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Cellphones EU Power

EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger 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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EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger

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  • Dumb (Score:2, Insightful)

    by operagost ( 62405 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @04:17PM (#46486523) Homepage Journal
    What phones don't simply use the micro or mini USB cable and 500ma? iPhone 5?
  • by rujasu ( 3450319 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @04:19PM (#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?

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @04:26PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2014 @04:27PM (#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:apparently (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @04:41PM (#46486831) Journal

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

  • by Wookact ( 2804191 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @04:53PM (#46486937)
    The micro use on my phone has been used well more then hundreds of times, and shows no signs of failing.
  • by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @04:59PM (#46486993) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2014 @04:59PM (#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?

  • Re:Gubbamints... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RightSaidFred99 ( 874576 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @05:14PM (#46487151)
    BS. Android phones would use USB charging anyway, it's the cheapest path.
  • Why standards? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @05:25PM (#46487285)

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

    Same reason each country has a standard railroad track, a standard power outlet, etc. Letting industries decide on mutually incompatible standards largely serves to lock in consumers and also creates great inefficiencies in the economy due to incompatbility. Standardization would allow business like cafes & airports to offer charging solutions that fit all their customers, and it would produce less physical waste.

  • Re:Dumb (Score:3, Insightful)

    by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @05:29PM (#46487323)

    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...

    I agree - microUSB has those 2 clip-ons which are very delicate & once the spring action is gone, it becomes useless, as I found out w/ a car cord. I'd prefer the miniusb - nobody had issues w/ that - have no idea why they had to change it. Apple's lightning conductor is an improvement on their 32-pin

  • by radarskiy ( 2874255 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @06:10PM (#46487799)

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

    If you design a battery system that can accept a higher charging current, you may need a charger that have power levels and signaling to request those power levels that are not in the present spec for the one true charger. (This actually happened.)

    If you design a phone that can drive a wider variety of outputs, you may need more pins that the one true connector has. (This actually happened.)

    If you design a wireless charging system, you may want a case with no ports at all so that it is waterproof. (This is currently in development.)

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @06:37PM (#46488043) Journal

    Any cable that has any sort of orientation required to plug in is a crap standard and needs to die. All connectors need to be barrel or minjack style connectors, that are easy to plug in blind.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @06:45PM (#46488095) Homepage Journal

    I accept that all else being equal, a plug that doesn't care about orientation is slightly better. But all else is not equal here. The Apple connector adds complexity to the design that increases cost and failure rate. To add insult to injury, some of that complexity is added specifically to accomplish a goal that is detrimental to me. A universal power connector is too important to let a single sue-happy corporation control it.

    As for the Linux thing, I choose Linux FOR it's usability. Offer me a free copy of Windows or OSX and I will still choose Linux.

    Because the keyed side and the smooth side is so very clear, with or without looking.

    So you acknowledge that adding a bump on the top would address the issue adequately.

He's like a function -- he returns a value, in the form of his opinion. It's up to you to cast it into a void or not. -- Phil Lapsley