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EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the guilty-as-charged dept.

Cellphones 358

SmartAboutThings writes "The European Union has voted in favor of a draft legislation which lists among the 'essential requirements' of electrical devices approved by the EU a compatibility with 'universal' chargers. According to a German MEP, this move will eliminate 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste. The draft law was approved by an overwhelming majority: 550 votes to 12. At the moment, according to estimates, there are around 30 different types of charger on the market, but manufacturers have two years at their disposal to get ready for the new restriction."

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Dumb (2, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#46486523)

What phones don't simply use the micro or mini USB cable and 500ma? iPhone 5?

Re:Dumb (5, Informative)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#46486559)

Yep. Apple has been the most significant holdout.

At this point every other phone I've worked with that's newly produced has either had mini-USB or micro-USB connections.

Re:Dumb (0)

alen (225700) | about 6 months ago | (#46486573)

my galaxy note 3 is microusb, but i think it needs more ma

at work we were looking at the chargers for different android phones and they were all different specs

Re:Dumb (3, Informative)

LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) | about 6 months ago | (#46487031)

my galaxy note 3 is microusb, but i think it needs more ma

at work we were looking at the chargers for different android phones and they were all different specs

Galaxy Note 3 uses MicroUSB 3.0 as standard charger (2.0A), but should still charge at a slower rate using a standard MicroUSB cord.

Most devices will draw the max the charger will allow if they see the data channels shorted. I assume the charger will go into current limit (voltage will start to drop) once the maximum output of the charger is reached. Different charges from different phones may be rated different, but most still should provide a charge (even if slower). If plugged into a USB host (computer) it may be limited to 500mA or less.

I thought this article was a dupe from 2009/2011 http://yro.slashdot.org/story/... [slashdot.org]

Re:Dumb (1)

gmack (197796) | about 6 months ago | (#46486673)

Non smart Samsung phones. I actually just got burned by this a few months ago when I grabbed something cheap to last me the month between when my old phone was stolen and when my new one arrived.

Re:Dumb (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486731)

Because microusb has an absolutely atrocious, finnicky connector. I hope they use practically anything but microusb.

Apples Lightning connector would be great, actually, or something very similar. Near unbreakably solid, easy to plug in our out, can be plugged in either way...

Re:Dumb (3, Informative)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 6 months ago | (#46486949)

Because microusb has an absolutely atrocious, finnicky connector. I hope they use practically anything but microusb.

MicroUSB was designed to put the wear on the plug (the cable), not the device. Or so they say. One year with Samsung Galaxy charging everyday - no problems so far.

Apples Lightning connector would be great, actually, or something very similar. Near unbreakably solid, easy to plug in our out, can be plugged in either way...

I thought the same until I read on forums about lightning connector corrosion [macrumors.com] .

Note, I'm not arguing that MicroUSB is a good standard for charging. But IMO it is better than no standard at all.

Re:Dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46487029)

I have NEVER had a problem with MicroUSB, miniUSB or any USB connector at all except on the 'plug/cable end' EVER, sure its only 1 data point but I have never considered this an 'issue' at all when purchasing a device.

Re:Dumb (4, Informative)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | about 6 months ago | (#46486785)

The EU mandated microUSB charging ports on phones, thus reducing the "cable clutter" that existed 5-odd years ago.

Now, the EU is mandading the other end of the charging cable, the actual, physical charger is plugs into. Meaning, you'll only need a single charger, with a USB port in it, to charge your flip phone, your 4" mini-smartphone, your 6" phablet, and your 10" tablet.

Right now, each device has it's own charger, with it's own specs (how many volts at how many amps). And you generally can't charge a tablet using an older phone charger.

So you end up with a handful of different chargers in your drawer that you have to pick through to charge each device, or you end up with a drawer full of chargers you never use as you just plug everything into the most power charger you have (generally the one for the tablet).

Standardising on a single charger would eliminate all the extra chargers gathering dust in people's junk drawers.

Re:Dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486823)

Every phone I have used since 2007 has supported microUSB. It has never been a problem for me.

Re:Dumb (0)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 6 months ago | (#46486861)

What I want is for someone to separate data from charging!
Aside from innovations that should have a backup (like wireless charging) there is no needed magic behind analogue audio ports or charging ports.
With those separated out, we can leave innovations on the data ports open to the manufacturers until we have reached something that could honestly be proven to be a pinnacle of technology (doubtful in the near future).

