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The Ayatollah Buggeri

Mobile Phone Chargers To Be Standardised Across Manufacturers

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The major mobile manufacturers have announced a deal whereby from 2010, a single design of mains charger, using the mini USB plug, will be compatible with any phone (I presume the output voltage and current has been standardised, too, but none of the coverage is stating what to). The story is on several of the news sites - Times, for example.

This surely has to be a masterstroke. The electronics giants can bask in the glory of reducing the number of discarded mobile phone accessories and therefore have George Monbiot and the environmentalist mafia praising them to the rooftops. But I suspect we haven't heard the down side, which is that like the printers you buy that don't have a USB cable in the box, it won't be long before mobile phones are no longer supplied with a 'free' charger in the box. Of course nine out of ten people who buy a printer and are then told by the slick salesman that they also need a USB lead will then proceed to buy one for about £15 in Dixons or PC World, because they need it now and don't want to wait for the £1.24 one from Ebuyer to be delivered. What's the betting that phone chargers will soon be subject to the same scam?

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James May, the Top Gear presenter, was on a show the other day telling the story of Britain's National Grid.

It first started out as small regional companies each with their own voltages and socket systems.

These days if you go on hols chances are you will take an electrical adapter so you can plug your home hairdryer into the foreign hotel's socket.

Well, when the National Grid was just getting going you'd have needed an adapter to use electrical items in different regions of Britain.

James showed the adapter - it was the size of shoe box and had about ten different plugs of all shapes and sizes hanging off it on that old-style twisted mains-cable.

Eventually some bright spark realised we needed standardization so the whole country ended up with the same voltages and socket styles.

I guess this new move is just the mobile phone equivalent. Anyways, lets hope it does something to reduce power consumption.

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The major mobile manufacturers have announced a deal whereby from 2010, a single design of mains charger, using the mini USB plug, will be compatible with any phone (I presume the output voltage and current has been standardised, too, but none of the coverage is stating what to). The story is on several of the news sites - Times, for example.

This surely has to be a masterstroke. The electronics giants can bask in the glory of reducing the number of discarded mobile phone accessories and therefore have George Monbiot and the environmentalist mafia praising them to the rooftops. But I suspect we haven't heard the down side, which is that like the printers you buy that don't have a USB cable in the box, it won't be long before mobile phones are no longer supplied with a 'free' charger in the box. Of course nine out of ten people who buy a printer and are then told by the slick salesman that they also need a USB lead will then proceed to buy one for about £15 in Dixons or PC World, because they need it now and don't want to wait for the £1.24 one from Ebuyer to be delivered. What's the betting that phone chargers will soon be subject to the same scam?

Sounds like a good idea to me, except having charged a phone via a usb, I died of boredom waiting for it to charge.

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The major mobile manufacturers have announced a deal whereby from 2010, a single design of mains charger, using the mini USB plug, will be compatible with any phone (I presume the output voltage and current has been standardised, too, but none of the coverage is stating what to). The story is on several of the news sites - Times, for example.

This surely has to be a masterstroke. The electronics giants can bask in the glory of reducing the number of discarded mobile phone accessories and therefore have George Monbiot and the environmentalist mafia praising them to the rooftops. But I suspect we haven't heard the down side, which is that like the printers you buy that don't have a USB cable in the box, it won't be long before mobile phones are no longer supplied with a 'free' charger in the box. Of course nine out of ten people who buy a printer and are then told by the slick salesman that they also need a USB lead will then proceed to buy one for about £15 in Dixons or PC World, because they need it now and don't want to wait for the £1.24 one from Ebuyer to be delivered. What's the betting that phone chargers will soon be subject to the same scam?

The people who buy £15 USB cables are in the same league as people who buy £70 HDMI cables. It's fricking digital, and hence the signal either gets there or doesn't, there's in-between quality. The only extra you should be paying for is length, no fancy **** gold connectors.

I think this is a very good idea for future mobile phones. It'll make it much easier to recharge when you're out and about, and overall I support the idea. If people end up paying £££s for some s*****y cable that's their fault.

Edit: This swear filter is out of control. I can't write sw@nky...

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Eventually some bright spark realised we needed standardization so the whole country ended up with the same voltages and socket styles.

And then appliances started being sold without plugs on them, thereby opening up another revenue stream for manufacturers. They only started again when some Euro directive was passed about 10 years ago IIRC.

I still remember my grandmother's house when I was a child having a mixture of square and round-pin mains sockets (of the sort that are still used in stage lighting dimmer systems, but no longer in consumer installations). I can only presume that when the square, shuttered sockets started to supersede the round ones following their introduction in 1947, some of the outlets in Granny's house were replaced but that they just didn't bother with the others, probably because they still had some appliances with round plugs on them.

According to the Wikipedia article, the bathroom shaver socket is a hangover from one of the many designs introduced in the 1920s. Fascinating - didn't know that.

The people who buy £15 USB cables are in the same league as people who buy £70 HDMI cables.

I don't agree - the people who buy £70 HDMI cables are suffering from a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. Those who go into PC World, buy a printer or other peripheral and are told that they have to then buy a £15 cable as well in order to use it would normally admit to having very little IT knowledge and would certainly have no idea that they could order one online for a fifth of the price. A few will, but will cough up through gritted teeth because they need to use the thing now, not in three days' time. I can envisage the likes of Belkin and the other accessory manufacturers with pound signs in their eyes at the universal charger idea.

