One Charger, Many Phones: Europe’s New Cross-Industry Standard

If you’re a mobile geek, the majority of junk lying in drawers is likely made up of a vast array of mobile gadget chargers; land of the misfit and out-of-date toys.  For those of us who change handsets like shoes, over the last decade, you’ve probably thrown out or hoarded a serious number of chargers.

Battery chargers are no friend to the environment, the impact of electronic waste in our all consuming society is a growing concern … maybe more of a concern for Europeans who’ve given handset manufacturers a bit of a push in the right direction.

The European Commission has urged mobile manufacturers to come up with a standard charger that will work with most data-enabled handsets and there’s a set deadline for 2011 (in Europe). Ten lead manufacturers have already agreed to their requests including Apple, Motorola, Samsung and RIM.

If the standard goes the way of the micro-USB connector,  this means devices like the iPhone which use the 30 pin design would have to join the party. You mean I could charge my Android & iPhone with the same accessory? Yes!

There’s obviously a huge market for absent minded people who leave their chargers at home and if companies adopted the one-size-fits-all model, users stand to save some dough and be able to get a charge from any nearby accessory — a serious convenience.

It just seems logical that handset manufacturers would produce a cross-industry standard but ultimately leaving the fate of this in the hands of corporations may lead to… nothing.

As GSM World highlights, by uniting mobile handsets it will “ reduce thousands of tonnes of duplicate chargers, reduce standby energy consumption and enhance the end-user experience for mobile customers.”

The Universal Charging Solution, an initiative by GSMA,  have signed on big name partners such as AT&T, Nokia, WIND and Rogers Wireless to name a few.

Mitti Storckovius of Nokia says “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.”

Universal Charger Solution Project Timeline

( Sources: GSMworld Arstechnica ) ( Image Source: Chart via GSMworld )


  1. Matthew French says

    I have wonder for a while why all phones, PDAs and the like can’t just use a mini USB connector as the standard data and charging port. I have actually started selecting my phones based on this. That way almost where ever you are you can charge. There is usually someone with a cable that will work. I have used my laptop, PS3, etc. when I can’t find or have lost the charger. Plus while I use my smart phone with my laptop as a modem it is charging. To me its a simple answer that doesn’t need a commitee or years to implement, it should be with us already. It is infact the Nokia, Motorola, Apple, etc. whom are arriving on the smart phone scene late who are now attempting a standard, even though for years they have been using propriety connectors for power and data for years. My current smart phone even uses the USB connector as the cable headphone port. One connector all jobs, simple.

  2. QWERTYTech says

    Why not make a charger that accepts any tip like the iGo and have the tips convert to the proper voltage? Wouldn’t that just solve the issue? Or yo could go the route like Hunter is saying with Wireless Charging. I think it would be safer that way

  3. HunterDG says

    Why consolidate? Ditch the wires altogether. Wireless charging is the way to go. It’s day is very near.

  4. Bruce R. says

    I’v been wanting this idea for m-a-n-y *decades*, (yes, I’m a pretty old fella). I have 2 dresser drawers TOTALLY full ‘to the tops’ of wall chargers of all types, I save them to make projects & in case a friend needs an extra charger or two. But not only would the plug type will be important, but the voltage & correct charge rate must be matched, this is very hard for manufacturers to collaborate with, as the equipment to be charged utilizes different power & battery demands. This would be great as I always buy extra chargers for my new toys to keep home, the car, my camera case & my beach house, save me some boo-koo $$$$$. And, it shouldn’t be too hard for companies to simply *add* along side a multi-pin plug, one more small power jack for charging & operating a device to save the batteries “B”