micro-usb_and_usb.jpg

micro-usb_and_usb.jpgIsn’t
it a hassle digging through a small mountain of old phone chargers in a
search for the one that charges the phone you’ve got this week? Yes. So
the phone giants have pledged to make a universal charger, which will
work on any model of phone.

Ten companies, including
Nokia, Apple, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, have signed up to use the
charger, which will use a micro-USB connector.

It’s a
response to the European Commission, who asked the companies to cut
down on waste – according to them, unused chargers make up thousands of
tonnes of electronic waste a year, and the EC was threatening
legislation unless the phone bods reached a voluntary deal.

Günter
Verheugen, the EU industry commissioner, was pleased with the result.
"[Customers] 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 said.

Talks between commission
officials and manufacturers culminated in the catchily-titled
"Memorandum of Understanding", which says that the first generation of
"inter-chargeable" mobiles will reach the EU next year. It also pledges
that future, more advanced versions of the universal charger will
increase energy efficiency.

The new charger will,
unfortunately, only work with data-enabled phones, but most models
bought from next year onwards should be compatible.