By Stephen Schenck | December 29, 2010 4:57 PM
Incompatibilities between different phone hardware designs can mean that you end up buying more accessories than you would otherwise need. If you or your family use multiple smartphones on-the-go, you may find yourself buying different car chargers for each device. In an effort to stop the madness and set up some standards, the European Commission has released its standards for a universal charging connector.
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Micro USB emerged be the agreed-upon standard, as some smartphones already include such a connector; the only other contender that had a chance would have been Mini USB. Now other phones, at least those intended for sale in Europe, will follow along with their own Micro USB ports. The first official universal chargers should show up in the next few months, as well as the first phones touting compatibility with the new standard.
Not all phones will be adopting Micro USB, as only models that are “data-enabled” and feature a computer interface fall under the scope of the standard. Still, that’s practically everything, as even non-smartphones from years back had serial port interfaces as part of their connectors. Even without a prominent data capability, it would be in manufacturers’ best interests to make hardware that is compatible with everything else.