Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Universal charger for phones plan

Cables
There are dozens of different cable chargers for phones

The world's biggest mobile phone makers and network operators have backed plans to create a universal phone recharger.

Most manufacturers now produce chargers which work only with their own devices.

The re-charger will consume 50% less stand-by energy than today's models, the GSM Association (GSMA), an umbrella group for the industry, said.

Firms to back the plan include Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, T-Mobile, Orange, 3, AT&T and Vodafone.

The majority of new handsets will support the re-charger by 2012.

"This is a broad agreement that will move the industry to a single, energy-efficient charger for all mobile phones," said Michael O'Hara, marketing director for the GSMA.

In a statement, Mitti Storckovius, director of environment, devices at Nokia said: "By supporting this industry initiative on common charging solutions, and enabling consumers to choose if they need a charger with every new device or can re-use existing ones, we can contribute further in improving the industry's environmental footprint."

The micro-USB connector will be used as the common charging interface.

Manufacturers had been under pressure from the European Commission to produce a standardised charger.

EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen told German radio station Deutsche Welle last week that there were more than 30 different kinds of charger in use across the 27-nation European Union.

The GSMA estimates the new charger will mean the potential elimination of up to 51,000 tonnes of duplicate chargers.



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