Incompatibility of chargers for mobile phones is a major inconvenience for users and also leads to unnecessary waste. Earlier this year mobile phone makers as well as developers of mobile technologies agreed to unify chargers for mobile phones. However, the European Commission has also requested industry to come forward with a voluntary commitment to solve this problem so as to avoid legislation.
On Monday the EC said that major producers of mobile phones have agreed to harmonize chargers in the EU. In a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”), which was submitted to the Commission today, the industry commits to provide chargers compatibility on the basis of the micro-USB connector. In addition new EU standards to ensure continued safe charger use will be developed to facilitate the implementation of the MoU. The first generation of new inter-chargeable mobile phones should reach the EU market from 2010 onwards.
The memorandum has been signed Apple, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research in Motion (RIM), Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Texas Instruments.
"I am very pleased that industry has found an agreement, which will make life much simpler for consumers . 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. I am also very pleased that this solution was found on the basis of self-regulation. As a result, the Commission does not consider it necessary to introduce legislation," said vice-president Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industrial policy,
The MoU will be accompanied by a new EU standard. With the new standard, safe use of new mobile phones as well as avoidance of radio interference problems will be guaranteed. The European Commission continues to work closely with industry to ensure that the MoU will be operational quickly.