Most non-Apple phones have been using the same mico USB-b charging connector for the better part of a decade, but the standard may soon be updated.
Ten years ago, one of the biggest considerations the average consumer would take into account when purchasing a new cell-phone was the charger. Will it fit their old chargers? Did they have to get a new car charger, too? Chargers were almost never the same between manufacturers, or even between models from the same manufacturer.
This resulted in not only an increase in e-waste, not to mention the frustration and expense from consumers who had to be constantly buying new chargers and could rarely share chargers with friends. Many people may have memories of needing to charge their phone when visiting friends or family and having to sort through a drawer of unused chargers to see if any matched.
There is no global governing body that regulates things such as phone chargers, but several alliances took moves to standardize the charger to micro USB. The OMTP in 2007, the ITU in 2009, and the IEC in 2011. Now, just about all manufacturers use a Micro B USB charger, except for Apple, who used their 30-pin charger for all iPods, iPhones, and iPads up until 2012, when they introduced the Lightning charger, which changed the game due to its improved data and charging speeds and the convenience of being reversible. Plugging a phone in the charge in a dark room was no longer a complicated feat.
Well, it’s about high time Micro USB type B got a similar replacement so all the non Apple users can enjoy plugging in devices without worry when in the dark (among other benefits). The USB Implementations Forum has released a render of the still incomplete USB type C connector, which is expected to not only be reversible, but be twice as fast, with throughput estimated at 10Gbps.
The conversion to this standard may be awkward, since it’s not likely it will be backwards compatible due to its reversible nature, but after some slight overlap of a year or two–where we will likely find a lot of value in micro USB type b to c converter dongles–we will have mostly adopted the new standard.
The new standard may start popping up on various devices before the end of 2014, which means this could be the standard connector found on next year’s HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G3, and other flagship devices.