Micro-USB Coming To iPhone? Not Neccessary

by Jason Wilk on June 29, 2009


  • Not sure why it took this long, but the top mobile telephone suppliers have agreed to back an EU-wide harmonization of phone chargers. The agreement was signed by Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG, NEC, Qualcomm, Research in Motion, Samsung, Texas Instruments and YES, Apple.  “People will not have to throw away their charger whenever they buy a new phone,” said EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, estimating that unwanted phone accessories accounted for thousands of tons of waste in Europe each year. an estimated 400 million mobile phones in Europe, with 185 million bought each year.
  • Was it really necessary for Apple to sign this agreement however? The iPhone charger is compatible with the iPod, a device that over 200 million people have in use today. Combined, they make up for more than 220 million chagers that are compatible with one another. Research In Motion was smart to use a Mini-USB then to Micro-USB to stay compatible with Motorola, reducing the need to get rid of chargers. The real problem lies with companies like Nokia, LG, Samsung and Sony who have blown through dozens of charger types through the last 10 years, causing 90% of the waste that they are now trying to combat. This is not unlike the US telling the world that we have to cut back on emissions due to global warming, when actually we represent 30% of the entire problem.  Let’s hope Apple sticks with their current setup and adds the micro-USB as an extra option. I’m not quite sure where it would fit on the phone, but it may be on a hardware update in the next 12 months.

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