Leading mobile phone makers on Tuesday had good news for anyone with a cupboard full of old phone chargers: the industry plans to standardise the device to make a one-size-fits-all.
In a move set to reduce waste and increase convenience, 17 leading handset makers and operators including Nokia, Samsung and Motorola said they would move towards adopting a small USB charger as the standard across all models.
"The group has set an ambitious target that by 2012 a universal charging solution will be widely available in the market worldwide," said a statement from industry body the GSM Association.
Currently, each mobile phone-maker has its own charger design, sometimes using several different ones across its range of models, which increases replacement costs for users and leads to piles of unwanted cables.
The manufacturers had been under pressure from the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, which had threatened to legislate unless the industry came up with its own solution.
"We have not officially been told, but if the industry confirms it, we would welcome it," said a spokesman for EU Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen in Brussels.
The GSMA also stressed the environmental advantages of the new standard, saying the new charger would be more energy efficient and would reduce waste from unwanted or obsolete chargers.
"A universal charger will also make life much simpler for the consumer, who will be able to use the same charger for future handsets, as well as being able to charge their mobile phone anywhere from any available charger," it said in a statement.
The GSMA listed the leading groups in its initiative as 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.