Micro USB will become the standardised connection for future mobile phone chargers, according to an announcement made at the Mobile World Congress (WMC) in Barcelona.
Seventeen mobile manufacturers and networks have signed up to the agreement, including Motorola, Samsung and Nokia, whose handsets currently all have different charging sockets.
The reasons given for the standardisation are reducing costs for consumers, and reducing waste, as buying a new mobile phone often means discarding your old charger. The chargers are also likely to be more energy efficient than current models.
The GSM Association, an industry body, said ‘This is a broad agreement that will move the industry to a single energy-efficient charger for all mobile phones. The target is that the majority of mobile phones shipped by 2012 will support this new interface.’
Wireless mobile phone chargers
Which? technology expert Al Warman said: ‘Don’t throw away your drawer full of chargers just yet. Considering there are currently around 30 different shaped charging sockets, this is a welcome announcement, but still a few years before it becomes a reality.
‘By 2012 other technologies may have become available, such as the wireless Powermat charger that was showcased at CES 2009’.
There are already many universal charging devices on the market which come with a variety of charging ‘tips’ to fit portable devices including mobile phones, iPods, games consoles, and laptops.
Which? also reported in November 2008 on an industry-wide scheme to give energy ratings to mobile phone chargers, in a bid to save wasted energy.
And at the WMC this year there have been other products flaunting their green credentials including Samsung’s Blue Earth mobile – heralded as the world’s first solar-powered phone.
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