Charger? (was: Re: FreeRunner Pricing and PVT update)

Marcus Bauer marcus.bauer at
Mon Apr 14 10:29:37 CEST 2008

Reading your email I wonder if there is a misunderstanding here. A "USB
charger" is not a device that gets plugged into a computer but it is
simply a device that supplies power on a USB-like plug. It can be a wall
charger or a car charger. 

If you go to ebay and type in "usb charger" you get plenty of hits
starting from a few dollars.

The only and minor issue is that these chargers don't speak the USB
protocol and thus can't say "hey, you can take as much as you want and
I'll give you as much as I have". They simply offer voltage and current
on the plus and minus lines of the USB plug.

So essentially the Neo asks "hey, can I have 500mA?" and there is no
answer. The Neo then plays safe and pulls only 100mA as to the USB
standard. But the Neo can pop-up a dialog asking you "hey guy, there is
some unknown charger, I currently take only 100mA, shall I pull more
anyway?" - and this lets you use *any* USB charger out there. Be it one
from Apple or one from eBay.


On Mon, 2008-04-14 at 00:57 -0700, Lowell Higley wrote:
> I think I'm going to have to completely disagree on this one.  I
> RARELY plug anything into a computer to simply charge it.  I'd venture
> almost never.  The idea that I HAVE to plug a device into a computer
> to charge it is completely ridiculous to me. I'd bet my experience as
> a product marketer that consumers would feel similarly.  My
> expectation of a cell phone (based on precedent) is that I get a wall
> charger with my phone.  Even Apple didn't break this precedent with
> the iPhone.  You can plug it into a cradle (connecting to a system), a
> wall charger, or a vehicle accessory charger.
> That being said, I don't know whether this "custom charger" is just a
> modified USB cable or an actual wall charger.  Again, based on
> precedent, my expectation was that it was a wall charger.  Thinking
> about it now I realize that perhaps that was not a good assumption to
> make.
> Just my 4 1/2 cents.
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 12:25 AM, Marcus Bauer
> <marcus.bauer at> wrote:
>         On Mon, 2008-04-14 at 08:38 +0200, Erland Lewin wrote:
>         > 2008/4/14, steve <steve at>:
>         >           1. We have a custom charger that can fast charge
>         the phone.
>         >           2. Standard usb chargers will work just fine.
>         >
>         > How long will charging the phone take with the fast charger
>         vs. a
>         > normal charger?
>         >
>         > If a standard USB charger will take on the order of 12 hours
>         (1200 mAh
>         > battery / 100 mA, probably more due <100% efficiency), that
>         is really
>         > borderline of what sounds acceptable, if an overnight charge
>         won't be
>         > enough to fully charge the phone.
>         There have been plenty of discussions about this on the lists
>         and the
>         great news is that the Neo can use any USB charger.
>         I have a Neo 1973 and use it on a daily basis. The great thing
>         is that
>         you don't need any special charger, you can use any $5 charger
>         and it
>         works. There is a small program out there that can pop up a
>         dialog
>         whenever it sees the Neo only charging at 100mA and asking if
>         you want
>         to draw 500mA.
>         It really is a non issue. I have a couple of those chargers
>         for
>         home/office/car/travel and they all work and charge plenty of
>         other
>         devices too. IMHO a great design decision to use USB for
>         charging.
>         Finally there is an end coming to have all these different
>         chargers
>         around.
>         So I just can second Steve:
>         "2. Standard usb chargers will work just fine."
>         Marcus
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