The GSMA and 17 mobile operators and manufacturers today announced that they are committed to implementing a cross-industry standard for a universal charger for new mobile phones. The aim of the initiative, led by the GSMA, is to ensure that the mobile industry adopts a common format for mobile phone charger connections and energy-efficient chargers resulting in an estimated 50% reduction in standby energy consumption, the potential elimination of up to 51,000 tons of duplicate chargers and the enhancement of the customer experience by simplifying the charging of mobile phones.
The group has set a target that by 2012 a universal charging solution (UCS) will be widely available in the market worldwide and will use Micro-USB as the common universal charging interface. The group agreed that by January 1, 2012, the majority of all new mobile phone models available will support a universal charging connector and the majority of chargers shipped will meet the high efficiency targets set out by the OMTP (Open Mobile Terminal Platform), the industry body who developed the technical requirements behind UCS.
“The mobile industry has a pivotal role to play in tackling environmental issues and this programme is an important step that could lead to huge savings in resources, not to mention convenience for consumers,” said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA, in the press release. “There is enormous potential in mobile to help people live and work in an eco-friendly way and with the backing of some or the biggest names in the industry, this initiative will lead the way.”
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. UCS chargers will also include a 4-star or higher efficiency rating, which is up to three times more energy-efficient than an unrated charger. Furthermore, with potentially 50% less chargers being manufactured each year, the industry can expect to reduce greenhouse gases in manufacturing and transporting replacement chargers by 13.6 to 21.8 million tonnes a year. To ensure the uptake of a universal charging solution, the operators and manufacturers who have partnered with the GSMA to launch this initiative are working alongside the OMTP to roll-out the new solution in order to meet the targets set for 2012. The initiative will also work with the wider operator and manufacturing communities to secure global participation and commitment as well as educate the industry and promote the benefits of a universal charger via a targeted marketing campaign.
The initial group of companies who have joined the GSMA’s UCS initiative include 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone – some of the world’s largest mobile operators and manufacturers who together are committed to making a universal charging solution a reality up to 2012 and beyond.
MacDailyNews Take: Thanks to Apple, life is already much simpler for us. Don’t worry, Apple’s dock connector seems like it’s here to stay.