If all goes well, the next time your phone dies at a friend's house you'll no longer be left cursing the gods regarding the lack of standards for USB phone cables.
Last week, at the Open Mobile Terminal Platform, mobile phone manufacturing leaders such as Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and LG discussed the future of phone charging and data exchange. The companies agreed to adopt a new USB standard called Micro-USB, hopefully putting an end to the mess of incompatible proprietary power connectors that has plagued the cell phone industry for years. The move will likely be first implemented in next year's cell phone designs. The Micro-USB standard was develop early this year and introduced by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the group responsible for new USB standards.
Until a new standard is adopted, consumers will finally be able to use their old charger when they purchase a new phone. Companies will no longer have to pay for part of the user disposal and recycling fees for chargers as certain environmental laws worldwide have forced them to do in the past. Another financial benefit for the cell phone companies is that they won't have to include a charger with phones they sell, possibly cutting a major cost. This will in turn allow for smaller, lighter phone boxes, which will cost less to ship and store. Overall, both companies and consumers should end up spending less money once the new standard is implemented.
News source: DailyTech