The Micro USB port on the Nokia N8 can be used for both data and charging

“The majority of current Nokia devices already support micro-USB based charging; [in the future] this will be the industry standard. In addition, Nokia’s standard 2mm charger will continue to be supported,” a spokesperson said in the blog post.

Nokia says that using a micro-USB port for charging, as well as data connections, will make life easier for customers and will reduce waste and the environmental impact of providing a charger with each new handset.

“It is good that the concept of the universal charger which will help remove wasteful practices is now coming to market,” Greenpeace spokesman Tom Dowdall told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. “It’s a shame that it has taken so long, but it’s a promising concept. The next step is obviously for Nokia and other manufacturers to agree to sell handsets without a charger but it doesn’t sound like Nokia is quite at that point yet,” he added.

Universal charger
Nokia says that it is already trialling a scheme to sell phones without any charger, although it could not confirm at the time of writing whether the scheme is active in the UK.

“We have piloted no-charger sales packages in some countries, offering people the choice of not getting yet another charger included in the sales box when they get a new device,” a company spokeswoman told ZDNet UK on Wednesday.

In June 2009, Nokia signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) pledging to adopt a universal charger based on micro-USB technology.

To date, 14 companies — including Nokia, Apple, Motorola, RIM, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Huawei, Emblaze and Qualcomm, among others — have signed the agreement to adopt the new standard, which has been discussed in one form or another since 2007.