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Cellphones Power

Standard Cellphone Chargers For Europeans 257

k33l0r writes "The European Commission is confident that all major cellphone companies have reached an agreement on a standard cellphone charger for consumers within the EU. 'People will not have to throw away their charger whenever they buy a new phone,' said EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen. Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Apple, LG, NEC, Qualcomm, Research in Motion, Samsung and Texas Instruments have all signed the agreement."
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Standard Cellphone Chargers For Europeans

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  • Correction (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:25PM (#28515311) Homepage Journal

    You mean the manufacturers will be able to make the charger an accessory.

    At additional cost^H^H^H^Hprofit.

    Saving the planet, one quarter's financial results at a time. I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy again, especially around my wallet.

  • by alta ( 1263 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:32PM (#28515461) Homepage Journal

    I'm no environ-nut. I don't bend over backwards to save the earth. But I do make a change when something 'makes sense.'

    A prius? Value isn't there. High up-front costs, low performance. I think not.

    E-85? Lower energy output than gasoline. Starving people that depend on Corn. Did you know that last year the Mexicans had a shortage of corn products. Do you know they use a LOT more corn than we (US-IANS) do .Glad we're past that.

    On the other hand:
    CFL - A time and a place. I leave our front porch lights on at night, and a few others for security. I put in CFLs to save a little money. They run all night and I don't need them instantly, so the warm up time doesn't bother me. I tried them in a closet... No way. I'm done in the closet before they warm up. They make all of my clothes look blue so I can't figure out which pants are which. And I'll be damned if I ever put them in the kids room. HIGH chance of broken bulb. Mercury/Carpet/Kids don't mix.

    LED bulbs... I can't wait (till they're under $5.) Instant-on, LOW wattage, user-selectable colors. The US may as well skip mandating CFL because LED is where we're going.

    Other Hybrids... Before long, NASCAR is going to see that there's some way to make this hybrid stuff make cars go faster and farther without a pit-stop... There are four industries here that drive new tech for the consumer. Military, NASA, Nascar and pr0n.

    And all my devices on the same plug? GREAT. Less waste will hopefully mean less cost for me. Sure the manufacturers are going to eat most of that money as profit. But, if it means that I don't have to worry about buying a $30 car charger from ATT, I can just use a generic one for $5. Plus I can have a charger in the car, a charger at home and one at the office. I'll never have to worry about being without my iPhone cable again. At a neighbor's house? Good, their's is the same.

  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:33PM (#28515469) Homepage

    It's not too much of a lock-in. I can't imagine someone saying, "Man, I'd love to change carriers, but I just don't want to have to use a new charger (which comes with the free phone I'll get). I guess I'll stick with my current carrier!"

    I think it's more an issue of the carriers not caring, and the manufacturers using whatever charger is convenient and cheap for them at the time. Standardization is the sort of thing that benefits pretty much everyone over the long term, but can be a PITA for interested players at the time it's started up. So absent of some external impetus, it often just doesn't get started.

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:41PM (#28515583)

    My Motorola phone has a standard mini-usb connector but you STILL can't use it with standard charger. Why? "Un authorized charger".

    From what I've pieced together it has a chip in it to fake that it is connected to a computer. This is a double edged sword of uselessness

    1) I can't use my Garmin charger with my phone because it's "un authorized" and won't charge.
    2) I can't use my Motorola charger with my Garmin because Garmin puts itself into PC mode (instead of navigation mode).

    So now I have to carry 2 - 12V -> USB devices with me because of Motorola.

    Trust me, keep an eye out for the buzz words "authentic" "valid" "safe" "genuine".

  • Re:Good, I guess... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:42PM (#28515595) Homepage

    Do people really throw away their old chargers?

    I would suspect that if you're buying a new phone, old accessories tend to share the same fate as the phone. If you're throwing away the phone, you generally throw away the chargers, too. And why not? The new phone will come with a new charger. The only real exception I can see is if your new phone has the same charger and you want a second charger-- but then again, if you really need a second charger, you may have already bought a second charger for your old phone, still leaving you with an extra.

