First Look: New BlackBerry USB Power Plug is Hot! Ships with BlackBerry Pearl 3G (and future devices)...

New BlackBerry USB Power Plug
By Kevin Michaluk on 6 May 2010 08:10 pm EDT

At WES 2010 I sat down with Mike McAndrews, RIM's VP of Product Marketing, who in addition to talking shop (follow-up story to come) walked me through the new BlackBerry product announcements made at the event, including the white BlackBerry Bold 9700, the Bold 9650 and the Pearl 3G. In addition, Mike also showed me the little beauty shown in the photo above (more photos below) of the new BlackBerry USB Power Plug.

The new OEM BlackBerry USB Power Plug is going to replace the standard BlackBerry wall charger that has traditionally shipped with a new BlackBerry device. Instead of shipping a wall charger and also a separate USB cable for syncing, this new design simply utilizes the syncing cable as part of the charger. When it comes to traveling, you now have a lot less to lug around. RIM actually used to have this sort of USB styled charger (view pic) but went away from it some time ago, so are making a return here in a slimmer, updated design. The new BlackBerry Power Plug is definitely similar in look and feel to what Apple currently does with their chargers, though I'd argue the new BlackBerry one is sexier.

Mike told me the new BlackBerry USB Power Plug will make its debut with the new BlackBerry Pearl 3G, which further ups the consumer feel of the new Pearl. From there we should see RIM roll this out with most new devices (not sure that the Bold 9650 will get it at launch though - since it's a "world phone" I think it will ship out with the standard wall charger/adapter - but will inquire for more details here) and it will become available as a standalone accessory available for purchase so you can buy extra to keep everywhere you go. 

More BlackBerry USB Power Plug Photos

New BlackBerry USB Power Plug

New BlackBerry USB Power Plug

New BlackBerry USB Power Plug

Reader comments

First Look: New BlackBerry USB Power Plug is Hot! Ships with BlackBerry Pearl 3G (and future devices)...


I had a charger just like this 3 years ago for my LG Dare. It also used the same micro usb hook ups too ironically enough. Playing catch up RIM?

RIM has been using microUSB for a little while now, can't remember which was the first to use it (my guess is Storm) but the 8900 definitely came with it. Nice try for a clever comment though

you missed what he was referring too... the usb power plug adapter where you can use it as a standard USB or a power plug as in the picture. What RIM is showing is nothing new other devices Apple, LG, and even Motorola have been doing that for years. So yes he is right RIM is playing catchup again.

Well I am most likely the youngest person who still remembers this (16), but I would like to welcome back the original blackberry charger just more compact.

THATS WHAT EVERY BLACKBERRY CAME WITH. Still have a few in my house their great for charging Blackberrys but iPods never charged well for some reason. If one more person says RIM is copying apple its actually the 100% opposite. RIM switched it (no idea why loved this way) and now they are switching it back and much more compact (hmm wonder why apples is so big still... just as big as the old blackberry ones from 5 years ago ;)) I'm gonna hope in a Blackberry loving community I'm not the only one who remembered this.

EDIT: Here is another angle incase you don't believe its actually RIM's

Right... I have a few of them too... and they even had the CHANGEABLE international tips on them!

I don't understand why RIM went away from them.. I'm glad they are back.

But right, RIM did NOT copy Apple, LG, Moto, etc... RIM had it first. My 7230 and 7290 came with them.. that was 2005/2006?

Not happy here. I really like their two USB charger solution. I currently have the charger at home and the USB cable at work.

This means now I have to buy another cable or start carrying the USB between commutes.

The wall charger also charges much faster than the USB adapters.


Well even though that is true I am glad that the standard is now micro USB. Now I can go and snatch my kid's charger at home or charge in my buddy's car and I know that when I get my next BB it will still have the same plug.

With my Storm, I received a few extra connectors (or prongs or whatever you want to call them) to use when I travel overseas. I wonder if RIM is going to stop providing those.

I didn't ask this (will try and follow up and inquire), but my guess is that for "consumer" focused phones you'll just receive the connector/prongs for your local country. And you can likely be an adapter separate...

I think maybe that's why a device like the Bold 9650 won't get this to start - since it's a world phone, they'll ship the standard wall charger/adapter unit. Will see if I can find out the deets on this.

The only thing abt the 9650 that makes it a world phone is the inclusion of GSM, so ya...9100 is world phone out of the box, lol. Practically no one besides US and Canada use CDMA anymore. Even Canada's CDMA providers are ditching it quickly as they all offer HSPA.