An after thought: I hope they choose a magnetic connector that negotiates charge rates for the charging (yeah I know Apple probably has a patent on that, but it would be really nice).

Re:Dumb (1)

GNious (953874) | about 6 months ago | (#46486875)

1000mA, at least for some of the devices I have....

Note: I think Apple is "in compliance", since they have a 29.99 EUR adapter last I checked.

Re:Dumb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486955)

No it's dumb for phone to use the inferior micro or mini USB to the superior lighting cable.

Re:Dumb (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 6 months ago | (#46486969)

Most phones nowadays use it because it became obvious that EU would mandate it if everyone didn't play ball a few years ago. Before it, manufacturers were making a mint off chargers.

Too bad it won't apply to everyone (1)

dysmal (3361085) | about 6 months ago | (#46486525)

Apple will do what they want and get away with it like usual.

Re:Too bad it won't apply to everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486763)

You mean like the other times they got sued into submission?

Re:Too bad it won't apply to everyone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46487025)

You mean like the other times they got sued into submission?

All this will mean is that Europe will get the inferior usb phone and the rest of the sane world will get the superior lighting connected phone.

Re:Too bad it won't apply to everyone (3, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 6 months ago | (#46486927)

From what it sounds like, this legislation is simply the next stage of a law that has been around for years already, and with which Apple has complied since 2011.

Various European standards bodies made legally-binding agreements with Nokia, RIM, Apple, et al. back in 2009 to standardize on micro-USB within two years. Apple complied in 2011 by including a Lightning->micro-USB adapter in the box with all of its European models, and has done so for the last three years. Since that time, the rule has bubbled up the legislative hierarchy and is about to take effect across the EU for all manufacturers, regardless of if they were a party to the original agreements or not.

I.e. This law changes nothing at all for Apple. Moreover, even if it did, the timeline in the summary is incorrect. Member states of the EU have two years to adopt the legislation internally. Manufacturers have an additional year on top of that to abide by it. So even if Apple were forced to replace Lightning with micro-USB, it wouldn't need to do so until 2017.

Re:Too bad it won't apply to everyone (1)

houghi (78078) | about 6 months ago | (#46487011)

No they won't. read it in the newspaper that it will be implemented by 2017 and that if they don't, they will be first sued and then forbidden to sell to the EU. My guess is that they will comply with the charger part, but to transfer data, you still need to buy a 200EUR cable from them if your old one breaks.

Someone is against this? (5, Insightful)

rujasu (3450319) | about 6 months ago | (#46486549)

"This is a backwards step because imposing a single charger stifles innovation, curbs research, and may impose extra costs on the consumer. The alternative and better action is to encourage diversity, competition and greater development..."

Seriously? How much "diversity" and "innovation" do you need in terms of a charger?

Re:Someone is against this? (2, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#46486579)

Ignore that bit. It's the UK Independence Party (UKIP). They oppose all EU regulations on principle. The reasoning is irrelevant. They're about as rational as Fox News pundits.

Re:Someone is against this? (-1, Offtopic)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#46486613)

They're about as rational as all network news pundits.

FTFY

Re:Someone is against this? (0, Flamebait)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#46486657)

That's not a fix. Fox news pundits are on a whole other level from the other network news channels. A level that's reached by UKIP politicians. It's way more irrational than the average network news pundit.

Re:Someone is against this? (0, Troll)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#46486683)

I would argue that al sharpton and racheal maddow and ed shultz are just as irrational if not more than bill o or sean h

Re:Someone is against this? (0, Flamebait)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#46486811)

When anyone tries to claim that the other news networks are just as bad as Fox News, it's always good to pull out the fact that the viewers of Fox News are the worst informed people there are. Worse informed even than people who don't watch news at all. That's either the degree to which Fox News pundits are misleading people. Or simply a comment on how ignorant you have to be to watch them.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bus... [slate.com]

apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486795)

You are not familiar with the clowns on MSNBC and CNN...

Re:apparently (3, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 6 months ago | (#46486831)

No. He is. They are just his kind of clowns, so they don't look funny to him. That is the only difference.

