I noticed more and more lately that companies are providing proprietary USB cables with their products. Of course Apple has done that for years. Now, though, I noticed more do this, like my new Blackberry Curve 2. Thankfully they provided a cable and power supply so I can charge it two ways. My nook, of course, comes with a proprietary charging cable, that thankfully does disconnect to allow me to plug in to any laptop. Then there is the new Cowon S9. While I love so much about it, it also comes with a proprietary USB cable.
Why? Why do the manufacturers do this? Well, of course to make money, but why do we allow this? Why is our government not looking into this for monopolies? Unfair business practices at the very least. And how this effects the classroom. For me alone, losing earbuds and USB cables all the time, it poses a problem. Once I lose any of those cables, it renders those devices useless until I can buy another. Do you think that will happen in schools? With schools buying iPod Touches, mp3 players, Kindles, and every other gadget, of course cables will be lost. The solution from the company? Buy a few extra cables. Of course, much like the high end Monster Cables, you *could* buy these more expensive cables. But then looking at a replacement USB, that may cost a dollar, why the need to spend $20 or more for a ‘specialized’ cable that does not additional work. Very frustrating, and it appears like this is spreading. Hopefully soon someone will notice and look into this sketchy practice. I really see no reason, except for profit, for this to happen.
Image used under Creative Commons license from flickr user vrogy