In what looks to be an effort to reduce the tons of e-waste accumulated each year, the European Union put its foot down on the issue regarding uniform cell phone
chargers. For quite some time, manufacturers have opted to use their own proprietary chargers, thus quarantining consumers to a limited variety if they're looking to replace an existing one or adding another. Luckily for the EU, there will soon be a one-size-fits-all charger
starting next year which will ultimately reduce the amount of electronic waste – which would naturally be seen as a good thing to all consumers alike. You can simply borrow another charger from a friend without the worry of it being incompatible to your own specific smartphone. EU spokesman Dennis Abbot said, “How cool is that? This will make a lot of people extremely happy.” This isn't just an isolated thing going on between a few manufacturers, instead, companies like Apple, Emblaze Mobile, Huawei Technologies, LGE, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, RIM, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, TCT Mobile, and Texas Instruments are all in this. From the looks of it all, this will only affect data-enable phones for right now – meaning the ones that are able to swap photos, files, and music with a computer through a USB port. Even in the last 6 months, we've been seeing a rash of handsets relying on microUSB ports for their charging/data connection, but it's nice to see that USB charging will be the way to go for the majority of future handsets in the EU.
source: Business Week