Re:Someone is against this? (1)

x0ra (1249540) | about 6 months ago | (#46486609)

As much as you need if you do not want to start having to put a connector for power, another for data, and yet another for whatever else you want to do.

Re:Someone is against this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486635)

A lot. Once microUSB is set as a standard and a directive mandates a device to have it, you won't get anything better, because it won't pay. You are forfeiting wireless charging and a lot of innovation that the lack of a mini-usb port would otherwise create, at least for the time the regulation will be in force.

Re:Someone is against this? (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 6 months ago | (#46486681)

The current micro usb is shit and fails after a few hundred cycles and the occasional bump.

The last thing I want is some politician locking me in to some similar BS desgn.

I would rather see mandated warranty repairs of same than this, and I wouldn't wanna see that, either.

Re:Someone is against this? (3, Insightful)

Wookact (2804191) | about 6 months ago | (#46486937)

The micro use on my phone has been used well more then hundreds of times, and shows no signs of failing.

Hold on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486719)

The fact that you must use a universal charger in no way prevents you from providing another separate charging method. Yes, it might drive up costs, but every design innovation does. If something comes along that is that much better for charging, it will be worth trading off other features.

Re:Hold on... (0)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#46486743)

Look at the samsung G note 3 as a good example. It has a microUSB, but it ALSO has some other jack in there that will charge it even faster when using that cable. So you can charge it using micro USB, but you can fast charge with their cable that came with the device.

Re:Hold on... (3, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 months ago | (#46486813)

The "other jack" is a USB 3.0 microUSB port. It's backwards compatible with the USB 2.0 microUSB port.

Re:Hold on... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#46487023)

how is me talking about charger compatibility considered off topic?? lol

Re:Someone is against this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486909)

Except you're not, are you? They can cram as many chargers as they like onto their phones, wirless, wired, clockwork, hamster-driven, anything they want - just so long as it also has a standard charger. Rabid right-wing mouth-foaming just makes your side look a lot sillier.

Re:Someone is against this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486645)

They need the ability to sell you a new charger with every phone and get that sweet 95% markup.

Re:Someone is against this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486915)

you have to buy your chargers? I had a Wall charger included with both the phone and tablet I bought last month

Re:Someone is against this? (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 6 months ago | (#46486899)

Isn't it really just a standard for the socket? They can still innovate all they like on how the power gets in there.

Re:Someone is against this? (3, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about 6 months ago | (#46486993)

Well, consider electric cars for a moment.

What happens when you mandate a single charger suitable for vehicles like the Leaf, then you have Tesla attempting to produce a long-range vehicle? The 'superchargers' that Tesla is building overpowers most 'fast chargers' out there by a substantial amount.

Do you mandate that all chargers reach the Tesla's level, or do you cripple Tesla?

Honestly, with the larger tablets I wonder if 12V might not be a better voltage for them.

Gubbamints... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486551)

Why do they think this is a matter for governments to decide?

Re:Gubbamints... (0)

rujasu (3450319) | about 6 months ago | (#46486563)

Maybe because the companies didn't manage to figure out a reasonable solution on their own?

Re:Gubbamints... (1)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#46486587)

Why do they think this is a matter for governments to decide?

Uh, because shareholder-owned corporations have proven unable to come to terms with something this simple and sane, and thus require it imposed on them since they won't self-regulate?

This is just a guess, mind you...

Re:Gubbamints... (2)

Vermonter (2683811) | about 6 months ago | (#46486779)

Funny, my Android phone uses a common charger. Apple does not, so I don't buy from them (among other reasons). That's how a free market works. The problem is that too many people aren't willing to give up their precious iPhones in protest to Apple's greedy business practices of using expensive proprietary software. I guarantee you if the majority of Apple's customers stopped buying their products, Apple would start changing. But they don't, so Apple has no reason to stop doing what they are doing. Corporations won't usually self regulate. They will, however, take the most profitable route. If consumers don't demand regulation from corporations in exchange for their money, then obviously it won't happen.

Re:Gubbamints... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486965)

Thats because the iPhone method is the best. You android dumb asses are too stupid to realize that.

and politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486817)

are perfect angels that can run society.

OK, guys, I got this one. (2)

Medievalist (16032) | about 6 months ago | (#46486775)

Why do they think this is a matter for governments to decide?

Ooh, talking points! Let me try! Wait. OK, I've got it!

