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A Call for Standards on Mobile Handset Cables

I mean, both the chargers and the data cables (since in some handsets, they are one and the same). We have tons of them — the mini-USB, the micro-USB, serial cable, the SE, Samsung and LG proprietary ports, the iPhone, the HTC ports and so many more.

That doesn’t even end there — a single manufacturer can even have multiple ports for different models of their handsets.


I do understand some of the reason why they had to adapt their own power/data ports and it’s primary because they don’t want their own chargers/data cables being used by users for other branded handsets. But for one manufacturer to use multiple ports for different models of their own brand is very weird.

Ok, so I lost my data/charger cable for my HTC Hero. The port lloks like your regular mini-USB but the trapezoid shape doesn’t actually fit the standard one. I had to go around and look for a replacement data/charger cable to no avail. I also have another cable from my Google Nexus One, which is basically just a rebranded HTC handset, but that one uses a micro-USB.

Can they just get along and adapt a single cable format? I’d vote for the micro-USB. It’s readily available in stores and you can buy them for just a couple hundred bucks.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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30 Responses

  1. patrickross says:

    +1 on the mini USB. I’ve been using this cable to power up or sync the following:

    1. An old XDA Atom
    2. PSP
    3. External HDs
    4. HTC Hero
    5. Motorola Bluetooth headset
    6. External card reader
    7. Nikon D80 (access photos)

    It’s just more convenient. Plus, there’s a mobile car charger, too.

  2. Aja says:

    micro-USB ftw!

  3. yuga says:

    @patrickross – mini-USB might not be doable with very slim mobile handsets (under 10mm thick).

  4. iced says:

    thats sic right dr

  5. Pestee says:

    I believe that there has already been a consensus in Europe between all other major companies such as Nokia, Samsung, SE, Apple, etc. to use microUSB as standard for all their devices. This plan should be active already within this year, which is also why i guess most phones already have microUSB ports. Check out the link below or just search in Google.


  6. Ryan Ang says:

    I think it isn’t they aren’t open for a standard cable, they just want to sell more accessories :P Eventually the market will dictate the need for a standard, like how they did with the 3.5mm jack on headsets.

  7. ANON says:

    For the hero, actually a standard Mini-USB fits to it.

  8. GadgetMeister says:

    I think there is already an EU ruling on mobile handset cables where in manufacturers need to agree on a standard and afaik, its the micro-USB.



  9. GadgetMeister says:

    I think there is already an EU ruling on mobile handset cables where in manufacturers need to agree on a standard and afaik, its the micro-USB.

  10. mcv says:

    definitely microUSB ftw. :))

  11. IC DeaDPiPoL says:

    If the phone’s size is a hindrance to the cable the developer should also include a dock for cable compatibility.

    Really hated how nokia pumped out multiple DKU/CA specs cable despite majority of their phones using a single type of charger (until the debut of that smaller type plug)

  12. yuga says:

    @anon – thanks! tried it now and it works with the mini-USB. haha!

  13. boowee says:

    i think there are plans to have an ISO standard for charger ports and headset ports in the past.

  14. wow! this is nice,,, have tried it on boxes??? like SEtools? Z3X?? HWK??

  15. hehhee… rants ba to?! I guess the only reason that I can think of why they have different data/charger cable, is that each model have different power requirements and uses different types of battery.

    Better call the HTC BS and see if they offer charger/data cables separately or CDR King!!! :D

  16. Jhay says:

    +1 on the micro-usb as well. I’ve been growing frustrated with Sony Ericsson’s proprietary port on its handsets. Every time I need to charge my K800i, I spend almost half an hour to find the ‘sweet spot’ on its port because it has become quite unresponsive to the cable.

    And I’m the only SE user in our household! :(

  17. Victor says:

    yeah, its really a headache dealing with gadgets with varying cables and ports etc. If we can just have 1 or 2 universal ports that’d be better.

  18. sylv3rblade says:

    @Gadget Meister
    I wonder when those standards turn global. The EU gets all the good stuff :(

  19. Kim Roa Endaya says:

    Deviating from the topic, I’d just like to comment how easily Apple’s USB cables fray or wear out. I think Apple should really work on converting their coverings from rubber to plastic.

    I just got my iPhone 3GS last year and my USB cable is fraying at both ends?!?

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  20. patrickross says:

    Agree with the mini USB-slim phone mismatch. The mini USB devices, however, outnumber the micro USB ones, as of current. Whichever one comes out as the “1 cable to rule them all”, I hope manufacturers adhere to it strictly.

    I remember when Nokia first came out with the smaller pins for their chargers. Suddenly, one could not borrow a charger as easily as before.

  21. techiewitty says:

    Thats great yuga!
    wow, i’ve been looking for this gadget for so long. With my bulky nokia n92 mobile phone, sony erricsson phone plus a pirated china phone in hand, i just need to have this gadget so that i would not end up turn my bag upside down just to look for my chargers for my different phone model. hehehehh.

  22. manong says:

    it topic is sooo late… or am i reading a very old post?

  23. manong says:

    “On 17 February 2009, the GSM Association announced that they had agreed on a standard charger for mobile phones. The standard connector to be adopted by 17 manufacturers including Nokia, Motorola and Samsung is to be the micro-USB connector ”


  24. Herce says:

    You are more than a year late to the party man :).

    See: http://news.cnet.com/Pros-seem-to-outdo-cons-in-new-phone-charger-standard/2100-1041_3-6209247.html but it was big news at the time and all over the net.

  25. Jaypee says:

    Not only should they come up with a standard cable but also a standard charger, something like the AT&T Zero Charger that has USB compatibility, saves energy and is environment friendly.

  26. Miguel says:

    Being worked on chief – OMTP Common Charging and Local Data Connectivity (there’s a new version, not yet public.

  27. ligrev says:

    I totally agree with this. Hehe.

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  28. limewire says:

    dang amazing story man.

  29. Hey I am an IT help desk guy, I read the post, its really nice post. Thank you for sharing the information with all, I have take your link and share with my friends

  30. Jayden Scott says:

    you can always tell the quality of USB cables by looking at the thickness of the cable. thicker usb cables have higher quality ‘`”

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