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China implements universal cellphone charger

Posted: 05 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:universal cellphone charger? cellphone charger standard? universal battery charger?

China is enforcing a compulsory universal cellphone charger standard starting this month. Some see it as a benefit, while others complain it will add cost and hassle the supply chain.

All cellphones designed after June 14 must adopt the universal charger interface, based on USB, or they will not be approved for sale in China, according to the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), which is responsible for enforcing the rule.

The goal of this ruling is to reduce the number of chargers that are thrown away each year due ot cellphone upgrades. Nearly 100 million cellphones are replaced every year in China, according to MII.

Several companies have already designed compliant phones. Local companies like Bird, Lenovo Mobile and Konka say the use of one charger will save costs on design interfaces, assuming that products for the local and export markets are separate.

However, some foreign companies may find the new standard inconvenient because they often ship the same model to different countries, said Yuxin Yang, an analyst with Beijing-based BDA China, a telecom consultancy. "The cost will rise if they redesign the models sold worldwide just for China," Yang said.

Motorola Inc. and Sony-Ericsson said they will have new models with universal chargers coming later this year. Nokia also intends to have models that comply.

- Mike Clendenin
EE Times

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