“Unauthorized charger” and other device restrictions

One of the common complaints about electronic gadgets is that nearly each one requires a different power adapter. The diversity can not be explained by the difference in power consumption; a laptop that burns 90W could just easily be powered by an adapter that is rated to 100W. The price would at best go up increase very slightly with maximum rating and this difference would be likely compensated for by the economy of scales from standardizing on a small number of models. Yet manufacturers continue to insist on not standardizing their adapters in the hopes of generating additional revenue.

Mobile phones are an interesting case. As smart-phones proliferate they require both power and data connectivity. The other end of the data connection is likely going to be USB. A sufficiently arrogant company could insist on their own Firewire (or is that IEEE1394?) technology in left field as the original iPods were but most consumer electronics have settled on USB2.0 fortunately. Speaking of the iPod it was one of the first that combined data and power into a single cable. Mobile phones are following suit now.

So it is something of surprise to see the Razor V3m display “unauthorized charger” when connected to a MacBook Pro. It is not a smart-phone so there is hardly any data to synchronize but USB is still good as a power source. There is no good reason for the phone to reject it. If this is by design and not just flakiness on the part of the handset, it is yet another pointless attempt to go against the current of interoperability in order to lock in consumers into a single brand of peripherals.


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