that's a useful recommendation. The OMTP (Open Mobile Terminal Platform) today
announced that following industry consultation a recommendation paper has been
agreed to help pave the way for a single, universal cross manufacturer USB
(Universal Serial Bus) cable connector that enables mobile consumers to connect
and charge their mobile devices.
Ratified and promoted by OMTP operator members with support from the USB
Implementers Forum, this latest recommendation represents a significant step
towards standardizing common cable connectors resulting in obvious consumer and
The OMTP's paper recommends that the micro USB (Universal Serial Bus)
standard is used across mobile devices. USB is the de facto standard for the PC
industry and it is a technology understood by consumers. Reaching mobile
industry agreement on USB will help streamline the whole value chain and provide
end users with a larger choice of the most popular peripherals. The customer
will also be able to use their legacy home entertainment and PC equipment, as
well as creating a new market opportunity for peripheral vendors.
(On the left the new recommended micro USB connector, on the right today's
widely used USB and mini USB connectors)
With UK consumers changing their handset on average twice a year, through
contract upgrades or personal choice, there are literally hundreds of millions
of chargers and data cables in circulation. On top of that, there a huge number
of different peripherals such as headsets for voice calls, car kits, data
cables, etc. - many with different physical connectors. This fragmentation
creates unnecessary cost for the whole value chain, creates clutter and limits
the freedom of selection for end user and restricts competition by creating
barriers of market entry.
One manufacturer that played a pivotal role in pursuing the agreement was
OMTP member Nokia. Markku Verkama, Director of Portfolio Planning at Nokia
Technology Platforms explains: "The OMTP's work to bring consensus for what
is such a simple yet significant recommendation will have wide reaching
benefit. With the reduction of cables needed for mobile data connectivity,
we can further enhance user experiences in our devices while reducing the
burden to the environment."
"The USB-IF was first to recognise a clear market need for a universal
data and charging mechanism for devices. USB offers consumers ease-of-use
and a plug-and-play experience making it the most ubiquitous interconnect
technology in the world," said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF president. "We're
pleased to see OMTP support the USB technology as the standard for
connectivity in the mobile space."
Tim Raby, Managing Director OMTP commented, "OMTP members are keen to
pursue the single cable connectivity development due to its multiple
benefits. We see these recommendations as a clear and demonstrable example
of the work we are doing to make the mobile experience less confusing, less
complicated and easier for consumers."
Anyway, please keep in mind - as good as the news is - that we are talking
about a micro USB plug here (see the photo above) which is different to the so
far widely used mini USB plug since it's thinner. But anyway, the new range of
slim devices needs this kind of thinner USB plugs and it makes perfectly sense
to use a new type of connector now which is (hopefully) future-proof.
Cheers ~ Arne