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The days of separate chargers for different brands of phones are close to over with the announcement that all mobile phones from the top five manufacturers will use the micro-USB standard, instead of an assortment of proprietary cables.

The Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) has announced it is recommending a single, universal cross-manufacturer USB cable connector–namely, micro USB–for mobile phones.

In a paper ratified and promoted by OMTP operator members with help from the USB Implementers Forum, the OMTP says “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.”

While none of this is news to the consumer, the possibility of the standard being rectified is certainly refreshing, as USB is the PC industry standard, and a single USB-based connector should streamline the peripheral market and ultimately give consumers better options.

Current availability of the micro-USB standard is limited to a few phones, including the new Motorola RAZR2 V9m. No word on when the standard will be implemented. 

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