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Power all your phones using one charger

The GSM Association (GSMA) has launched a major initiative to standardize power chargers on GSM phones, using its new UCS (Universal Charging Solution) standard.  The GSMA wants to ensure that the mobile phone industry adopts a common format for mobile phone charger connections, justifying that the new energy-efficient chargers will result in an estimated 50 per cent reduction in standby energy consumption.

Many mobile phones already use the mini-USB connector, which allows recharging the phone while transferring data at the same time to a computer. However, many newer phones are using the flatter micro-USB connector, designed for ultra-slim electronics. Both allow a slow charge of 500mA through a powered USB port or hub, or a faster charge through the use of an AC adapter.

The new UCS standard specifies a high efficiency charger using a micro-USB connector, to be used by a target date of January, 2012. The technical requirements behind UCS were developed by the OMTP (Open Mobile Terminal Platform), a mobile industry body.

The micro-USB charger will also be compatible with future mobile phones that utilize the USB 3.0 micro-USB receptacle, which has an additional area for SuperSpeed USB signaling.

A large group of international companies have have already joined the UCS initiative, including 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

Although the GSMA states that the primary goal of the UCS initiative is to reduce the disposal of old phone chargers, the use of a standardized phone charger means that replacement phones will no longer come with a new charger, lowering costs for mobile phone manufacturers and the mobile network operators that provide them.

The GSMA is comprised of more than 750 mobile network operators and over 200 other companies, including phone manufacturers, software companies, equipment providers, internet companies, and media and entertainment organizations.

 



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Potential problem
By AlexWade on 2/18/2009 8:34:45 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Although the GSMA states that the primary goal of the UCS initiative is to reduce the disposal of old phone chargers, the use of a standardized phone charger means that replacement phones will no longer come with a new charger, lowering costs for mobile phone manufacturers and the mobile network operators that provide them.


That means if you buy a new phone, the store will be more than happy to sell you one at a HUGE markup. You'll have the standard store brand charger. But they will push the new ultra-expensive Monster charger that delivers clean power to your mobile phone.

I love the idea of standardized chargers. I fear that this will be like the printer industry where the USB cable costs a lot extra. One time when I was buying a printer at Best Buy, the clerk just assumed and put the USB cable in the cart. Naturally, it was the most expensive one. Since this was a replacement printer, I didn't need a USB cable. But he never asked, just did. That is what they will do with the phones. Never ask, just assume you need a charger and add it knowing that most people won't ever notice.




RE: Potential problem
By jiteo on 2/18/2009 8:41:21 AM , Rating: 5
If you don't notice an extra charger on your bill, you deserve to get ripped off.


RE: Potential problem
By ChugokuOtaku on 2/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: Potential problem
By AlexWade on 2/18/2009 10:42:26 AM , Rating: 1
You missed the point. Most people are not going to notice the clerk just putting the accessory in the cart and the clerk is going to put the one is the most markup in the cart by default. A standardized charger, while a great idea, means the uninformed majority is going to be ripped off.


RE: Potential problem
By Donovan on 2/18/2009 11:54:38 AM , Rating: 4
Anyone that clueless is already getting sold an extra charger, three spare batteries, and a Monster-brand USB cable for their phone. They were doomed the moment they walked into Best Buy.


RE: Potential problem
By NullSubroutine on 2/18/2009 3:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
Why isn't the person checking the increase price?


I'd like the standardization
By theapparition on 2/18/2009 8:44:03 AM , Rating: 2
This is nice, but I'd like it more if they choose a connector that was a little more robust. USB connectors were never designed for 300+ mating cycles.




RE: I'd like the standardization
By Jansen (blog) on 2/18/2009 9:07:45 AM , Rating: 3
Not true!!! If you look at the USB specification, it is much higher than that. For the micro-USB connectors the MINIMUM is 10,000 cycles.


RE: I'd like the standardization
By theapparition on 2/18/2009 9:52:02 AM , Rating: 2
I'll stand corrected if that's true. However, I've had mini-usb connectors go bad on cells before, and I doubt it was charged more than 10,000 times. I'll look up the spec.


By Jansen (blog) on 2/18/2009 11:51:49 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Cell phone and Portable Devices have become so thin that the current Mini-USB does not fit well within the
constraints of future designs. Additional requirements for a more rugged connector that will have durability
past 10,000 cycles and still meet the USB 2.0 specification for mechanical and electrical performance was
also a consideration. The Mini-USB could not be modified and remain backward compatible to the existing
connector as defined in the USB OTG specification.


There are also cycle minimums in the USB 3.0 doc, this is quoted from the USB 2.0 doc specifically for micro-USB.

http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/

You guys have no idea how much research I do for each article...


USB "Standard".
By davepermen on 2/18/09, Rating: 0
RE: USB "Standard".
By Jansen (blog) on 2/18/2009 9:13:58 AM , Rating: 3
Have you looked at the other end, the one that connects to your computer? That end physically is still the same, even though it has evolved over the LAST 13 YEARS , since 1996.

It's called evolution, I'm just glad one end has stayed the same. It was either evolve USB or go with something different for both ends, and we'd all still be plugging into ISA adapters.

Micro-USB has replaced mini-USB completely in the USB specifications. It is only around as a legacy port and will not last for much longer once USB 3.0 gets going.


RE: USB "Standard".
By Barfo on 2/18/2009 10:09:55 AM , Rating: 4
Wait unti pico-USB connectors are announced.


doesn't micro mean small?
By the goat on 2/18/2009 8:39:36 AM , Rating: 2
That micro-USB 3.0 plug looks wider then a regular USB plug. I love progress.




RE: doesn't micro mean small?
By Jansen (blog) on 2/18/2009 8:59:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
...utilize the USB 3.0 micro-USB receptacle, which has an additional area for SuperSpeed USB signaling.


Back to the Future!
By jiteo on 2/18/2009 8:40:01 AM , Rating: 4
"The micro-USB charger will also be backward compatible with future mobile phones."

I think you mean forwards compatible ;)




EU on the charge
By alce11 on 2/18/2009 8:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
What the article does not mention is that it all comes from pressure from the European Union

http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/1234781224.89/




RE: EU on the charge
By Freddo on 2/18/2009 11:11:52 AM , Rating: 2
What that article does not mention is that EU pretty much got the idea from China who been pushing for an universial mobile charger for the past 2-3 years.


dont worry, apples will be different though
By kattanna on 2/18/2009 11:11:10 AM , Rating: 2
the whole world could unite behind a single standard for a charger, but apple "thinking different" will have its own "standard"

heck.. apples chargers are not even compatible with themselves. last night the fiance tried using her "old" ipod charger on her new itouch. the plug fit, bit she was told that the charger is incompatible. LOL




By Jansen (blog) on 2/18/2009 11:53:46 AM , Rating: 2
For example, Apple's "mini" Displayport that they are trying to license to other OEMs.


Guess it's time...
By Hieyeck on 2/18/2009 8:26:33 AM , Rating: 2
Gotta start my charger collection now




MOST, but not ALL?
By SlickRoenick on 2/18/2009 8:26:40 AM , Rating: 2
At least we are getting on the right track, finally!




Took long enough
By daar on 2/18/2009 4:42:35 PM , Rating: 2
LG has been doing this since late 2007 =/
It was one of the deal breakers for me




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