Possibly the most interesting news so far to come out of the Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona this week is that there seems to be clear agreement among mobile operators and equipment manufacturers to develop and bring to market a universal mobile phone charger.
Imagine: a tool to charge your phone that will fit any future phone on the market. You know whatâ€™s it like right now, donâ€™t you? If you have, say, three phones from different manufacturers, youâ€™ll have three different chargers. And thereâ€™s quite a market for chargers!
So this idea, led by the mobile industry body the GSM Association (GSMA), brings together 17 leading mobile operators and manufacturers with a commitment to a universal device:
[â€¦] 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 per cent reduction in standby energy consumption, the potential elimination of up to 51,000 tonnes of duplicate chargers1 and the enhancement of the customer experience by simplifying the charging of mobile phones. The group has set an ambitious 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.
[â€¦] 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, TelefÃ³nica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone â€“ 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.
Micro-USB is a connector that you see increasingly on mobile devices. The only major mobile device that I can see being a bit of a stick-in-the-mud in the iPhone as that has a proprietary interface. At least, current models do.
The environmental-benefit aspect of the GSMAâ€™s initiative is terrific. That plus the user convenience angle, appealing to individualsâ€™ self interest, makes a powerful communication combination.
A great initiative, one that I hope does come to fruition.
Read the details in the GSMAâ€™s press release.