It’s about time.

And, ultimately, it’s about the environment.

Major cell phone makers meeting in Barcelona, Spain, this week proposed a new ‘standard’ for their industry: ‘One-size-fits-all’ chargers.

For every dead or retired cell phone, there’s a retired charger. That adds up to a lot of digital junk which usually ends up in a landfill somewhere.

“The group has set an ambitious target that, by 2012, a universal charging solution will be widely available in the market worldwide,” the GSM Association said, in a statement.

But the move to standardised chargers is not entirely altrusitic. In fact, the Association emphasizes the benefits to the industry.

Each cell phone manufacturer currently uses its own charger designs and supports multiple charger designs across its range of handset models. A universal charger design will make it much easier and much less expensive for manufacturers to deal with new product and replacement part inventories. Thoiugh not specifically stated, standardization could make cell phone chargers less expensive.

“A universal charger will also make life much simpler for the consumer, who will be able to use the same charger for future handsets, as well as being able to charge their mobile phone anywhere from any available charger,” the GSMA noted.

No word, yet, when ‘standard’ chargers will start to arrive with new cell phone handsets.

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