Micro-USB becomes standard Euro phone charger

In a move that's been a long time coming, the major participants in the European cellphone market have backed a proposal to standardize microUSB as the generic charger port.  The scheme was led by the European Commission, and has now received support from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Apple, Motorola, NEC, LG, RIM, Qualcomm, Samsung and Texas Instruments.

Together, those companies account for 90-percent of the European cellphone market.  The EC have positioned the scheme as environmentally sound, suggesting that cellphone users will not have to throw away their old charger whenever they buy a new device.

The first devices using the standardized connector will arrive on the market in 2010, though of course many phones already use microUSB for charging and data connectivity.  What will be interesting is how Apple respond to the move; the dock connector is not only a common feature among docks and accessories, but a source of licensing revenue from third-party manufacturers.