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Universal phone chargers on way

A universal charger for all smartphones is to be introduced within the next year as the European Parliament makes a historic vote.

Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly welcomed yesterday's news, telling the Herald that chargers will now be cheaper for people and there will be a lot less hassle for phone users as a result.

"It'll reduce costs because they can now be made in bulk so chargers will be cheaper to make therefore bringing the price down," explained the MEP.

"It also shows that the EU can work for people and it follows the work on the eradication of roaming fees in Europe," he said.

"The next step is to now sit down with mobile phone producers and agree a date for the plan to be implemented. I think it will come in the next year or two," said the MEP.

The new law will also extend to tablets and is set to save European consumers €300m a year.

Member countries of the European Union will have a two year term to internalise the legislation, while manufacturers will have an additional year to comply. Most manufacturers have already established a micro USB as their standing charging and data port but smart device giant Apple have yet to follow suit.

"We will see an end to the forest of cables and the constant frustration of mismatching plugs with this vote, which is a welcome solution for consumer," said Mr Kelly who is Fine Gael's spokesman on consumer affairs in Europe.

Mr Kelly has campaigned on the issue since 2009.