E.U. Agrees To Universal Standard For Phone Chargers

Ugh, next time those snooty Europeans come over to blanket us with their Euro-gold, they’ll have one more reason to be all smug and superior: ten of the world’s largest telecoms have agreed to make a universal phone charger that can charge any phone sold in the European Union.

“People will not have to throw away their charger whenever they buy a new phone,” said EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, estimating that unwanted phone accessories accounted for thousands of tonnes of waste in Europe each year.

The Commission said the agreement would involve the creation of an EU norm, and that the new generation of mobile phones would use a standard micro-USB socket to ensure compatibility.

So this is what happens when a consumer-minded regulator forces large companies to do the people’s work.

At first, new phones will come bundled with the universal charger, but eventually they will be sold separately. If we’re lucky and patient, the universal charger will hopefully bleed its way into the American market.

Telecom firms back standard phone charger in Europe [Reuters]
(Photo: Iain Farrell)