EU law to require that all cellphones charge through a common standard

The EU successfully pushed for voluntary adoption of a cellphone charging standard a few years ago, and it's now close to making that standard mandatory. The European Parliament has voted in favor of a draft law requiring that cellphones work with a common charger. Provided the Council of Ministers green lights the regulation, EU countries will have until 2016 to put it into their local laws; phone makers will have until 2017 to change their hardware. The charger requirement is a formality when many phone designers already support the concept, but it could force some companies to shape up -- and spare more Europeans from tossing out power adapters when they switch handsets.

[Image credit: Thierry Monasse/AFP/Getty Images]