Every one of the world's mysteries can be explained by proper understanding of the Elvis Factor.

Man, there's a lot of unexplained phenomenon
out there in the world.
Lot of things people say
What the heck's going on?

Let me tell ya!

Who built the pyramids?
ELVIS!
Who built Stonehenge?
ELVIS!

Yeah, man you see guys
walking down the street
pushing shopping carts
and you think they're talking to Allah,
they're talking to themself.
Man, no they're talking to ELVIS!
ELVIS! ELVIS!

You know whats going on in that Bermuda Triangle?
Down in the Bermuda Traingle
Elvis needs boats.
Elvis needs boats.
Elvis Elvis Elvis
Elvis Elvis Elvis
Elvis needs boats!

Re:Gubbamints... (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 6 months ago | (#46486869)

Because exactly that is what a government is for.

You only see the plug, we see the environment and energy savings.

Re:Gubbamints... (2)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46486935)

Because the corporations couldn't stop squabbling like children overdue for naptime long enough to come to an agreement. So papa government had to stand them in opposite corners and make the decision for them.

Use an existing standard please (-1, Offtopic)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 6 months ago | (#46486565)

That is, please force everyone else to use Micro USB. 75% of my devices already use it. It's only a handful of special snowflakes that don't.

Re:Use an existing standard please (1, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#46486637)

I think the EU will have to show that either Micro USB can do everything that the Lightning connector can. Or they'd have to show that current phones can fit both a MicroUSB AND a Lightning connector. Or they'd have to allow an adapter between a MicroUSB charger and a lightning connector on a phone.

Otherwise, it'd be the EU regulating to reduce features on a popular device, without any safety rationale for doing so. I don't think that would wash.

Re:Use an existing standard please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486765)

I think the EU will have to show that either Micro USB can do everything that the Lightning connector can.

Judging from this [wikipedia.org] and this [wikipedia.org] , Lightning is a microUSB connector with a second data pathway and two control wires to tell if each pathway is in use.

So, as a data cable, USB cannot quite do everything Lightning can, because it has half as many data lanes. As a charger, they each have a single hot and a ground, so equal for that purpose.

Re:Use an existing standard please (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 6 months ago | (#46486897)

99% of the time my iPhone is "plugged in" it is plugged into a wall connector for charging. Every connector can do that.
No one prevents a phone from having two connectors, one for power and one for "what ever reason the lightning connector is used for".
I mean: you should be able to synch via bluetooth or wifi ... why do I need a special cable? Because it is 5% faster than an ordinary USB? I doubt it ...

Re:Use an existing standard please (2)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46486961)

The only actual features of the lightning connector are that it can be used by people who have suffered too much brain damage to understand spatial orientation and Apple can use dirty tricks to make sure only the unique Apple special snowflake cable can work.

Re:Use an existing standard please (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486641)

Any charger that MUST go in "this" way and gets slightly damaged every time you accidentally put it in "that" way, eventually leading to permanent damage, should not be considered for any standard. Period.

Oh. And 75% of your devices already use it? 0% of my devices use it. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

Re:Use an existing standard please (0)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 6 months ago | (#46486713)

I've never damaged a micro USB charger. I'm far more likely to loan it out and never get it back, or lose it. That's okay since each new device ships with a brand new one and they're all interchangeable.

Re:Use an existing standard please (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486793)

The cord wont stay plugged into my s3, old or new. I have to pinch it against something or it falls out.

Re:Use an existing standard please (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46486989)

Pro tip, the correct response when the cable won't go in with normal pressure is *NOT* CAPTAIN CAVEMAN!!!! WHAM!!!!!!! WHAM!!!!!! WHAM!!!!!!!

That takes care of all but the few exceptionally crappy connectors that would be made just as crappy if they were non-standard.

Re:Use an existing standard please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486995)

Yeah, you are funny. 0% of your devices use micro USB. That only means that you either have all old devices or don't actually have any devices since almost everything made these days uses micro USB. Even going out of your way to avoid micro USB (kinda silly, but whatevs) you'd have to try really hard to buy a bunch of older devices with non-standard proprietary chargers or just all Apple proprietary products. Apple are sort of the idiots in the power space.

Common External Power Supply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486571)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_External_Power_Supply

Cue XKCD "15 Standards".

