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AT&T unveils ultra-green USB phone charger

updated 10:55 am EDT, Wed March 17, 2010

ATT ZERO Charger wastes no energy when done

AT&T today trumpeted its green credentials through the ZERO Charger. The Superior Communications-made device powers most low-power USB devices, including the iPhone, and is purportedly the world's first charger to avoid "vampire" power draw. When a device is full, the ZERO automatically stops charging and therefore avoids a trickle of energy when a device is left plugged in. The interchangeable "block" design also reduces the obsolescence of the charger once owners replace their devices.

The packaging itself helps and is made entirely of recycled paper.

Both features make AT&T one of the earliest adoptees of the philosophy behind the new universal cellphone charger standard, which was originally created to reduce both power consumption and waste. AT&T's solution isn't a direct reflection of the standard as the ITU and involved partners haven't settled on the connectors, but the iPhone and most modern cellphones often include adapter cables that connect to USB.

No pricing has been given, but AT&T expects the ZERO Charger to cost as much as a regular power adapter. It will ship sometime in May.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Oneota

    Professional Poster

    Joined: May 2000


    Ditch the LED

    If they really wanted the product to be green, why include an LED light on it? Every device I've ever charged has some built-in indication to tell me if it's actually charging or not, and also when it's full. The LED on this charger is a waste of electricity.

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    Yeah, I thought the same thing

    We're trying to save electricity (the miniscule amount that the charger draws) yet we put this shiny LED that probably uses just as much as a charger plugged in would draw. Hilarious.

    But it's great to see companies standardizing on USB charging. One wall wart for every device. Soon, you'll not need to carry your charger with you. Think of the weight savings on airplanes if people didn't have to pack all those pesky chargers!!


    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009


    Great First Step

    Glad to see AT&T get credit for something good. I think this is a great first step. As others have said "ditch the LED".

  1. SolarSaves

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010


    Why Ditch The LED?

    The LED is to let you know when it is charging, and it is off when it isn't charging... Big whoop. LED's draw next to nothing for electricity, and most of the time it will be off.

  1. ianaberle

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    Keep the LED

    The LED is helpful to tell if you are getting power to the charger and help diagnose if you have a bad cable if your device is not showing that is charging.

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