By Mark Sutton
Mobile phone and chipset manufacturers agree on Micro-USB as standard charger to cut waste
Ten mobile phone and chipset manufacturers have agreed to standardize on a single, interchangeable charger type for handsets, to reduce waste and make life easier for mobile users.
The ten companies, Apple, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research in Motion (RIM), Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Texas Instruments and Ericsson have all signed an MOU to introduce the single standard across Europe, starting from next year.
The agreement, which was driven by the European Commission, will makes the Micro-USB connection the standard charger interface, allowing users to charge compliant mobile phones from any standard charging device.
The Micro-USB connector is already in use with some manufacturer’s handsets, with the first generation of ‘inter-chargeable’ data-enabled phones expected in 2010.
The Commission had estimated that discarded mobile phone chargers account for several thousand tons of waste per year. By introducing a single standard, waste will be reduced, and
Günter Verheugen, Commission vice-president responsible for enterprise and industrial policy, said: “I am very pleased that industry has found an agreement, which will make life much simpler for consumers. They will be able to charge mobile phones anywhere from the new common charger. This also means considerably less electronic waste, because people will no longer have to throw away chargers when buying new phones. I am also very pleased that this solution was found on the basis of self-regulation. As a result, the Commission does not consider it necessary to introduce legislation.”