Motherfuckers (1, Interesting)

udachny (2454394) | about 6 months ago | (#46486575)

Between their mothers and the fuckers of their mothers, these motherfuckers don't know which end is up and how to get their collective heads out of each other's collective asses.

What a bunch of useless, time wasting, circle jerking, cocksucking, cum swapping pieces of stink.

Forcing people to STOP INNOVATION, forcing people to have a particular MONOPOLISED idea of a product, PREVENTING COMPETITION, destroying choices, preventing consumers from having choices..........

So if tomorrow somebody comes up with a new type of a device and they had an idea to provide a different type of a charger that is not based on the same technology, now they cannot.

Fuck them, the corrupt pieces of shit that they are. Good intentions can go fuck themselves. People are not supposed to be slaves of these dictator rulers, as they perceive themselves. Let's just wait for the inevitable economic demise of that conglomerate.

Re:Motherfuckers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486627)

Innovation on a +5v, 1000mA charger.

What exciting times we live in.

Re:Motherfuckers (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 months ago | (#46486771)

Innovation on a +5v, 1000mA charger.

What exciting times we live in.

If you think that's cool, just wait until you see what we have in store for Cellphone and Internet data prices.

Progress!

Have fun (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486643)

I hope you enjoy your life of buying $70 chargers that work with exactly one device and break down every 2 months.

yea but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486841)

he has the choice. looks like soon he will not.

Re:Have fun (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 6 months ago | (#46486885)

None of your fucking business what I buy and how much I pay. You don't like a particular type of a device, don't buy it. If you like a device and it doesn't do what you want, get a competing product or get an adapter. Also fuck off, if I want a device with a UNIQUE (as in one off, no other than mine has it) charger connector, I MUST BE ABLE TO HAVE IT.

I must be able to have a device with an connector that nobody else has on purpose. Somebody steals it, at least they have to get a non-existing adapter or even modify the device and it must be MY CHOICE to buy a device with a completely non-standard equipment and none of you, motherfucking collectivist cocksuckers, can dictate what equipment I can and cannot buy, and to avoid stupid questions, yes I mean anything at all, including nuclear materials, plans, equipment and bombs if I wanted to.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486843)

Shut up, roman_mir. I've never met a religious man as fanatical as you. Even when you have a good idea about something, you express yourself so badly that you embarrass all those who might agree with you.

(And factually wrong, as usual. This mandates availability of a particular charging standard, not exclusivity.)

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486585)

What the chances the likes of Apple will even comply, when they can probably just pay the fines/whatever and still make profit on their shitty special snowflake chargers?

And if they do, what are the chances they'd modify their North American models to be the same?

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486589)

I'm glad we will finally come to a universal charger... now we just have to design one. We now have around 31 different types of charger on the market.

Next, Universal Dual-Booters for all computer dev. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486591)

Or will consumers have to keep bowing down to *insert big software/hardware company here* ex. microsoft or google or apple, etc.

On the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486597)

Correct me, but didn't they set USB Mini as the default years ago? Or how was that different compared to this?

Also, While they are at it they should do something on the print-ink field too.

Re:On the subject (3, Informative)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 6 months ago | (#46486701)

This is not about the mechanical connector (you can always use an adapter cable). This is about those device manufacturers that verify via USB protocol that the charger is made by them too. So the device won't work with anything else regardless of the fact that the cable fits. The idea is that the check should be on the maximum current supported by the charger, not on its make and model.

So it seemed simple at first... (0)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 6 months ago | (#46486599)

Seemed simple at first. Everyone can just go with micro USB, right?

Then I realized that batteries are getting bigger (and able to handle faster charge rates), and it's way, way past due for cell phones to start supporting USB3.

So can they make two standards, USB2 micro and USB3 micro?

Also, here's the original EU press release: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/... [europa.eu]

I don't see any mention of a specific standard...?

Re:So it seemed simple at first... (0)

vux984 (928602) | about 6 months ago | (#46486695)

So can they make two standards, USB2 micro and USB3 micro?

I'd hope usb3 micro would be back-compat with usb2.

My only issue with a standard is that I was kind of hoping for wireless charging / charging pads to gain traction.

