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European standards groups agree on micro-USB

European standardization bodies CEN-CENELEC and ETSI agree to make micro-USB the standard interface port for smartphones in Europe.


Two European standardization bodies have agreed to make micro-USB the standard interface port for smartphones in Europe.

Though Apple currently uses its proprietary 30-pin dock connector for transferring data and charging its iPhone, iPad, and iPods, CEN-CENELEC and ETSI announced yesterday they have agreed that an adapter is suitable for compliance.

The commission "made available the harmonized standards needed for the manufacture of data-enabled mobile phones compatible with a new common charger. This is the most recent development in the process toward a global common mobile phone charger initiated by the European Commission."

Apple, along with mobile phone competitors RIM, Nokia, LGE, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and others are hoping to streamline mobile phone connectivity, at least as it relates to charging devices.

Said European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, "The common charger will make life easier for consumers, reduce waste, and benefit businesses. It is a true win-win situation."

With reports of Apple's iPad receiving a USB port and speculation that yet another redesign of the iPhone for its fifth revision, due to widely reported issues with its antenna, is forthcoming, could this agreement signal the decline of the 30-pin dock connector?

Certainly the iPhone, iPad, and iPod dock accessory industry is hoping that's not the case. The more likely bet is that Apple will include, at least for now, a 30-pin dock connector-to-micro-USB adapter for European models of its mobile devices.

Should Apple abandon the 30-pin dock connector in favor of micro-USB? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments.