A universal charger is a battery charger that can be used across multiple electronic devices. Specific universal chargers are typically meant to be used in conjunction with a one type of device such as laptops. However, when universal chargers are being discussed, conversational participants may be referring to cell phone chargers.
The GSM Association (GSMA) has begun an initiative to standardize cell phone charging. As part of the initiative, the Micro-USB interface has been chosen to be the common universal charging interface. Many phones will be built around this charging model. As a result, most phones will be compatible with a universal cell phone charger in January 2012, though some will still be shipped with manufacturer-specific chargers.
Cell phone users may enjoy the idea of universal chargers, since they do not have to rely on manufacturer-specific chargers to keep their phones functional. Universal chargers allow users to easily replace a lost or damaged cell phone charger without having to special order a charger from a manufacturer, an authorized dealer or a wireless carrier. They also simplify the cell phone buying and usage experience by not requiring that a user have detailed knowledge of phone model types or capacities. Universal chargers will simply require that a user be able to plug them into their phones and into a power source.
The reality of a universal charger for cell phones serves the interest of the consumer. Since a universal charger will be able to work across many phones, consumers will only have to buy one charger, regardless of how many cell phones he owns or plans to own in the future. As long as the universal charger is functional, it may be used across all their cell phones. This, of course, will result in consumers saving money. It may also help increase consumers' mobility, since cell phones will then be able to be charged regardless of where a cell phone owner travels.
In addition to being a cost-effective solution for cell phone users, the environment may also benefit from the ubiquity of universal chargers. Waste will be reduced due to fewer cell phone chargers having to be thrown away. Greenhouse gas emissions will be subsequently lowered since the manufacturing needs of model-specific chargers will be reduced. Power may also be conserved because universal charger power requirements will likely be lower than their predecessors.