United Nations Approves MicroUSB Universal Phone Charger Standard

Illustration for article titled United Nations Approves MicroUSB Universal Phone Charger Standard

The International Telecommunication Union, a branch of the UN, has decided on a standard for phone chargers that should finally cut down on a huge chunk of unnecessary e-waste. It's about time.

It looks like the Universal Charging Solution (UCS) has some pretty broad support, from handset manufacturers like LG, Motorola and Samsung to carriers including AT&T and T-Mobile. No word on whether the standard will match the one the GSM Association has been working on, but they're both rallying around MicroUSB, so we'll call it likely for now.

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What's sad to me is that, according to the source, this standard could save 51,000 tons of waste if it were in place today. Considering all phone chargers do exactly the same thing, it's pretty ridiculous there wasn't a standard in place before.

Participating carriers and handset makers should fully adopt the UCS by 2012. Hopefully America hops on board before then. [Reuters via Electronista]

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DISCUSSION

I have no doubt that they (all the competing companies) will find a way to screw this up. I'll just stick with my iPod and my iPhone. Works in my car, all the cables are interchangeable, etc.

The only thing this will end up helping is the phone makers, so they can sell the phone without a charger. I doubt they will lower the cost of the phone because of that, and average joe consumer will probably have to buy one with the new standard anyway, so that will be another $20 when buying a cell phone.

I don't really buy the 51,000 ton number. Like most statistics used to support a position, I suspect that very, very optimistic calculations were used. #universalchargingsolution