Re:So it seemed simple at first... (1)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | about 6 months ago | (#46486847)

The USB3 micro plug, as seen on some Samsung phablets, is a micro-USB2 plug + an extra plug. So, you can either connect a micro-USB2 cable and get USB2 speeds, or you can connect a micro-USB3 cable and get USB3 speeds.

However, it's a HUGE connector, almost twice as wide as a micro-USB2 connector.

I believe the Note 3 uses it.

Re:So it seemed simple at first... (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 6 months ago | (#46486725)

All the existing USB connectors are about to be replaced too. Type A, type B, micro, mini, full sized; they are all being superseded by the new type C.

The USB IF hasn't showed any pictures or diagrams yet, but their design goals are that it be similar in size to micro, be reversible (like a Lightning connector), use the same connector on both ends (solving the printer problem, but with type A to C cables used for backwards compatibility), support USB 3.1 (with extra pins for forwards compatibility), and support the charging standards (which allow devices to say how much power they want, and get large amounts of power for charge-only situations).

Basically, it tries to address all the problems with the existing USB ecosystem, all the reasons why a company like Apple might make their own connector.

Re:So it seemed simple at first... (1)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | about 6 months ago | (#46486891)

I'm hoping they move away from the "tiny post with pins sticking up inside the slot" setup that USB of all stripes uses, and toward a "the pins are on the outside of the slot".

There's nothing worse than having that tiny post inside the micro-USB slot break off.

Look at the 3.5 mm headphone jack for inspiration. Look at the Lightning connector for inspiration. Hell, look at the old mini Christmas light bulbs for inspiration. Make the end plug solid, and connect to pins/connectors around the slot that it plugs into. Nothing to break off inside. Nothing to bend.

Re:So it seemed simple at first... (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 months ago | (#46486855)

So can they make two standards, USB2 micro and USB3 micro?

The USB 3.0 microUSB port is fully backwards compatible with the USB 2.0 microUSB port.

AKA the I HATE AMERICA ACT (0)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 months ago | (#46486605)

Most phones except for the American Company Apple uses a Micro USB.

Now the question is are these just chargers or do they do more. Would whatever standard they come up with have limitations. So say in the future it could take days to charge your phone, or force the ability for invention of a more convent, safer, or better technology from coming up due to regulation to supposedly save on garbage.
Which is rather laughable. Because almost every phone maker will give you a means to charge your phone, if give you a phone without a charger they will put themselves in the path of complaints about giving the customer a product that isn't fully functional and having to go buy something else just to keep it running.

Re:AKA the I HATE AMERICA ACT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486733)

While your subject is a bit over the top I have to agree.
I can't say I don't like being able to charge all my devices with the same cable, but once it's legislated to a specific standard, how will they ever change it if/when something else is needed?
What if someone finds a way to do induction charging properly?
Will they have to include a microusb port anyway, just to adhere to the law?

Re:AKA the I HATE AMERICA ACT (1)

Spad (470073) | about 6 months ago | (#46486751)

Except that's how it was and not only did every manufacturer have their own proprietary charger, but they tended to change them every couple of handsets just to keep things interesting. Your options were either to carry your charger everywhere with you (which somewhat defeats the point of having a mobile phone) or just hope that if you needed to charge your phone outside of your house that someone nearby had exactly the same charger as you so you could borrow it.

That's on top of the extra waste generated when you can't keep your old charger for use with your new phone.

There's nothing to stop the standard from being changed in the future as technology advances, it just means that you won't have 30 different proprietary cables to pick from.

Re:AKA the I HATE AMERICA ACT (0)

dslauson (914147) | about 6 months ago | (#46486783)

Newer phones like the Galaxy Note 3 have a USB 3 micro connecter that supports charging with a USB 2 cable. So, make the standard USB3, and smart manufacturers will do it right.
Actually, I won't buy a phone that doesn't have a pretty standard charging port. The market tends to do a better job at sorting these things out in the long run, but codifying a standard like this into law feels too inflexible.

Re:AKA the I HATE AMERICA ACT (1)

dslauson (914147) | about 6 months ago | (#46486801)

I replied to the wrong parent. Oops.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486619)

You still get a charger with every phone... I don't see how this will eliminate 51000 tonnes of waste. It will likely create more, seeing how quickly micro usb connectors break (fortunately very easy to replace).

Re:Why? (1, Informative)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 6 months ago | (#46486759)

No, you don't get a charger with every phone. Imagine being able to buy a phone that you already have a charger for so you don't have to have 20 different chargers in your house.

