Two European standards bodies on Wednesday delivered standards for a universal micro USB phone charger, which will let Europeans use one charger for multiple phones.
The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) this week released charger standards for data-enable mobile phones, or phones that can be connected to a computer.
"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," European Commission vice president Antonio Tajani said in a statement. "Now it is time for industry to show its commitment to sell mobile phones for the new charger. The common charger will make life easier for consumers, reduce waste and benefit businesses. It is a true win-win situation."
The Commission expects the first common chargers and mobile phones compatible with the new standards to hit the European market in early 2011.
In June 2009, more than a dozen mobile phone makers ? including Apple, Nokia, and Research in Motion ? agreed to standardize on the micro USB plug in Europe. It received the backing of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in October 2009. The European Commission then handed down a mandate in December 2009 requiring CENELEC and ETSI to deliver common charger standards. The groups have now delivered on that requirement.
Other companies that joined the agreement were Emblaze Mobile, Huawei Technologies, LGE, Motorola Mobility, NEC, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, TCT Mobile (ALCATEL), Texas Instruments, and Atmel.
In a statement, the Commission said incompatible chargers are not only an inconvenience for customers, but also an environmental concern. "Users who want to change their mobile phones must usually acquire a new charger and dispose of the old one, even if it is in good condition," the Commission said.