EU mobile devices will be forced to use common charger

New rules for radio devices are also approved

European Union politicians have vowed to end the "nightmare" of non-compatible phone chargers.

The European Parliament on Thursday gave its approval to introduce new common charger for rules for mobile phones and other portable devices such as tablets, digital cameras and music players.

"The current incompatibility of chargers is a nightmare and a real inconvenience for consumers. This new directive ends this nightmare and is also good news for the environment as it will result in a reduction of electronic waste," said European parliament negotiator Barbara Weiler in a statement.

The majority of mobile phones distributed in the EU already use a standard charger, but the move could mean headaches for Apple and Nokia since their current chargers do not conform to the new standard.

Under the proposed new rules on radio equipment, manufacturers, importers and distributors will also have to follow uniform rules for all new radio devices placed in the EU market.

These include a requirement that radio receivers achieve a minimum level of performance so as to contribute to an efficient use of radio spectrum, as well as provisions to ensure devices do not interfere with each other.

The new directive will replace a law from 1999.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

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