International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

News release – 2011 Number 03

One size-fits-all mobile phone charger:
IEC publishes first globally relevant standard

IEC International Standard for universal phone charger


London, UK, 2011-02-01 IEC, the international standards and conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology, announces today the publication of the first globally relevant universal phone charger standard for data-enabled mobile telephones..


Universal charger

This new IEC International Standard covers all aspects of the charger, connector and plug, as well as safety, interoperability and environmental considerations.


According to the GSMA [1] about 51 000 tonnes of redundant chargers are manufactured each year. This new standard opens the way to a significant reduction of mobile phone-related electronic waste and, when widely adopted by industry, will allow consumers to use a single one-fits-all charger with all new smartphones. Manufacturers will be able to achieve cost-savings in production, packaging and shipping, since they will no longer need to provide a charger with each phone. This may also positively impact end-consumer prices and will reduce the overall CO2 footprint of this industry, potentially cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 13.6 million tonnes [2] per year.


IEC General Secretary and CEO Ronnie Amit said, “We all have drawers full of chargers that became obsolete as soon as we buy a new phone. Today, we have a truly operational global standard that will allow the industry to end this waste and significantly reduce environmental impact. This is something millions of consumers have been waiting for. I am proud that the IEC has managed to get the best possible technical solution in record time to the market.”


The IEC International Standard IEC 62684, Interoperability specifications of common external power supply (EPS) for use with data-enabled mobile telephones has been accepted by the National Committees participating in IEC TC (Technical Committee) 100: Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment.


The heart of the standard is based on the micro USB plug specifications issued by the USB-IF (Implementers Forum), with which the IEC has recently signed an agreement.

Amit commented, “We are happy to have brought the USB-IF into the fold. USB technology already enjoys wide acceptance both by consumers and the industry and it is likely to enrich many future IEC International Standards.”
The new IEC International Standard comprises input from all relevant sources, including the work developed by CENELEC and ITU-T, with which the IEC has a long-standing cooperation agreement. Since USB technology is well accepted globally, it made sense for it to be included in the standard, which was also based on specifications by more than a dozen phone makers. Those include Apple, Nokia, Research in Motion, Emblaze Mobile, Huawei Technologies, LGE, Motorola Mobility, NEC, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, TCT Mobile (ALCATEL), Texas Instruments and Atmel, all of which have signed an MoU with the European Commission.


The new IEC International Standard now opens this opportunity to manufacturers and consumers around the world.


[1] GSM Association – The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry.

[2] GSM Association -