– Universal Charger Planned: GSMA and 17 operators and manufacturers have signed an agreement to implement a cross-industry standard for a universal charger for new mobile phones by 2012. I think everyone can see the benefit here — aside from benefits to consumers it could eliminate 51,000 tonnes of duplicate chargers every year, and the deal aims for a higher energy efficiency. The initiative will mandate Micro-USB as the common interface. With the size of the companies involved this is likely to happen…they are: 3 Group, AT&T (NYSE: T), KTF, LG (SEO: 066570), mobilkom austria, Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Orange, Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM), Samsung, Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC), Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD). (release)
— Skype On Nokia: Skype has signed a deal with Nokia to embed its VoIP service in some Nokia handsets, starting with the N-Series. Of course, Skype already has mobile apps but the deal with Nokia will see Skype being part of the address book, allowing users to see when their Skype contacts are online and also to use the instant messaging service. The N97 will be the first handset in the deal. Reuters has some quotes from Skype CEO Josh Silverman about the carrier’s wariness to allow Skype on their networks: “3 had actually seen its average revenue rise by 20 percent for consumers using Skype phones…He said subscribers were encouraged to use their phones more by flat-rate data plans — boosting usage of 3’s other services — and that customer loyalty increased. Skype also has deals with other operators but 3 is its most successful.”
Much more after the jump…
— Dell Smartphones: There’s some stories floating around that the Dell Smartphone rumors have been confirmed. “At a panel at the Mobile World Congress today, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph De La Vega just said, “Dell announced they’re entering the smart phone market” writes PC Mag. So the confirmation isn’t from Dell, but is from someone who could have inside knowledge and who is hopefully unlikely to mistake a rumor for a fact. UPDATE: Or, he could have been misquoted or taken out of context, as Engadget says he is claiming.
— Social Network Stats: Openwave has released some statistics about mobile social network usage: The top two search terms on both Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Yahoo! OneSearch were the major social networking sites Facebook and MySpace, but the two sites don’t appear to be doing as well as they could. Users of mobile-focused social site Mocospace spent an average of 6.05 minutes online per session, while MySpace users spent 3.79 minutes online and Facebook 1.89 minutes per session. I would want to know total minutes per month though — for example, I suspect that a significant amount of Facebook sessions is simply updating status.
— Visto Supports Android: Mobile push synchronization platform Visto has announced that its service can now be used on Android handsets. That lets users send and receive messages from e-mail accounts and social networking accounts.
— Nokia & T-Mobile Collaborate: Nokia and T-Mobile have announced plans to promote together their respective offering for widgets, applications and other content to provide customers with easy access to a vast range of internet services. The customer can browse and download widgets from both the T-Mobile widget gallery and Nokia’s Ovi Store using T-Mobile’s web’n’walk widget platform. The integrated marketplace will be available during the second half 2009 on mass market Nokia Series 40 platform based phones. For a lot of info on Ovi read this interview. (release)
— End2End Gets Indonesian Deal: German company End2End has signed a deal with Cometa Mobile to manage a dedicated mobile games portal for Indonesian operators. (release)
Full coverage at our Mobile World Congress channel