Do you also hate to switch charging cables when you buy a new smartphone ? Or agry that you can’t use your expensive high quality earphones to list to music on your smartphone. In this article a short (over)view will be provided at some developements lately.
A little more than a week ago Jason Langride has written a short blogpost about the fact that a head of legislation 10 leading companies in the mobile sector agreed to use Micro USB as the standard charger in Europe !
“Ahead of any legislation 10 companies have signed a memorandum of understanding committing to begin manufacturing from 2010 of charges and cables using Micro USB as the standard.”
The 10 companies who signed the memorandum of understanding are: Apple, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research In Motion, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Texas Instruments. Personally I’m glad that Samsung will drop the proprietary charging connector (I owned a Samsung i600 and a Samsung BlackJack II).
The micro USB charger is for example already used by Palm on the Palm Treo Pro, and by Motorola on the Motorola Q9h, both not on the list, but probably because these are companies mainly US-oriented. I was surprised that HTC wasn’t on the list, since they used the mini USB charger on all of their devices for some years now, and furthermore it is one of the largest OEM’s of smartphones.
Battle for a 3.5 mm headphone jack
In the HTC Snap review on this website I made a remark about the positioning of the mini USB connector on the device. This Ext mini USB is used both for charging as well as to connect a pair of earphones with a Ext mini USB Jack. It’s the same design concept used in the HTC Touch Dual.
Vincent Nguyen of PhoneMag also made a comment in the review of the T-Mobile Dash 3G, which has the same hardware as the HTC Snap.
“T-Mobile also include a headset adapter in the box with the Dash 3G, so that you can use your own headphones; it’s a nice addition, but it does protrude significantly from the side of the smartphone making the whole thing unwieldy.”
I can also remember the use of a 2.5 mm. headphone jack on smartphones a few years ago on the i-mat JAM. Furtherme is the 3.5 mm headphone jack the standard on MP3- and audio players. Another perspective is that people buy expensive high quality headsets like the Etymoyic Research ER-4, but these can’t be used on their smartphones which people always carry with them.
Therefore I was very happy to read the article of Jason Dunn of PocketPC Thoughts, where HTC has (not officially) announced that the 3.5 mm headphone jack will become the standard on new HTC devices. A HTC representative told him:
“The vast majority of devices we launch after Hero will have a 3.5mm jack. Devices that we have already announced but that still come out after Hero will not necessarily be a part of this change.”
This is a great development for the multimedia lovers among the smartphone users.
For the end-users these developments towards a certain standardization are very welcome. It limits to carry a bunch of extra cables when you travel, but it also makes it easier to switch devices without having to buy new accessoiries for charging you device.
Despite the fact that the standardization of the 3.5 mm headphone jack, looks not as formalized in comparison with the micro USB agreement. However it would also be great to have this implemented as a standard. In the reasoning of converged devices this is very welcome for us all.
Both issues are much addressed during reviews on leading mobile technology websites, and therefore my compliments that manufacturers listen to feedback of the end-users! What are your thoughts?