Thursday, November 6, 2008

Motorola H710: I'm sick of proprietary connectors

During last few years, the power adapter hall of shame is growing at alarming rate. Every new device cometh with its own, proprietary adaper (or simply a proprietary connector, for all I know), and, as a matter of rule, I have to go and also buy a car adapter for it. Then the device, being significantly more complex, dies, and the charger stays in a vain hope that it'll be useful again someday. Never happened so far, but I'm still holding my breath.

There were notable exceptions:

Motorola PEBL
Motorola H700
BlackBerry Curve
BlackBerry Pearl
T-Mobile G1

All of these are compatible with the same connector - I believe it is USB mini-B (bigger picture). Hence, lots of spare chargers in case one dies (oh, by the way, can someone explain why do they insist on packaging a charger with every new device???), and just one adapter per vehicle for all the occupants and all the devices. Heaven on Earth, or something very close.

So today, when I needed another headset, I simply went to the store and bought Motorola H710 (the only one available in that store), having used a very similar H700 for about two years now and being very happy with it.




See, the connector on H710 is not Mini B, though it looks like one to anyone with vision less than perfect. It is something else, possibly the mystery plug. I don't care to investigate further what it is, and under no circumstances I'm going to buy more car adapters to clutter my cars (one adapter is an annoyance enough already) and, no less importantly, spend the money I don't have to spend otherwise.

One thing I don't understand is - why the hell did they have to change the connector? H700 was a decent product, and it was just fine the way it was, in the form factor it was. There is no perceptible shape change between H700 and H710, and I don't think there's something very critical that begged to change the connector (yeah, sure, H710 plays sounds when you switch it on and off, but I don't think that could've possibly be the reason).

Other than stupid marketing - "oh, now we can sell more chargers!!!"

No you won't. Not to anyone who is sick to death of paying extra for a charger they don't need, and having to deal with this snake nest of chargers and wires.

H710 goes back to shop, and H700 gets ordered off Newegg. Motorola loses a sale and now has to deal with the returned H710, and my critical mass for not ever buying Motorola products gets one step closer.

Good job.

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