Just about every known cellular phone maker has agreed to implement a universal phone charger for new cellular handsets released in the EU. As I was reading through the article I was sitting on the edge of my seat with anticipation. I was saying to my self “Micro USB, come on Micro-USB!!” well guess what? Micro-USB for the win!
What is Micro-USB? Well it looks like this, and Motorola phones have used it for year, as have blackberrys and most consumer digital cameras. This means that in theory you wont really need a charger, provided you have a computer, because you can just use the micro-USB cable to charge your devices. (I have also been doing that for years).
Why is this relevant to you? Well… for most of my readers, it isn’t relevant because this story takes place in the EU, while we just so happen to live in America. The cell phone makers are using terms like “2012″ to describe the Americas involvement in this groundbreaking deal.
Now, a few weeks ago, they finally turned off the Analog Broadcast channels around the country. Last year Verizon purchased all of the analog broadcast frequencies that have now been decommissioned. Under pressure from Google, the FCC declared that the new airwaves must be used to offer an “open network” which will have no limitations on the manufacturer of the phone, or services running on it. Basically what this would mean is you could purchase any phone, from any manufacture, and get service through whoever you want.
To the non techies, this might sound convenient. To the true techies at heart, this sounds both FREAKING AWESOME, and a little bit scary at the same time. Freaking awesome because if all phones are on the same network, the limitations for how they can communicate are greatly reduced. Open development for new smart phones like the Iphone and the Android will be able to work collaboratively with applications on other types of phones, even phones with different cellular providers. Verizon will make money by “leasing out” time on their network to other providers. This does mean that the costs of your cellular phones should go down, and the cost of your cellular service will certainly go up. In short, the FCC told Verizon they have to “play nice with the competitors”, but that doesn’t mean Verizon wont charge them out the ass for it.
It’s great to have Verizon in charge of the new “Open Network” because currently Verizon’s technology is more proprietary and locked down than ANY other carrier. So, yeah… lets trust them to take the lead on this one.
At any rate, the real point of this article is that if the Cellular Manufactures can’t even get a standardized charger to the US by 2012, whats the likelihood that we will EVER see this open network thing? 2020? maybe…. If ever.