    And so this is where the standardization comes into play: new phones won't be packaged with their own chargers. It will be an optional add-on, since the manufacturer can assume that you probably have an appropriate charger already. And even if you don't, it will be easy enough to find one. Because all phones will charge using the same port, compatible chargers will be sold everywhere.

  • by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:49PM (#28515689) Homepage

    The market at least in the EU had already pretty much standardised on USB charging.. every non-nokia phone I've had used it. Nokia of course had to be different, but there's only 2 nokia charging standards and adapters are readily available (and since ~70% of the phones you see around are Nokias, it's a sort of standard).

    What this does is codify what was already happening.

  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:52PM (#28515727)
    But with all these people running around with new iphones, there are a lot of secondhand Verizon phones available dirt cheap for people who don't care about silly phones.

    I was forced to drop AT&T (so I have a used razr here) only because of poor reception. There is no reception for AT&T phones where I work; calls are dropped after seconds, and everyone with an iphone is always running outside as soon as their phone rings. This is in Cupertino CA within walking distance of Apple headquarters.
  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:56PM (#28515819) Homepage Journal

    Apple indicates while it won't drop its connector, it will enable adaptors to be made:

    http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/apple-won-t-drop-dock-connector-for-micro-usb-612103 [techradar.com]

    Considering that it already connects to USB sockets, then all that is needed is a USB - micro-USB adaptor.

    The only question is whether USB power plugs will be made 'smarter', since there are still some that won't charge certain telephones for what ever reason.

  • Why stop at phones? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dfxm ( 1586027 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:01PM (#28515915)
    I like that my PS3 controller uses mini USB for charging. I can even charge it right from my MacBook! There are a lot of things that can be recharged, and as things get more wireless, it's going to become more important.
  • by Forge ( 2456 ) <kevinforge.gmail@com> on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:03PM (#28515941) Homepage Journal
    Where I live, it's the phone manufacturers that make money off chargers. I.e. A replacement charger for my Blackberry cost the equivalent of U$6 while one for a much cheaper Samsong cost U$15.

    The phone company itself would much prefer if the phones could be virtually free and if they didn't even need chargers at all. (Disclosure: I work for a mobile provider.) The providers make money off call credits and phone bills. Some (including my employer) provide phone instruments at subsidized prices in hopes that people will get hooked on talking to everyone else.
  • by jabithew ( 1340853 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:28PM (#28516321)

    I suspect this is more to do with waste disposal. I don't know about fellow-geeks, but I have recently cleared my room and found about 15 obsolete chargers for various items I no longer own. All of that is going to have to be disposed of. This new agreement may be the first step towards preventing companies from boxing chargers, or forcing them to sell versions with and without charger.

  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:38PM (#28516475) Homepage
    Yeah, I didn't RTFA so I don't know if this info is included, but I've read elsewhere that the plan is to stop boxing chargers with the phones and instead sell it as an optional accessory.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:58PM (#28516799) Homepage

    The trouble with charging through a USB connector is that it's also a USB port. Most phones aren't well-protected against attacks via the USB port. With a common charger interface, you're going to find charger outlets everywhere. Some of them will be hostile.

    So now you need a cable that only passes power. But that may not be enough. Motorola RAZR phones, for example, won't charge on PCs unless the Motorola driver is present to do the handshake. By default,a USB port will deliver at least 100mA, but if asked, it may deliver up to 500mA. Laptops actively manage USB power; desktop systems often don't bother.

    So you may need a data connection, which opens up a whole new range of attacks on phones. Which means you may sometimes need a "firewall", a device which does the USB handshake and requests 500mA, then delivers it over a cable with no data wires.

    This has been possible for a while, but with standardization, we'll have outlet strips with USB ports all over the place, in cafes, on aircraft, in cars, etc.

  • by furby076 ( 1461805 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @03:04PM (#28517817) Homepage

    Why not just use the landline they provide you at work at your desk?

    Out of all the reasons others posted - some of which were funny, plus I never saw someone defend someone else on /. the main reason for me is that our company 1) records all calls - so I really don't want my call to the doctor recorded, and 2) they probably frown on it if someone dials to the next state (where i am from) which costs them money.

    I am sure it wouldn't be a huge deal, but why take a chance. Besides, as point one, I don't want my calls recorded on my work line.

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