The GSMA’s goal of having a standardized charging solution for mobile phones is becoming a reality much sooner than expected. Well, it's not exactly across the globe, but Europe is a pretty good place to start.
Reuters reports that the European Commission has announced that major mobile phone manufacturers have agreed to use the micro-USB port as a universal charging solution for their products in Europe which will take effect in 2010. To be more exact, these companies are Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Apple, RIM, NEC, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. This more or less covers the majority of mobile phone brands in Europe and even across the globe. This new agreement between the various companies involved will lead to the creation of a new EU norm wherein next generation handsets and chargers will make use of a standard micro-USB socket as a charging port to ensure compatibility across the different brands. In turn, this will help lessen the tons of waste collected as a result of discarded mobile phone chargers due to incompatibility issues.
Unfortunately, as good as it sounds, there's a bit of a silver lining to this. This will only affect data-enabled handsets. Basic mobile phones aren’t covered by this new mandate. Nonetheless, this is a very good start and should serve as an example for other countries as well as the companies themselves to adopt internationally in order to promote a more environment-friendly industry.