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We still have the round pin sockets, but with a square adapter fascia over the top (I think).

The USB thing will be cool. I have a Sony Xperia phone, and it has a rather clever little setup. You get the USB > mini-USB cable for computer connections, and if you want to, it plugs into a (square) mains AC adapter, and becomes a 'proper' phone charger.

This standardisation means cheaper chargers I reckon.

Might be wrong of course.

TFH

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Hmmm, SPV's (AKA smartphones) have used miniusb since they were introduced 6 years ago! I have about 5 mini Usb chargers round my house from my first to now current (and soon to get a new and hence 6th charger) which is kind of good in that I will have one wherever I am in the house and one for laptop / holiday bag. I also get a USB a-b lead with each phone too which is ok, and also allows data exchange / internet surfing / charging straight from PC.

Also my satnav is miniusb too so I only need one charger for the lot!!

Atm all smartphones come with usb charger but as mentioned above I think this will be an optional extra once this becomes standard (I really mean when all the other companies finally catch up :rolleyes: ).

Oh it is standard USB 500mA @ 5v.

you can purchase usb power supplies for a couple of quid too.

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On one hand you can say that people will feel the need to buy a new phone to get a uniform charger.

For me personally, who was about to buy a new HTC, I will now wait until next year so perhaps it will backfire bigtime as people put off buying new phones

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Eventually some bright spark realised we needed standardization so the whole country ended up with the same voltages and socket styles.

pun intended?!

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James May, the Top Gear presenter, was on a show the other day telling the story of Britain's National Grid.

It seems to be the reverse with USB, there is printer, then normal, then mini. It's like Sony did

with the headphone socket, then mini headphone socket, then remote headphone socket.

You end up with this kind of thing, i have no idea what it does.

ionmain.jpg

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It's fricking digital, and hence the signal either gets there or doesn't, there's [no] in-between quality. The only extra you should be paying for is length, no fancy **** gold connectors.

i had a dab radio until I gave it up and went back to FM. if random milliseconds don't arrive, it's as irritating as crackle.

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Why do I think this sounds like a great idea, but is still going to be a mess and cost me more?

Because most people will do what my little brother does.

Turn on a big hefty PC using 250 watts just to charge a little ipod probably drawing 5 watts.

What a waste.

Nothing wrong with normal chargers, don't fix what isn't broken.

edit: Standardising would be a good idea but only if they include a standalone charger. I dont want to charge off my PC because that is a massive waste.

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......using the mini USB plug.....

So now even your anonymous pay-as-you-go phone will need to be connected to the TIA grid.

Where will it end? Will we have to wear our identity on our sleeves or something?

'Course I'm just being silly! That sort of thing could never happen....

2boys.jpg

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Turn on a big hefty PC using 250 watts just to charge a little ipod probably drawing 5 watts.

Nothing wrong with normal chargers, don't fix what isn't broken.

edit: Standardising would be a good idea but only if they include a standalone charger. I dont want to charge off my PC because that is a massive waste.

What are folk who don't have access to a computer going to do then, or am I getting myself all confused?

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Turn on a big hefty PC using 250 watts just to charge a little ipod probably drawing 5 watts.

Yeas, it's like people who switch over to skype for cheaper calls without considering the power usage of the PC will far outweigh any savings made!

You could get him a usb charger for a couple quid!

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i had a dab radio until I gave it up and went back to FM. if random milliseconds don't arrive, it's as irritating as crackle.

That's over the airwaves, not the cable. The cable with either work or it won't, there is no in-between in a digital cable, and hence there is no point paying out £15 for a USB cable you can get for £2.

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But I suspect we haven't heard the down side, which is that like the printers you buy that don't have a USB cable in the box, it won't be long before mobile phones are no longer supplied with a 'free' charger in the box.

Spot on.

'Apple, other phone makers agree on standard charger for Europe':

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=11477

In addition to the environmental benefits, the initiative should also lead to cost savings for companies and end-users down the line. That's because phone makers have also agreed to stop including chargers with their new handsets in Europe once the new micro-USB chargers become commonplace. Anyone who needs a new charger after this time will be able to purchase it separately.

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...there is no point paying out £15 for a USB cable you can get for £2.

True: but, for the reasons I stated above, a lot of £15 USB cables are still sold. The main one is that you need to know where to look to find one for £2, and that isn't on the high street. I'm sure the same will be the case with universal chargers: you'll be able to get them cheaply online if you're prepared to hunt around and wait a significant time for delivery. But if you've just bought a gleaming new brainfryer and don't have a charger (perhaps after having sold or given away your old one, with its charger), you'll want to be able to charge it up now, not in a few days' time. And I bet you that the mobile phone shops won't be selling chargers for much less than £15, just as Dixons and PC World won't sell you a USB lead for much less than that.

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Why do I think this sounds like a great idea, but is still going to be a mess and cost me more?

it's only charging a bloody phone!!!

standardisition of basic electrical gear is certainly a good thing,and it'll bring costs down for everybody.It'll enable acces for some of those people in countries that presently don't have very much,and would have to spend nearly a years wages on a mobile.

as long as they don't try it with military hardware or people we'll be ok!!!

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