One of the most common complaints about Apple’s dock connector is that it’s proprietary. Don’t have your iPhone or iPad charger on you? You’re totally out of luck. Unless you live in the EU, that is, where the iPhone 4S will come with a MicroUSB charger — of a sort.
EU legislation enacted back in 2010 mandated that a common phone charging standard was needed for European consumers, and that the standard in question would be MicroUSB. Not a problem for pretty much every Android, Blackberry or Windows Mobile phone, but this left Apple in a corner, especially as it was a signatory to the agreement. But there’s a way out for Apple that allows it to keep the Dock connector and provide EU-compliant charging — a MicroUSB adaptor that’ll ship with the iPhone 4S, or can optionally be purchased from Apple’s European online stores for £8 (~$12.80).
I’ve seen a few bodged together Dock to MicroUSB connectors before, but having the official Apple seal of approval means that using one shouldn’t do a thing to your phone or Pad warranty. Sadly, there’s no sign of the connector in the local Apple store; I’m waiting to hear back from Apple as to whether there’s any plans to offer the connector here. [Apple via Macrumors]