Europe Approves Universal Cell Phone Charger

by , 10/29/09

phone chargers, sustainable design, green design, clean tech, international telecommunication union, universal phone charger

If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve got a pile of chargers left over from retired cell phones. You can’t use them with your new phone, but finding an innovative way of recycling the tangled up mass of wires can be difficult — quite the ecophile’s conundrum. Luckily, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) aims to revolutionize the cell phone industry. The UN group recently unveiled its Universal Charging Solution, a charger that can be used in all future cell phone makes and models — as long as cell phone companies comply.

phone chargers, sustainable design, green design, clean tech, international telecommunication union, universal phone charger

GSMA, a group that represents the worldwide mobile communications industry, helped design the universal charger, which features a micro USB connector. In addition to making things easier for consumers, the Universal Charging Solution could provide some serious environmental benefits. For one, it will dramatically decrease the number of chargers produced, shipped and discarded, preventing all that waste from winding up in landfills. The new solution is expected to eliminate about 51,000 redundant chargers. Plus, the chargers will reduce phones’ standby energy consumption by 50 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 13.6 million tons every year.

While the ITU won’t mandate that cell phone companies use the chargers, the GSMA has already seen significant interest from major players in the mobile phone market. Companies like LG, AT&T, DoCoMo, Samsung, Nokia and others have already partnered with GSMA, and Sony Ericsson announced it would launch phones compatible with the Universal Charging Solution during the first half of 2010.

Bye, bye, messy mass of cell phone chargers!

+ International Telecommunication Union

Via Good magazine

phone-charger-ed01 Photo by Mike Chino

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  1. cataindia June 12, 2014 at 5:51 am

    Cata Appliances chef collection of exhaust fan features breakthrough air condition technology that clean of the environment.

  2. murraybiscuit January 12, 2010 at 7:24 am

    +1 with apple (rolleyes). what’s up with that ugly fat port on their devices?

    a step up from this would be to use universal induction chargers which would work across all small devices.
    but induction charge is pretty slow.

    now all we need is a universal plug socket standard 😉

  3. Markus Laumann December 24, 2009 at 9:45 am

    @Jluzius & @JOW

    This is actually a microUSB port so it is a standard that is compatible with your computers.

    I would’ve preferred they use a miniUSB port, which is already well established in the market, but the phone developers argued that the circuitry footprint of microUSB is much smaller and preferred since devices are getting smaller and more feature dense.

    With one microUSB cable, a wall-USB adaptor, and a car-USB adaptor, you should be set for the foreseeable future. Now if only Apple would support microUSB instead of their proprietary connector…

  4. JOW November 28, 2009 at 4:30 am

    @sacrifice333: I think the USB-standard might have too low power to recharge a cellphone as fast as a dedicated charger?

  5. Jluzius November 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    this is a stupid idea because we already have the USB why not use that for charging cell phones we use it for everything else?

  6. LeahTaylor November 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    You mention the universal charger is expected to eliminate about “51,000 redundant chargers”, but I believe the GSMA is saying it will eliminate 51,000 metric tons of redundant chargers.

  7. chelseanicole October 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    I have been waiting for a company to do this for years now! I hope all cell phone companies comply it would really reduce throwing away old phone chargers!

  8. sacrifice333 October 29, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Great… but why they wouldn’t have used the mini-USB standard or something that’s already quite universal is beyond me.

  9. jmg62699 October 29, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Yay, yay, yay! I always include the charger when I sell or give away my old phones, but I hate having to buy a new charger every time I upgrade my phone. I’ll have to watch out for this and make sure I don’t buy a phone unless it’s compatible with the universal charger.

  10. trvnwright8563 October 29, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Wow This is very practical. it is about time they came up with this…

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