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Universal chargers promised.. for 2012.

 Teddy Bear with chargers 18th February 2009

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This week, many major manufacturers and operators along with the GSM Association (GSMA) got together to declare a Universal Charging Solution (UCS). Not only is this designed to eliminate the mass of different chargers for different phones, but also to drive towards more energy efficiency in the chargers themselves.

These new UCS chargers will be based on a micro USB connector, a feature that many phones already have. So, not only will this standardise on chargers, but at long last it should mean that all phones can be charged from a PC USB port.

The GSMA says that this initiative could reduce the numbers of chargers being made by about 50%, because when people upgrade their phones, they can simply keep the old charger. It also means that you are much more likely to find someone with a compatible charger if you haven't brought yours with you on a trip.

One potential drawback for manufacturers is the impact on brand loyalty. If you own a Nokia phone, then one advantage of buying another Nokia phone is that you can usually use the old charger as a spare. But on the other hand, any manufacturers who don't sign up to UCS will be at a disadvantage.

The GSMA say that members include Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, Motorola, Telefónica, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and 3. Many other operators and manufacturers are also involved.

Despite these good intentions, the people behind the UCS scheme pledge only to have a majority of new handsets with UCS by 1st January 2012. We can see no reason why it should take so long, surely this kind of thing is achievable by 1st January 2010?

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