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Friday, 27 September 2013 05:11

EU wants standard charger for all phones

Written by Peter Scott

Guess what, it’s not Lightning

The European Union has been trying to force phonemaker to adopt a single charging standard for ages and most companies have already done so. Over the past five years micro USB has become the de facto standard, not only in Europe, but across the world.

However, although nearly all phones now feature a micro USB connector, iPhones do not. Older models use the 30-pin connector, while the 5-series has the new Lightning connector. It is of course possible to get a 30-pin to USB or Lighting to USB adapter, but this is hardly an elegant solution on more than one level.

On Thursday the European Parliament’s internal market and consumer protection committee voted to adopt a single standard for smartphones and tablets. The committee now has to get its resolution approved by the European Council and then by the European Parliament.

There are a number of clear advantages to having a single standard. It would cut down on e-waste, eliminate unnecessary costs and make people’s lives a bit easier. Rather than having three chargers for i.e. a tablet, phone and camera, it would be very convenient to have a single one.

However, it should be noted that mobile devices are evolving at such a pace that old chargers are practically obsolete already, since they lack the power to charge new devices in any sensible amount of time. Many phones now ship with batteries over 2000mAh, while high-end tablets feature 10000mAh power packs, yet the first micro USB chargers were designed with much smaller devices in mind, so they could take hours to fully charge a high-end phone or tablet.

 

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