"On Monday, the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP)--a forum dominated by operators but including manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and LG--announced that its members had agreed on micro-USB as the future common connector. Micro-USB, which is thinner than the currently ubiquitous mini-USB standard and therefore better suited to the ever-shrinking dimensions of mobile phones and other consumer electronics, was introduced to the world by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) at the start of this year. Like mini-USB, the standard also makes it possible to charge phones from PCs."
Jason has ranted on this topic before, and while this announcement doesn't guarantee that Pocket PC Phones will all be standardized on Micro-USB (the left of the five in this image from Wikipedia's USB article), this is a first step, and hopefully one that compels broader adoption by mobile device manufacturers. I for one would applaud a model that avoids me having to buy, and toss, cable after cable after cable.
I think I saw this on one of the gadget sites and their comment was along the lines of "one last time to milk the customer for another plug". Sadly true, but I am very glad that they are going to standardize the charging mechanism.
However my Nokia E62 has micro-USB, but I have to use the dedicated Nokia cable for it to actually work ... but worse than that, it doesn't charge through that cable anyway!
Let's hope that a standard-*looking* cable will also mean standard wiring/functionality in the future!!!
Hadn't even thought about that. Yeah, non-standard wiring to a standard cable really defeats the purpose of this. I think I've been bit by this before as well. At least my HTC Wizard uses a standard Mini-USB cable to sync/charge - a lot cheaper than buying the "official" accessory to do the same. I've never quite understood why there was so little standardization in this area when it would be so easy to do. (other than general capitalism, that is)
Now if everyone who makes PMPs, PDAs, GPS, Cameras, all manner of small BlueTooth devices, etc could also just standardize on micro USB. While we're at it how about one (or two at the most) standard plugs for the larger devices like laptops. I have a zip lock back filled to capacity with various tips from charging sets I've purchased over the years.
I recently abandoned a perfectly good working Logitech BlueTooth headset because I lost the (AC only) charger to it and I refused to shell out $30 for a replacement. I have to wonder how many devices hit the landfills because of this. Or how royally screwed we would be if there were two dozen competing standards for wall sockets.
I personally would have preferred mini USB if only because it's already here in great in numbers, it's already about as diminutive as is necessary, and it could have meant one less standard I would have to worry about.
I still can't figure out why we ever needed MicroUSB in the first place. It's almost indistinguishable from MiniUSB in size.
I just hope that companies place the connector in the device. I have a few devices (such as the Jawbone headset) that use a USB cable for charging, but they put their own connector on the end, so that I can't use a "standard" cable for the job. :evil:
There's really no reason for this. Even devices like MP3 players that have added pins for docking stations and such should have a "standard" SB connector for charging.
am I just a hardened old cynic or does anyone else feel that in a couple of years we will be looking at another anouncement that due to technical/practical/engineering reasons all the manufacturers will be standardizing on a new format of connection cable...which will of course not be backwards compatible with previous usb/miniusb/microusb
Standardization would be nice. I get tired of having to buy (or live without) new cables and accessories whenever I get a new device. This is especially irritating when the devices come from the same manufacturer. I've had two iPaqs, and my mother in law has an iPaq, and yet NONE of the accessories are interchangeable between the three. I had an HTC Wizard for about 24 hours, and I did appreciate that it charged with the same cable as my wife's Motorola v365 and my bluetooth headset. I was able to disconnect the phone from my laptop and charge my headset on the same cable. Too bad the camera button got stuck and I had to return it; I really did like that Wizard.
Current devices: iPhone 3G. Previous devices: Samsung Epix and 1st gen 32GB iPod Touch BlackJack II, iPaq 6945, iPaq hx4705, Dell Axim x30 high, iPaq 3765.
Well, Micro-USB cuts down width and height to almost 60%, that makes it area 3 times smaller. A Mini-USB's (female) connector is too big (height ~5mm+) for modern and future cell phones. More and more are 7-10mm thick or even less. Smartphones are a little bit behind but are catching up (now down to 10-13mm). MP3 players are very thin too, even big ones are down to 8mm (i.e. iPod touch), Bluetooth headsets are shrinking... And the Micro-USB standard should be future proof, as far as that's possible in this business.