What would be the most annoying feature of a new iPhone 5? a new form factor? or perhaps a pink-only colour range? Well for owners of many third party accessories it could well be the introduction of a micro-USB charging connector if the European Commission have anything to do with it. What’s all this you ask? Continue reading to find out why…
Back in 2009 the European Commission won pledges from a number of phone manufacturers stating that they would back the introduction of a standard charging port/system for smartphones. At the time Apple were included as one of those companies however we couldn’t really see them continuing much further with it and thought they probably only joined as they figured they would be able to get everyone using the Dock Connector
Now, much to our surprise and nearly two years later, the technical specifications for chargers drawn up by the European Commission have won the backing of 14 phone firms and yes that still includes Apple and this means we could well be seeing a micro-USB port on a future generation iPhone.
Other companies committed to the universal charger include Emblaze Mobile, Huawei Technologies, LGE, Motorola Mobility, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research In Motion (RIM), Samsung, Sony Ericsson, TCT Mobile (ALCATEL), Texas Instruments and Atmel. That’s a big list of very influential folk in the mobile world. Also interesting to note is that this agreement only applies to smartphones. Why? Because the European Commission believe that smartphones will be the most widely used device in Europe for the foreseeable future.
The first chargers produced to the specifications are expected to be available in early 2011, so this should give Apple ample opportunity to add the micro-USB port by the time the iPhone 5 arrives.
The question is going to be how? Will it replace the dock connector we have all come to know and love or will it be an additional port on the device? Will its introduction be limited to just the iPhone or will it appear on the iPad / iPod range too? Either way I am pretty sure that however Apple implement it they [read: Jonathan Ive] will consider it to be revolutionary in its design.
Manufacturers of third-party accessories will love this, after all it is going to give them a whole new range to sell. Personally I think it is a great idea to have a standard charging port, but I hate the fact there is a possibility that none of my third-party accessories will work with the new standard. Having said that I am sure Apple will think of a way.
[Source: European Commission]