One mobile charger to rule them all?

By 2012 it's just got to be micro USB...

By 2012 it's just got to be micro USB...

Wireless industry association the GSMA has announced a cross-industry deal that will see universal phone chargers shipped with the majority of mobiles by 2012.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona today, GSMA CEO Rob Conway said it was long-overdue that the industry found a way to end "the scourge of proprietary chargers".

The new universal chargers will use a micro USB connector - meaning chargers can be reused for future mobiles and won't necessarily need to be automatically bundled with a new phone, cutting down the number of chargers manufactured.

The GSMA has set a target of the majority of phones shipping in 2012 to be compliant with the universal charger.

Conway said: "Over time consumers will only need to have that compliant charger to work with any new compliant handset that they buy in future."

The universal chargers will also have a four-star or higher efficiency rating, which the GSMA says is up to three times more energy-efficient than an unrated charge. It estimates the new chargers will enable a 50 per cent reduction in standby energy consumption.

Mobile makers that have signed on the universal charger line are LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, along with a raft of operators including 3, Orange, Telefonica, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Chipmaker Qualcomm is also backing the plan.

"It's all too rare to get cross-industry agreement," Conway added.