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EU, phone makers agree on single charger

EU, phone makers agree on single charger

No more asking around the office for the right sort of charger. At least that's what European Union and mobile phone officials are hoping.
Ten of the world's leading mobile phone makers announced Monday that they will introduce a universal charger for data-enabled handsets as of next year.
EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen said selling a single, standard charger will cut costs for manufacturers and reduce the number of chargers thrown away when consumers buy new phones.
Verheugen and industry representatives signed a voluntary accord that will ensure the introduction of the new charger sometime next year.
"I am very pleased that industry has found an agreement, which will make life much simpler for consumers," Verheugen told reporters. "They will be able to charge mobile phones anywhere from the new common charger."
Under the accord, the companies, including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Apple, Motorola, Research in Motion and Samsung, committed to developing the universal charger which will work for data-enabled cell phones that support USB data exchange.
Verheugen said Monday's agreement will cover 90 percent of the handset market in Europe, but he also wants to see the common charger expand in the years ahead to cover other phones, existing phones, cameras and laptops.
Some companies were initially reluctant to introduce such a charger, fearing that this could make it easier for customers to switch to a new brand instead of staying loyal to their existing accessories.
Some 400 million cell phones are sold every year across the 27-nation bloc.
Bridget Cosgrove, director general of DigitalEurope, which represents digital technology associations and companies that do business in Europe, said her group is "optimistic" other countries and regions across the world will adopt the same universal charger soon.
"This is something we will be working for," she said. "All the 10 companies are committed."
Consumer rights groups, however, called for more ambitious plans.
"You could have extended this to different small appliances, such as MP3 players, small digital cameras and PDAs," said Gabriele Fleischer from the Consumers' Council in Berlin. She said it was also important that all mobile phone producers join the agreement.
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Associated Press Writer Barbara Schaeder contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-04-13 07:32 GMT+08:00