Don't know about others country, but here in Indonesia, CDMA is growing it's own market. We have quite numbers of provider that almost match the GSM/EDGE/3G Provider.

ok but how long is the sync cable going to be? If its not as long as the power cord that comes with current S2, C2, etc then its going to piss some people off

I hadn't considered that. You're right, I hope it's a longer cable - I use the entire length of my wall charger's cable!

I wonder how fast of a charge this will provide? The wall charger is much faster than the trickle charge through the USB cable plugged into my computer, and on my 8530 if I turn wifi on the wall charger can barely keep up. Hopefully the charge will be similar to today's wall charger!

Rim is going the Apple way:(

This is a way to not ship the wall charger, which I liked. Are the BB price going to be lower? I don't think so.

I'm pretty sure the charge is going to be much slower now.

"RIM is going the Apple way :("

If you're concerned that RIM is turning into Apple, then you may just want to get out the Smartphone 'game' now. Most, if not all Smartphone makers are adopting things from the iPhone, and vise versa. I personally think this charger looks better and is by far more practical than the previous BlackBerry wall & USB charger(s).

"Are the BB price going to be lower? I don't think so."

Actually, when you think about it, yes; in theory the price of the BlackBerry would be cheaper using the new charger. Comparing this new charger to the old one, the new charger uses far less cable material for the USB & wall charger. Instead of using two different cables, they've combined both into one cable, that fits both a computer USB port, and the wall charger. It sounds minute, however when you think about how many BlackBerry phones are sold with wall & USB chargers, this could very well save RIM costs in the amount of cable they would use.

And can you justify why the charge would be slower using this charger than the previous one? As Bla1ze said, it should charge at the same speed as the previous one.

...Think about it.

I hate all of this iCopying. And yes, Lil Blackk, I bought my 9700 as the last good anti-iPhone ever made; with the mentality that it is going to be my last smartphone and that my next phone is going to be a dumbphone. Until then, I'm going to hold on to my 9700 with its OS 5 and separate charging cables for as long as people held onto their copies of Win XP after Vista was released.

I'd rather keep my charger and sync cables separate and not go the iDiotic way of Apple. I hate how everybody is copying Apple! (looking cooler but with less functionality)

This isn't copying apple, rim have had chargers like this in the past, all that has really changed is they are not going to have a wasted power cable in the box.

this isnt copying. Not only is it saving RIM money but convenience for customers. As a business owner, you have to continue to think, search and research methods of saving company money in every aspect. This will save RIM money just like how they transitioned from trackball to trackpad.

... and I really mean it:)

But to get back on my point, I meant that Apple renew their products every year. A little update here and a little update there.

However every year there is a new box. That box is smaller... meaning that there is less accessories. So yes you'll have to buy another charger if you don't want to carry the usb cord with you.

I do not care if this charger looks better now than the previous ones, I certainly didn't buy a blackberry to have cute accessories.

Hahaha, have you seen the size of box the iphone comes in?

Combining the USB and power cord is a great idea. Stop whining.
If you don't like it, hold onto your current power cord when you get a new phone.

So it looks like now you get one charging cable instead of two. It's clearly a cost cutting measure. What would make up for it is if they included a mobile adapter for car lighters (or whatever they're called now that it's not cool to smoke).

USB spec doesn't allow for longer than 5 meters but that is quite a bit longer than the standard charger so this shouldn't be an issue if you get a usb cable online.

Actually, RIM made this kind of charger before Apple. It came with the old models, so it's not really new to RIM.

I prefer separate too. I can leave the sync cable plugged into my computer (with the cradle connected to it) and use the wall charger to charge at night.

I was about to ask the same thing. My 6230 came with a charger like that and had interchangeable prongs so it was international.

I bought one of these (obviously not BB brand) from WalMart. Most of my phones, cameras, and of course ipods have USB cables. So I bought one of these to use as a universal charger instead of bringing a wall charger for each electronic.

It's great that BlackBerry came out with this, not only will it benefit users with their BlackBerry, they can use it for other electronics, just like myself.

RIM makes you think they're giving you more by giving you less...i loved getting both seperately..i leave the usb plugged into my comp and charge my 9700 when im on it..other than that i charge overnite on the wall charger @ home..I'm sure that power plug costs no more than a regular
plug...and at the same time they eliminated a 6 ft many cords they eliminate at how much??

