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Apple to Support EU Micro-USB Standard for iPhone
Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 11:32 AM - by Jeff Gamet
Apple, along with several other cell phone makers, has agreed to support the micro-USB standard the European Union is pushing for smartphone chargers. The standardized connector will let smartphone owners charge their handheld without worrying about compatibility issues if they need to use chargers that didn't ship with their phone.
According to Reuters, Motorola, LG, RIM, Samsung, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and NEC have all agreed to adopt micro-USB. The transition to micro-USB means that 90 percent of the EU smartphone market will be able to share standardized chargers.
The chargers will be compatible with data-enabled phones, meaning basic cell phones that support voice calls and SMS won't be able to use them.
The initial batches of micro-USB ready phones will include chargers, but eventually the phones and chargers will be sold as separate items. That shouldn't be an issue, since users can continue to rely on the same charger even if they switch to a different smartphone.
The chargers will, however, be compatible only with European phones -- at least at first. EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen commented "We're assuming this new European initiative will have a knock-on effect globally and manufacturers won't just be doing this on the European market."
If so, switching to standardized chargers could help reduce thousands of tons of waste each year.
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