Apple has finally agreed to join a European Commission project which aims to consolidate the various connectors used within the mobile 'phone market concentrating initially on the wide range of different power connectors favoured by individual manufacturers.
The company joins existing signers of the agreement including Finnish mobile giant Nokia, BlackBerry creator Research in Motion, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG, and Motorola. It's not just handset makers who are in agreement with the EC, either: companies including Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and NEC, all of whom produce chipsets for mobile 'phones, have also signed up.
The aim of the coalition is to get all mobile handsets equipped with a micro-USB port by 2012, allowing handsets to draw up to 5V at 500mA from a host PC or mains charger. The use of a standardised connector would mean that in-car kits, solar chargers, and emergency power systems purchased for one handset would no longer have to be abandoned should you switch allegiance to a different manufacturer.