Feeds

Mobile phones to get universal charger

iPhone excepted

The essential guide to IT transformation

You'll be able to charge any new mobile phone from the same universal charger beginning on January 1, 2012. Except the iPhone.

A new charging standard was announced by the GSMA Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and endorsed by 17 mobile handset manufacturers and service providers, including heavyweights such as Nokia, Motorola, Qualcomm, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung.

The charging standard will be based on the industry-standard Micro USB interface. The iPhone, however, both charges from and communicates with computers and accessories using Apple's proprietary 30-pin Dock Connector.

In addition to the obvious benefits of standardization, such as the ability to charge multiple phones using the same charger, the use of Micro USB offers two significant advantages over the current welter of proprietary charging systems.

The first is Micro USB itself. Not only are Micro USB ports and plugs smaller than some current charging interfaces, they're also sturdier. The standard calls for a stainless steel plug that's rated for 10,000 insertion cycles and includes a locking mechanism to prevent accidental disconnection.

More important from a global perspective will be the standard's environmental benefits. According to the GSMA, the new chargers will be "up to three times more energy-efficient" and existing chargers and will require 50 per cent less standby power.

Add this savings to the GSMA's estimate that the new standard will result in 50 per cent reduction in new chargers being produced each year, and "the industry can expect to reduce greenhouse gases in manufacturing and transporting replacement chargers by 13.6 to 21.8 million tonnes a year," according to the GSMA.

Don't expect Apple, however - no matter how green they may claim to be - to join in this particular earth-saving strategy. The 30-pin connector shared by the iPhone and all iPods except the Shuffle carries more than just charging power and status information: audio line-in/out, composite and S-video data, accessory-type ID, and other signals.

Also, it's highly unlikely that Apple would mar its sleek smartphone by adding a second port, even if doing so would both add to the iPhone's convenience and help the environment. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.