The GSM Association has announced that numerous mobile phone manufacturers have agreed to produce and utilise a standardised mini-USB charger for their various mobile devices.
The announcement, made at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, states that 17 manufacturers including the likes of Nokia, Samsung and Motorola have pledged to adopt a mini-USB connection as seen on existing devices such as the BlackBerry Storm.
At present, many mobile phone makers utilise custom charger designs that are often incompatible with other devices. In an effort to lower costs and reduce waste, manufacturers are being urged to adopt the new standard despite the fact that it'll impact on revenue generated by lost or broken chargers.
EU officials have long lambasted the use of custom chargers, and today's announcement will be welcomed by consumers and environmentalists alike. The GSMA states that handsets that rely on the standardised charger should arrive later this year, and the majority of mobile phones should support the universal charger by 2012. Expanding on its green-saving credentials, it adds that the new charger could consume up to 50 per cent less power, too.
In the years that follow, we'd expect a large number of handsets to be sold without a bundled charger, encouraging users to utilise existing mini-USB chargers from previous devices. More importantly, it should, in theory, result in a large number of handsets that are able to charge when connected to a PC's USB socket.