Proprietary cellphone chargers remain, kind of

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 29, 2015

By now many cellphone users have owned various brands and models of these devices.
Being battery powered, you will have to charge the device at some point. To do that in years past, it involved a proprietary charger, meaning that if while visiting a friend you left your charger at home, you crossed your fingers and hoped either your friend had the same phone or the battery would hold out. That was because if your friend was using a phone from a different maker, more than likely their charger would not fit in your phone.
Back in 2009 phone companies came to an agreement that by 2012 they would implement a universal version of the cell phone charger with a micro-USB connection.
Today, most cellphone companies, except for Apple, use this connection. That means if you are at a friend’s house, and provided they have updated their phone in the past three years, you won’t have to worry about your phone dying.
The idea was that consumers would be able to purchase a new phone without worrying about having to also purchase a new car or additional charger.
It was a novel idea that appears to have not lasted long enough.
Earlier this year Apple, who still uses a proprietary charger, decided to implement the lightning cable. Now Android devices are also changing the connection on their charger, to the new format of USB called Type-C.
This is a good and bad thing. First the good. This type of connector has a unique feature. Anyone who has used a USB cable knows the frustration involved in ensuring it’s turned the right way, or it just won’t connect. That isn’t the case with USB Type-C. No matter which way the cable is facing, it will plug into the device.
The bad news is you will have to give up your old charger once you upgrade to a phone that utilizes this new technology.
Let’s hope this technology lasts longer than three years.

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