Feeds

Mobile phones to get universal charger

iPhone excepted

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.