Mobile phone users in the European Union will soon have universal chargers for many of their devices. According to an article by Don Reisinger, CNET.com, “DigitalEurope, the continent’s largest digital tech organization, has delivered a sample of a universal mobile phone charger to European Commission vice president Antonio Tajani. The EU said that the sample now paves the way for consumers to get their hands on devices that support the universal charger in the very near future.”
Europe Will Soon See Universal Cell Phone Chargers
“I welcome the rollout of new chargers for mobile phones based on the new EU standard,” Tajani said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “This is genuine good news for the European consumer. Now we await the arrival of the new charger and compatible mobile phones on the shelves.”
14 companies have signed a memorandum of understanding with the EU to make their devices compatible with the standard. That standard requires participating companies to use Micro-USB connectivity or an adapter if their phones don’t support that interface. Motorola Mobility, Nokia, Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and several other companies signed on. Perhaps most surprisingly, Apple also agreed to make its devices compatible with the standard.
Reducing electronic waste is the impetus behind the standardization. How many of us have a drawer full of useless chargers for our old phones? Having a universal charger for a whole bunch of electronic devices only makes sense. The trend must already be taking hold in the States, because luckily my Droid X and my Noisehush Bluetooth mobile headset both use the micro USB chargers. Since they both came with a wall charger, I have a spare that I keep in my suitcase for traveling. My car charger will work with both. Even my Amazon Kindle uses a micro USB charger. This definitely simplifies my life.
Vendors can use this as a cost cutting factor. According to Don Reisinger’s article, he believes that many mobile phone manufacturers will follow what the printer manufacturers have been doing for years. Most new printers don’t come with a USB cable. You must either use your old one, or buy a new one. You can imagine that this saves the manufacturers a bundle. Mobile phone manufacturers will be able to do the same once everyone is on the same page. If the micro USB charger is adopted by all, you will most likely see the cable being an option to be purchased.
Let’s give kudos for this standardization. It’s about time!