EU moves closer to mandatory phone charger standard

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By and large, smartphone manufacturers have embraced micro USB as the standard interface used for both charging, as well as interfacing with your computer. Sure, Apple’s just gotta be Apple with its doesn’t-play-nicely-with-others Lightning cable, and some tablets still use unusual proprietary connectors, but those are the exceptions that prove the rule. While that means that you can use the same charger on your Lumia 1020 as on your BlackBerry Z10 or Samsung Galaxy Note 3, there hasn’t been any hard rule in place mandating such compatibility. Going back years now, we’ve been hearing about efforts in Europe to define such a standard, and after a lot a waiting, it finally looks like micro USB is going to be enshrined in law as the universal phone charging standard.

At least, the European Parliament has voted to support a draft of such a law, and assuming the Council of Ministers gives it the go ahead, we could be looking at the standard going into effect in the next few years. That includes two years for EU members to get their own versions of the law on the books, and one year after that before smartphone manufacturers would have to be in compliance – so we’re probably talking about 2017, at the latest.

While it’s nice to see a standard finally getting some government muscle behind it, we wonder what committing to micro USB might mean at this point, especially with those cool Lightning-style dual-sided type-C USB connectors supposed to be arriving later this year. Could this law halt their adoption?

Source: European Parliament
Via: Engadget

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!