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Universal phone charger just months away as mobile firms back micro-USB design

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Waste: A universal phone charger will be available on all new handsets within months after the EC this week released technical specs for a standard design.

The days of frantically searching for the correct mobile phone charger are finally set to end with the release of a universal charger compatible with almost all new handsets.

The European Commission this week released technical specifications for a standard charger that have been approved by the world’s 14 biggest phone manufacturers including Apple, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Blackberry maker Research In Motion.

Production on the new charger, which is a micro-USB connector, is set to begin almost immediately. It should be available in early 2011.

The move comes in response to anger from consumers who are landed with chargers with different connections for each phone bought.

The process to create a universal charger began in June 2009 when the EC reached a landmark agreement with phone manufacturers to design a suitable charger.

Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship, described the move as a ‘true win-win situation’.

He said: ‘I am very happy that the European Standardisation Bodies have met our request to develop within a short space of time the technical standards necessary for a common mobile phone charger.

‘Now it is time for industry to show its commitment to sell mobile phones for the new charger.

‘The common charger will make life easier for consumers, reduce waste, and benefit businesses. It is a true win-win situation.’

Common cable: The new charger will have a similar design to the micro-USB connection on the left.

The new Micro-USB charger will consume 50 per cent less standby energy than current models, according to the Global System For Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).

It estimates that 51,000 tons of duplicate chargers are manufactured each year and that a universal charger should eliminate this waste.

Consumers had complained that most phone charges are thrown away, creating unnecessary cost and waste. There are more than 30 different chargers in circulation in member states of the European Union, which in 2009 estimated that 51,000 are lying unused.

Jonathan Leggett, director of mobile phone comparison website Top10.com, said the move was long overdue but welcome nonetheless.

He said: ‘I think most Brits will own up to having a drawer at home stuffed full of redundant mobile phone chargers.

‘Now, wherever you go, the frustration of your mobile phone running out of juice, and not being able to get your hands on a compatible charger, will be a thing of the past.’


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2 Responses to " Universal phone charger just months away as mobile firms back micro-USB design "

  1. Jon says:

    I agree and glad if universal phone charger is produced because it will enable customers so no need to buy a phone charger that is different for each phone. In addition, with the universal phone charger can reduce the excessive waste.

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    • Jameel says:

      Thanks to the EC for takingup this matter. I hope they will follow up with the standardization of chargeable batteries for electronic gadgets. It is very frustrating to see cell phones, camera, mp3 players etc from myriad manufacturers develop their own peculiar batteries. This not only keeps the prices of batteries exhorbitan but also creates tremendous amounts of avoidable wastes.

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