AUPS Lauds Adoption of Micro USB Standard AC Adapter As Promoting Energy Savings, eWaste Reduction

SAN FRANCISCO,Calif. – The Alliance for Universal Power Supplies, an umbrella organization dedicated to fostering industry-wide standards for universal AC to DC power, hailed the GSM Association’s recent move to standardize mobile phone chargers, calling it “a major step toward smart, environmentally responsible consumer electronics manufacturing.”

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, 17 wireless operators and handset makers agreed to adopt a common Micro USB-based AC adapter by 2012 for most cell phones. Chargers will be reusable and interchangeable among manufacturers, and will work with future handsets. According to the GSMA, discarded chargers account for upwards of 51,000 tons of waste annually. Participating GSMA members include AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria , Motorola, Nokia, Orange , Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile, and Vodafone.

The non-profit AUPS organization was founded in 2007 by Green Plug, Inc., a leading proponent of the move toward open systems power solutions. AUPS is comprised of a diverse group of organizations, including consumer electronics manufacturers; ASIC and power supply power firms; energy and waste management companies; various government agencies; equipment and tools manufacturers serving the automotive and aircraft industries; residential and commercial builders; cable and telephone companies; and the hospitality sector. Through development of industry standards, AUPS members seek to enable their products and services to be universally compatible and eco-friendly. AUPS focuses on multiport, reusable and efficient developments that ensure interoperability and encourage innovation and market growth.

“The GSMA announcement validates our belief that the world needs to stop making unnecessary parts like disposable, device-specific power adapters,” said David Canny, AUPS chair. “GSMA’s ‘Universal Charging Solution’ is aimed at reducing standby energy consumption and the production of duplicate phone chargers. We’re working to extend this universal, reusable power adapter concept to all electronic devices, not only 5V cell phones. The consumer electronics industry’s mantra needs to be, ‘One Adapter.’ The GSMA has set an outstanding example of what needs to be done. It’s a major step toward smart, environmentally responsible consumer electronics manufacturing.””

"The mobile industry has a pivotal role to play in tackling environmental issues and this program is an important step that could lead to huge savings in resources, not to mention convenience for consumers," GSMA CEO Rob Conway said last week. "There is enormous potential in mobile to help people live and work in an eco-friendly way and with the backing of some or the biggest names in the industry, this initiative will lead the way."

In the past decade alone, the consumer electronics industry has developed and sold billions of devices that require AC to DC power supplies. Because every new CE device comes with a charger, some 3.2 billion power supplies were designed and shipped in 2008 alone. And because every electronic product has a unique voltage and current requirement, many incompatible power supplies must be designed, produced, packaged, shipped and discarded unnecessarily. By making power supplies universal and reusable through digital collaboration, manufacturers can eliminate costs, consumers enjoy the convenience of powering any product with any power supply, and significant reductions in solid waste can be achieved.

AUPS ( is an organization that supports and will set industry-wide standards for the development and adoption of universal AC to DC power supplies. AUPS promotes and develops timely, relevant standards for the power supply industry, ensuring interoperability and encouraging innovation and market growth. AUPS, positioned as a true public private partnership, is poised to become one of the leading standards organizations in the electronics industry.

Ken Greenberg, Edge Communications, Inc.