$3 million may not be a lot of money to companies like RIM but if somebody suggested that idea and saved RIM $3.1 million, they will probably take it. I read that RIM sold 7.8 million devices in one quarter. If you multiply that by four, it is roughly 31 million devices. If you figure RIM probably pays around $0.10 per USB cable, they just saved $3.1 million.

RIM is messing up already with the 9650, not only is it a century late, it wont have the newest charger. c'mon rim get it together!

just got a new htc hd2 it has the same setup. puts out 300ma more than my storm charger so it will be plenty capable off charging just as fast as previous chargers. and will work on any micro usb phone I can use storm charger on hd 2 and vice versa. no problem. great phone by the way still have my storm but its collecting dust. rim needs to step it up the composition is not sleeping, they cant keep coming out with stuff years behind every one els and keep customers. end rant ;)

While this is not new (my two year old LG has a similar setup and works for my Tour) now that micro USB is the standard I will welcome not having extra cables. Charging cables are cheap enough to buy so that if another is needed I have no problem ordering one. RIM would really impress me if they shipped units with a powermat receiver.

More senseless bullshit for sale. Pretty soon RIM wont have any phones to sell once everyone jumps onto the "Droid" bandwagon of entertaining phones.

Anyone who's complaining about not liking the charger, can clearly just use their old ones to chair their phones.. So it really shouldn't be a big deal. I do think this is more ideal for the average traveler, but personally I'll be sticking to my old charger that came with my 8900

I always wondered why Blackberry didn't do this before. I was jealous of the iPhone users with their little usb power plugin adapter. Now I can be just as cool as the iPhone users but sexier than plain white... :-)

Kevin is clueless, as usual.

May be new to RIM, but it is not new, and not noteworthy anywhere else except in Crackberry.

Oh ya! Palm has a lot to offer...that's why it is selling so well given it's supposidely superior WebOS. Guess no one told the customers!! he-he

wow. learn to read buddy. I didn't say this design was new to the industry... I said this was a new power plug model for BlackBerry that's gonna start shipping with the Pearl 3G.

the point is this is crackberry, and it is noteworthy news to blackberry users (as demonstrated by the comments to this post).  

you're the one who's clueless. :)


Dude, read again, this setup is not new to rim, I have an old blackberry 8707v that had this. Rim had used this before a few yers ago and now they are going back to it.

Hey Kevin,

You have to take these comments with a grain of salt, people fail to read the entire post, know the product their using, and any history behind it all.

I appreciate the news you, and the rest of CB brings to the community.

It's sad to see these younger folks not taking the time to read previous comments, or look outside of their extremely small world.

Instant gratification, that's the only way these kids see it.


so they are going back to what they used to do? not that it's a bad idea, but blackberry's used to come with this years ago. hardly worth any hype

I like it, but I also like the ability to pack my charger when I am going on a trip - now I have to pack my usb cable with a box....

I also prefer a wall charger to this. I'll keep mine around though, but won't be sad when I have to go to this. And if it is a problem, I'm sure they'll be making and selling standalone wall chargers for awhile still.

TWO pages on how cool the new charger is... Jeez people - get a life "My charger's cooler than your charger".... WHAAAAT?

C'mon! I mean C'mon! Where are the news about the upcoming OS and devices? I don't care about a new charger! Let's go CB! Dig around a bit and find us some real news! Also, stop just copying stuff from other sites will ya? I was reading about the Virgin Mobile announcement on prepaid plans several hours before it was posted here over on other tech sites!

You really think that only one site you post the news or what? If you read it on another site you should sent it to cb tips. They aren't copying from sites and obviously gonna post stuff thats BB related. All the site post alot of the same stuff. If you don't like the blogs don't read em.

This is a new standard for cell phones. You will see all cell phones moving to this style of charger. 1) is to save money 2) to save waste and land fill space. 3) less to travel with

Will we be able to purchase it as an OEM only? I sure would love to have it with my S2 and make my travel a little nicer.

Will we be able to purchase it as an OEM only? I sure would love to have it with my S2 and make my travel a little nicer.

I do question charging time as others are asking about. Yes, the plug is rated at a certain mAh or whathaveyou.....

But the question to me is at what rate does the USB port allow charge to flow into the battery, regardless of what the plug itself is rated at.

If the USB port has a limiting factor, then I see no benefit to this, at least for me as when I travel for business....My netbook always travels with me. But for vacations and the like, sure, the plug will pack nicely and I can leave my wall charger plugged into my Seidio cradle.

All that being said, I am sure I will buy one of these when they are available.

