In 2009 the European Commission issued a mandate  requesting the development of a European standard for the humble mobile phone charger. This standard would take the form of a micro-USB connector allowing chargers to be used interchangeably between devices.  The aim was to reduce the number of chargers being discarded. In December 2010 they announced the agreement.

It was signed by Apple, Emblaze Mobile, Huawei Technologies, LGE, Motorola Mobility, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research In Motion (RIM), Samsung, Sony Ericsson, TCT Mobile (ALCATEL), Texas Instruments and Atmel.

RIM (Blackberry devices) had the simplest job as they have always used USB connector for charging, although the size did vary (miro, mini, a/b).  Nokia also often used micro-USB.  There has been much speculation on what Apple would do as their 'dock connector' is very different, and used in so many 3rd party devices.

Apple now offer a dock to micro-USB converter to comply with the regulations and this is available via the Apple store (UK only at the moment) for £8.  It allows for charging of  the iPhone 3G ,3Gs, 4 and 4S via a USB to computer connection or USB power adapter.  This makes Apple fully compliant with the directive.

site by DAJ