Universal mobile phone charges will be on sale in Europe by next year, said the European Commission (EC) following submission of a memorandum of understanding to it by handsets manufacturers.
The idea of a univseral charger to fit all mobile phones was put forward at Mobile World Congress in February. Since, 10 manufacturers have signed up to the cause – Apple, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm
Research in Motion, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Texas Instruments.
The EC said the first generation of new inter-chargeable mobile phones, using a Micro-USB connector, should reach the EU market from 2010 onwards. It said new EU standards to ensure continued safe charger use, as well as avoidance or radio interference problems, will also be developed.
EC vice-president Gunter Verheugen, 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.
He added: “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.”
The EC requested the mobile industry solve the issue of charger incompatibility, and the attendant waste problem, or face legislation.