Good becuase now when traveling all you have to do is grab the little outlet adapter along w/ a your usb syncing cable to have both methods available.

Bad becuase I always keep the outlet cable hooked up to a charging pod and keep the usb cable separate for syncing.
Now, out of the the box this option isn't available - you would have to buy another cable. But this really only affects first time buyers.

Overall it's really not that big of a deal - we all have enough cables to keep our options open. The outlet charger I am currently using will permanently remain in the wall for all future pods and the new adapter will be cool to have as another option.
You can buy cables/cords/chargers on Amazon and Ebay literally for a couple bucks.

Yeah, looks good and all but am I the only one who thinks it's stupid to put the USB hole on the side!? That means when plugging into a multi plug power board it has to go on the end because it can't go in the middle with a stonking great USB cable coming out of the side. It should really come out of the front, back or best of all the top! Grrrr

... Besides that, I prefer to have them separate. I'll be sticking with my current charger.

u know we're scraping for news when a power plug gets its own post lol...seriously, what's so hot? they just literally cut the cost of cables required to ship with the BB by HALF!!!!!

I don't like this at all. The USB data cable is much shorter now than it used to be. Now if they go with this design, i'm assuming the data cable length will stay the same, or maybe 3' at most. I won't even be able to plug this in and put the phone on my night stand. and the outlet for my nightstand is a bit hard to reach. so now every time i want to use the data cable with my computer, its gonna be a hassle to get. of course i can buy another home charger. but that's exactly what RIM is trying to do. save money in their pocket when they ship the phone and then make us come back for accessories. for people that do like this design, you will probably need a USB extension cable just to make this as long as a regular charger!

But this is news? A different charger? Hows about telling me I can finally get full screen caller ID native to my BB? Or something actually useful. This is just RIM saving money. I don't have a problem with that, but it's not something a marketing guy should be touting as "improving consumer feel". I dunno, it just seems kinda placebo-ish.

My first bb was a 8100, which came with a USB charger, and its just amazing

I used it for several years to charge several devices.
This is a biiiig plus 4 blackberry

I love the versatility of this. I just hope it comes with a longer USB cable than what came with my 9700! I miss the length of the cables that came with the 9000 and 8300 series.

Companies do this to decrease manufacturing cost in any way possible. Its much cheaper to create end adapters for US/euro and various other wall plug types than to make completely different plugs for different markets. RIM is saving by simply swapping the end pieces now. Look at any laptop, game console and most TVs today, no plug unit is straight device to wall anymore.

This kind of thing has been around a while for other phones but that doesn't change its convenience. I want this charger for my 9700.

This would be better if it had a port on each side. Even if you could only use one at a time. Having it come out of the side like that would prevent it being used in all but one spot on a lot of surge protectors/power strips. Unless you can rotate the top 360 degrees about the prongs. And yes, longer USB cable will be necessary, and yes, it will be a pain if you like to leave a charger plugged into the wall, and use the USB cable on a computer. Of course, you can always buy another cable/charger.

I am a BlackBerry user since they came out with 950 pagers - they were so cool and we at Sun Microsystems simply got hooked on to it. BlackBerry has changed my life and made me more proactive in dealing with issues as I can instantly read and send solutions to issues as I am a QA engineer. In short, it's made me proactive and productive - I love the ALWAYS-ON EMAIL option. This charger will help in keeping my Bold 9000 up and running.

A little melodrama you from lugging around a lot of extra stuff? You mean a USB cable? Whoa, hold the presses, my carry on bagggage is going to cost 3cents less now. I use Exchange so it's pretty much wireless syncing, but that's the holy grail for all users, not DM.

I love it. However, if you have a charging station, as I do, you will need to buy another charger for it. Otherwise, it's a great idea and it's nice and small.

I would love to have a plug like that where I could just grab any old USB cord and plug it into the wall, but I hate that all the phones are moving to micro USB connectors. That sive is no more convenient than mini, and I have about 30 mini USB cables and not a single micro. One of the things I love about devices like my BB is that it uses standard cables instead of bleeding you and your wallet to boost sales of proprietary cables with special connectors. Mini is WAY more common than micro USB. Lame.

While this is not new (my two year old LG has a similar setup and works for my Tour) now that micro USB is the standard I will welcome not having extra cables. Charging cables are cheap enough to buy so that if another is needed I have no problem ordering one. RIM would really impress me if they shipped units with a powermat receiver.

Any news about availability as a standalone accessory? I am going to call BB Support and see if I can find out some info....