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Good News: All Cell Phones to Have Same Charging Port by 2012
Old 02-18-2009, 04:05 PM   #1
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Good News: All Cell Phones to Have Same Charging Port by 2012

Related to my earlier topic here:

Digital Camera Question - docks, no docks

It looks like the Cell Phone companies at least are getting their act together and standardizing. About time. Maybe this will spur the camera companies to do the same. BTW, I gave up on finding a camera with USB charge/transfer capabilities over a standard cable, looks like no one is doing it in small size cameras from the responses I got.

Maybe they will reconsider as they lose business to cell phones with better and better cameras in them, and realize people don't want to carry a cell phone, camera, charger for camera, dock for camera, cables for dock for camera, where can I plug in my camera charger... etc.

FOXNews.com - All Cell Phones to Have Same Charging Port by 2012 - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News

Quote:
BARCELONA, Spain Key mobile phone industry players have agreed to fit phones with the same power socket by 2012, industry group GSMA said on Tuesday.

It said handsets would have a micro USB interface, already used to transfer pictures from digital cameras to a computer.

....

The GSMA said that eventually it expected mobile phones to ship without a charging plug and cable because everybody would have one.


This should also lead to less waste...
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
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Great news! Enough with the cables!
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:30 PM   #3
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Just when I came up with a money making idea for them too! Was going to braid them and sell as recession belts or nooses! It only took big biz 15 years to turn on a dime on this one. And CEO's wonder why we want pay controls on them.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:54 PM   #4
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It only took big biz 15 years to turn on a dime on this one. And CEO's wonder why we want pay controls on them.
I found it interesting to read some of the background on this. On one hand, companies make high profit margins on accessories like this (chargers, batteries, cables, etc). So they have an incentive to keep these things proprietary.

OTOH, some customers like me realize what a rip-off and inconvenience this is, and rebel. Some people may hesitate to upgrade if they have to replace their chargers and cables, in addition to the cost of a new phone. And "lock in" works both ways - you may lock in your customers, but it is also a barrier to getting new customers. So, it's all a balancing act. From what I've seen in my corporate days, it's very easy for someone to give hard numbers on the profits from the accessories, but it is difficult to measure just how many customers may have delayed or not switched. So the decision almost always follows what appears to be the clear money story - even if it is wrong.

So, it looks like one big incentive was tougher recycling restrictions coming up. Once these ports are standard, the cell phone companies won't need to ship chargers and cables with every phone, and it is one less thing they will be responsible for from an environmental angle. That's a good thing. Maybe the camera companies will follow for the same reasons?

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Old 02-19-2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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Sure one end of the plug will be standardized, but are they going to standardize the battery, plug-in transformer and all that jazz to make it all completely interchangable or how's all of that going to work?

My cell phone and camera already have the same mini-USB port, but I'm assuming charging the phone and charging the camera have waaaaayy different amp/volts/etc. requirements. Too lazy to compare and contrast mA and V inputs, outputs, etc., although the engineer in me will eventually have to figure it out. I suppose some people are happy enough to interchangably plug these all in, and get what they get regardless of battery life, charging time, etc. I'm too anal retentive I guess.

-CC
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CCdaCE View Post
Sure one end of the plug will be standardized, but are they going to standardize the battery, plug-in transformer and all that jazz to make it all completely interchangable or how's all of that going to work?

My cell phone and camera already have the same mini-USB port, but I'm assuming charging the phone and charging the camera have waaaaayy different amp/volts/etc. requirements. Too lazy to compare and contrast mA and V inputs, outputs, etc., although the engineer in me will eventually have to figure it out. I suppose some people are happy enough to interchangably plug these all in, and get what they get regardless of battery life, charging time, etc. I'm too anal retentive I guess.

-CC
That is all taken care of with a standard USB port and standard plug. You just plug the standard cable into any standard USB port. They also make "dumb" USB ports that plug into the wall, and just provide the 5V for chargers. One device like this could be used with any device that charges over USB. That is the beauty of it, you are no longer tied to a charger for this, another for that, etc. One "dumb" port in your car, one at home, one at the office, and you are set. And if you are traveling/visiting, the odds that you can find a place to charge your phone are very high, as soon, everyone will have the same charger (or you can plug into someone's computer port).

A standard USB port provides at least 500mA (an un-powered hub port is limited to 100mA) at ~ 5V. Whatever device you plug in will use that power to power a charger that is internal to the device. The USB port is not the charger - it is just the "dumb" supply. Think of it the same as you think of the 115V socket in the wall - that does not "know" what kind of battery you are charging either.

You don't have to worry about battery voltages, mAH and such - the built in intelligent charger takes care of all that. Look at a Razr phone, it's been doing this for years, as have some cameras, my old iPod Shuffle, and some GPS devices.

If people *need* a faster charge than 5V and 500mA can provide (most ports actually provide much more, ~ 2A, the 500mA is a minimum requirement), they can charge through an alternate means, but the USB will provide 99% of what 99% of the people need.

-ERD50
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
It looks like the Cell Phone companies at least are getting their act together and standardizing.
At last! I am so pleased. When traveling by car, Frank and I will be able to use the same charge cable in the car and/or motel room. Plus, I won't have to buy a new one each time I get a new phone.
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:39 AM   #8
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There are always a few holdouts (Apple, Palm, RIM)

Cell phones to get universal chargers, but not iPhone, Palm - Jacksonville Business Journal:
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:05 AM   #9
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I have not checked on Palm & RIM, but Apple already provides the next best thing to this standard. The iPhone and iPod will charge from any standard powered USB port (or generic USB "dumb" port), but you do need to have their special cable.

Not perfect, but you can still have just the cable and charge just about anywhere. You don't have to carry product-specific chargers, car adapters, etc.

Here's the Apple branded "dumb" USB power port:

Apple USB Power Adapter - Apple Store (U.S.)




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Old 02-19-2009, 11:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I have not checked on Palm & RIM, but Apple already provides the next best thing to this standard. The iPhone and iPod will charge from any standard powered USB port (or generic USB "dumb" port), but you do need to have their special cable.

Not perfect, but you can still have just the cable and charge just about anywhere. You don't have to carry product-specific chargers, car adapters, etc.

Here's the Apple branded "dumb" USB power port:

Apple USB Power Adapter - Apple Store (U.S.)




-ERD50
If you want to save a few bucks, get one of these:

Amazon.com: Coby USB Power Adpter/charger #Ca-80: Health & Personal Care

You can get these for 5 to 12 bucks from various sellers on Amazon. I have one for my iPod Touch, and it works fine.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:00 PM   #11
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Ahh. Good explanation. I'm just not thinking.

-CC
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