I thought this was the case a whlie ago (1)

amigabill (146897) | about 6 months ago | (#46486639)

For some reason I thought the current almost-everyone using microUSB cable was exactly such a requirement form Europe, but that they had for some reason let Apple out of it. And that's why new Samsungs use the microUSB instead of their previous custom connector on my old texting feature phone for example. I'm happy to see a real standard being done, at the same time as I'm surprised that this requirement is new news.

Re:I thought this was the case a whlie ago (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 6 months ago | (#46486777)

... I'm surprised that this requirement is new news.

The draft law [wikipedia.org] mentioned in the article is in relation to the original common External Power Supply [wikipedia.org] recommendation from 2009.

Not a requirement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486827)

It is voluntary. Most manufacturers chose to participate, others have not.

Not a requirement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486877)

I misunderstood your post. I meant that charger with USB cable was voluntary. Apple "worked around" the micro usb port on the phone requirement with an adapter...

This may kind of make sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486661)

While not a big fan of government regulation, I think this would help both consumers and businesses and the environment. I have DOZENS of chargers and almost every other new gadget I get has a different and unique charger.

I can't think of a really good reason for every device not to be using micro USB ports for charging at this time. I have seen a few tablets that wouldn't charge off a micro USB port but they are few. And I bought one of these once, and it was a great tablet but I would not have bought it knowing it wouldn't charge off the micro USB port.

10 years ago this made sense (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about 6 months ago | (#46486985)

Over the last decade, everyone has already standardized on USB as the default. Everything I need to charge can be charged off a USB port, and I only need 2 different cables, one for my wife's iPod, and a micro USB for everything else.

The reason this is a terrible idea, is that when someone does come up with a better connector (for example, Apple's Lightning connector), they may not be able to produce/sell it because the standard has already been set. As usual, the EU is late to the party and trying to solve a problem that's already been solved, while potentially causing problems for the future.

Pardon me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486663)

Why is there a need for this proposal? Most phones can already draw power from any USB charger or a computer.

Oringal v1 USB port size, please (0)

mrflash818 (226638) | about 6 months ago | (#46486671)

If it was up to me, they would all have to use the orginal v1 USB port size (rectangular, about 1cm wide, maybe 0.3cm tall).

Tired of all these different [censored] mini-USB shapes, and the minis are all too fragile!

Re:Oringal v1 USB port size, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486791)

Why wrestle with 4 dimensional space when you can get down with the trapezoid baby

Make a adapter!?. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486699)

Apple can still keep there existing connector for charging. Only at the pack end keep it as a micro usb or what ever just provide a change over lead not f:;($ difficult to implement at all.

This is what the EU is for (1)

Animats (122034) | about 6 months ago | (#46486773)

This is what the European Union really does - they set standards so stuff works all over Europe, across borders and across vendors. Like GSM phones. In the past, over 20 years they moved the 220V and 240V countries to 230V. That was completed in 2003. Trying to get the whole EU to use the same AC power plug, though, was not successful.

Re:This is what the EU is for (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486997)

This is what the European Union really does - they set standards so stuff works all over Europe, across borders and across vendors. Like GSM phones. In the past, over 20 years they moved the 220V and 240V countries to 230V. That was completed in 2003. Trying to get the whole EU to use the same AC power plug, though, was not successful.

So when will the Europoean Union mandate a single spoken language and that all cars must drive on the same side of the road?

Use a RJ45 jack please (0)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 6 months ago | (#46486789)

Now that would be a reliable connector, more power than piddly USB, and it would lead to widespread adoption of power-over-ethernet. win-win-win.

Re:Use a RJ45 jack please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46486865)

I seriously miss the days that phones, and other devices, were large enough that a jack like this might actually fit. I have an S3, and even with a think case on it, it feels like a flimsy baby toy.

Re:Use a RJ45 jack please (1)

Lluc (703772) | about 6 months ago | (#46486957)

Now that would be a reliable connector, more power than piddly USB, and it would lead to widespread adoption of power-over-ethernet. win-win-win.

Now that's a bad idea: that would make the minimum cell phone thickness ~10mm. (An RJ45 is about 8 mm "tall".) Many (most?) smartphones are already less than 10 mm thick.

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