of power allowed by the standard limits how quickly you can recharge a handset'

    You would have hoped they'd have taken that into account, because charging rate is only really an issue if the phones plugged into another device, such as a PC. i.e. pulling the power via the USB controller.

    If it's plugged directly into a power socket, then current drain via USB isn't really relevant as it's not actually going via a USB controller anywhere.

    My current phone uses a plug in brick that has a standard USB socket on the bottom, so any standard USB lead will plug into it. Handy for charging my phone, MP3 player and my XBox 360 controller :-) The phone charges in about an hour from flat.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Universal Communications ?

    So since all the manufacturers are moving over to microUSB for charging, surely that should make it substantially simpler for standardised communication between devices ?

    Why can't my car, boat, caravan, home, etc, all have a USB bus, then everything can work together.

    Car is the big option I see - many cars now come with iPod integration, often to the exclusion of other brands of MP3 player. So why not have everything using the same bus (1553 avionics?) then the phone, MP3 player etc all integrate into the car simply. No need for expensive integration kits. And cars with gadgets included sell better than cars with gadgets as options.

  3. Chris 211

    Goods news... lets get on and do it and not just include phones but anything that requires charging like pda, mobile game devices, portable tvs, notebooks! Then make the charger an optional additional charge hopefully making the overall costs lower.

  4. TeeCee Gold badge

    Shortly after hell freezes over.

    " might make hold-outs like Apple take note......"

    Yup, I'm thinking something called "micro-usb" only with a magnetic connection and a completely different pinout myself. Probably designed to catch fire if you plug in a standard charger too.

    The chargers'll probably be white....

  5. Edwin
    Jobs Horns


    Nobody will make Apple do anything.

    In two years, Apple will present the same, tired uUSB plug with a non-compatible pinout and present it as a unique find, an improved UI and the best thing since sliced bread.

  6. Len Silver badge

    10 initial manufacturers, from Apple to TI.

    "Several major mobile manufacturers, including Nokia, Apple and Research in Motion, have signed up for the universal charger initiative led by the Group Special Mobile Association (GSMA), according to Reuters.


    The 10 cellphone manufacturers beginning Micro USB adoption in Europe are Apple, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG , NEC, Qualcomm, Research In Motion, Samsung and Texas Instruments."

    Europe Gets Universal Cellphone Charger in 2010

  7. Sam Liddicott

    miniUSB or microUSB

    I thought the whole world was using mini-USB till I got a Nokia phone and saw that although it had a mini-USB connector, it could not use it for charging.

    And now we move to the so-tiny don't blink-when-you-plug-it-in-or-you-ll-break-it micro-usb. gah!

  8. Len Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Apple has already pledged support for this

    "The ITU is a slow moving beast, but while its endorsement probably won't make any difference in the short term it might make hold-outs like Apple take note of the direction the rest of the industry is taking."

    Eehhmm... you haven't really been paying attention, have you? Apple was in the first group of companies to pledge their support for this universal standard months ago.

    Granted, it is relatively easy for them as they have already been using USB for data transfer and charging on all their mobile devices for years now. As opposed to my @£$%"% Nokia which has a USB connection for data but refused to be charged with it.

  9. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Yeah! And electric cars too!

    We might as well run with it.

    Let's make sure that plug-in electric cars are also recharged using a standardized connector. Might as well be the same one as the mobile phones - micro USB.


  10. Colin Miller
    Thumb Up

    @Mark Boothroyd

    If the host connects both data lines to the 0V rail, then it is not computer/hub, but a PSU capable of supplying at least 1A, and the device does not need to do power negotiation.

    If the host is a computer/hub, then the device can only draw 100mA before asking the computer for upto 500mA in 100mA increments.

  11. Captain TickTock

    Another way to do it...

    Green Plug is a different proposal, which takes into account the different power requirements of different devices, and has a protocol for negotiating that with compatible devices.

    For existing devices, it can be configured with an id-keyed adapter tip

  12. Anonymous Coward

    That would mean a lot!

    I've red on "Notizie tra le linee" that according to the Gsm Association ‘s estimates, the mobile phone industry produces 51,000 tons of battery chargers. This is a great afford to help our Planet. Will this be convenient for our pockets too?

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