In a welcome move from the European Regulatory body, they’ve asked all mobile manufacturers for standardization on the micro-USB sockets for charging smart phones. This will do away with proprietary charging sockets on all smart phones. Major manufacturers like Nokia, RIM, Apple, Samsung and Motorola have signed an MOU agreeing to this proposal and should roll this standard out on mobiles sold in Europe early 2011.
We just hope this becomes a worldwide move, eliminating the need to have a custom charger for each phone you buy, in turn reducing the disposal of older chargers which you can reuse for your new devices.
Read the press release here:
European Commission welcomes new EU standards for common mobile phone charger
The new standards were unveiled by the European Standardization Bodies CEN-CENELEC after a mandate from the European Commission which initiated a process towards a global common mobile phone charger.
“I am very happy that the European Standardization Bodies have met our request to develop within a short space of time the technical standards necessary for a common mobile phone charger based on the work done by industry,” said European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani.
In June 2009, the Commission and 14 mobile phone producers agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding to harmonize chargers for data-enabled mobile phones sold in the EU. The chargers will be compatible on the basis of the Micro-USB connector.
The companies that signed the MoU were Apple, Emblaze Mobile, Huawei Technologies, LGE, Motorola Mobility, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research In Motion (RIM), Samsung, Sony Ericsson, TCT Mobile (ALCATEL), Texas Instruments and Atmel.
The harmonization is needed as incompatibility of chargers is both an inconvenience for users and an environmental problem. As users replace their current mobile phones, usually a new charger is needed which provokes the disposal of the old one.
“The common charger will make life easier for consumers, reduce waste and benefit businesses. It is a true win-win situation,” added Tajani who is also Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship.
The mandate to the European Standardization organizations was issued on December 2009. It requested the development of European standards for a common charger that allow interoperability of phones from different brands.
The standards also take into account safety risks and electro-magnetic emissions in order to ensure that common chargers have sufficient immunity to external interference. The first common chargers are expected to reach the EU market in the first quarter of 2011.