Alternate solution - the universal charger

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been upgrading your mobile phone every couple of years. Combine this with the upgrades from other members of your family, and you’ve most likely ended up with a drawer full of old chargers, headphones and other miscellaneous handset cables. For some strange reason, manufacturers must think that the shape and style of the connectivity port on the phone is a feature. Some manufacturers go as far as to have each handset in its line-up with a different charger or headphone jack.

Well, those days may be coming to an end. The CTIA is urging handset manufacturers to support broad adoption of two input/output features on mobile handsets: a 3.5mm audio plug for audio and a micro-USB port for charging and connectivty to other devices. The CTIA recommends that manufacturers implement it in one of three ways:

  • USB Micro-B for charging/data transfer and 3.5mm for headphones/microphone
  • USB Micro-AB for charging/data transfer and 3.5mm for headphones/microphone
  • USB Micro-AB for charging/data transfer/headphones/microphone

These guidelines are recommendations to be implemented in handsets by January 2012. Whether or not the handset manufacturers follow these recommendations remains to be seen – we can always hope.

Simplifying the consumer experience is such a straight forward exercise it begs the question – “What took you so long?”

The official CTIA release can be found here