Cell-Phone Makers Settle on One-Size-Fits-All Charger

The world's biggest mobile phone makers announced a deal Monday agreeing to a universal standard phone charger that will work on millions of handsets made by different manufacturers.

Until now, phone makers have included a charger with every new handset, often with each charger only working on one type of device.

Beginning next year, everything from the iPhone and the BlackBerry to phones made by Nokia and Sony Ericsson will be made to work with a single charger that will work across many different brands of phone.

Ten companies, including Apple, Motorola and Samsung, have pledged to start making phones that can be charged using a single charger in 2010. For phones sold in Europe, the manufacturers will adopt the micro USB connector across all their devices, already the standard on handsets such as the BlackBerry.

"It's a small thing, but a big issue for the consumer," said Ernest Doku, an analyst for mobile phone comparison site, Omio.com. "It was simply a foolish situation. But phone makers wanted to have their own technology for each phone to be stay a step ahead. It's good for the manufacturers to swallow their pride, as this will be for the end user's benefit."

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