All change for mobile chargers


The days of searching the office and harrassing your colleagues for a charger that fits your failing mobile phone may be over, with plans to make all of the devices the same.

After years of phone companies making differing charger sizes, the industry’s top names have agreed to back an EU-wide harmonisation, the European Commission said today.

The move is seen as good news for consumers and the environment, allowing mobile phone users to swap chargers and keep their old ones regardless of who they buy their phone off.

The agreement by Nokia, Sony Ericsson and other industry majors will mean that telephones compatible with standard charging devices are available in Europe from next year, said the EU executive, which has pushed for such a deal.

"I am very pleased that industry has found an agreement, which will make life much simpler for consumers,” said EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen.

“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.”

Mr Verheugen estimating that unwanted phone accessories accounted for thousands of tonnes of waste in Europe each year.

The Commission said the agreement would involve the creation of an EU norm, and that the new generation of mobile phones would use a standard micro-USB socket to ensure compatibility.

Motorola, Apple, LG, NEC, Qualcomm, Research in Motion, Samsung and Texas Instruments have also signed the agreement, the Commission said.