Barcelona: Leading mobile phone manufacturers announced on Tuesday they had agreed to produce a standardised charger for the industry in a move set to save money for consumers and reduce waste.
Currently, each mobile phone maker has its own charger design, sometimes using several across different models, which increases replacement costs for users and leads to unwanted cables when a consumer swaps brands.
In a small move set to make this aspect of modern life easier, industry body the GSM Association said on Tuesday that leading manufacturers had agreed to link up to resolve the problem.
“This is a broad agreement that will move the industry to a single, energy-efficient charger for all mobile phones,” said Michael O’Hara, marketing director for the GSMA.
The standard shape to be adopted by more than 20 manufacturers including Nokia, Motorola and Samsung is to be mini USB. The new charger will also be more energy efficient than current offerings, the GSMA said.
“The target is that the majority of mobile phones shipped by 2012 will support this new interface,” added O’Hara.
Manufacturers had been under pressure from the European Commission to produce a standardised charger.
EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen told German radio station Deutsche Welle last week that with over 30 different kinds of charger in use across the 27-nation European Union, his “patience is now at an end,” according to local reports.
Introducing a one-size-fits-all charger might help the firms to cut costs since new handsets would no longer necessarily need to be sold with a charger in the future.
But the manufacturers will lose the revenues they currently make from replacements of lost or broken chargers.