Leaks suggest that both Apple and Samsung are preparing to sell smartphones – like the rumored iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S30 – that don’t come with a charging block or cable in the box.
Instead, these companies will likely ask you to buy a separate charger or use your existing technology that you already have in your home. This has proven disagreeable as every manufacturer loses an important part of its technology, but I think this is the right thing to do.
In my opinion, it is long gone that manufacturers have taken more responsibility for the waste that comes from the average person who buys new technology, and putting the unnecessary accessories in the box is a bigger step than ever to curl up electronic waste maybe expect.
The story so far
According to trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 1
Another report – shortly after this iPhone 12 rumor – suggests that Samsung is considering whether to follow suit with some of its smartphones in 2021. None of these reports suggested accurate models or whether this would apply to all devices.
If so, your phone will not come with any accessories. Why? Because it is very likely that you already have what you need.
According to statistics from the European Parliament, 50 million tons of electronic waste are generated worldwide. That’s it, from your broken kit to companies replacing your work laptop.
The electronic waste is not worth it
Now let’s take a closer look at the chargers. It is difficult to determine the exact figures, but the International Telecommunications Union announced in 2016 that “one million tons of external power supplies are manufactured each year”.
That was four years ago and it’s probably a similar number, if not a higher one, in 2020, considering that almost every new device you buy will likely come with a charging stone included in the box .
The math here isn’t exact, but I’m assuming that about 2% of all electronic waste could come from chargers alone. There are no exact numbers on how many chargers are used with their new products. However, it is very likely that you will replace your existing charger if you immediately use this device for your new smartphone or other device.
Will the older charger be recycled? The Environmental Protection Agency claimed that only 15 to 20 percent of electronic waste is recycled in the United States. The numbers may be different in the rest of the world, but it is difficult to find statistics.
If you need a new charger, you deserve one
I’m not saying you don’t need a new charger. If you have an older one, your existing charger is defective or just want to ensure that you get the best charging experience, I believe you owe a charger from your manufacturer.
Is the charger in the box the best option for you? Most of the time, manufacturers don’t offer you the best option by default.
Take iPhone 11, for example. It can charge up to 18W quickly, but the charger you have in the box can only charge 5W. You need to purchase a third-party charger (or the charger specially developed by Apple) separately to get the most out of this fast feature.
If you choose to do so – and many don’t even know that this is an option – you will get a standard 5W charger in the box that you will most likely not use. That – plus your existing iPhone charger – probably means that you now have three chargers and will only use one.
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max include a quick charger. However, if you own one of these devices and upgrade in 2020, you will also have two chargers.
The situation is similar with Android manufacturers, where the top-end charger is not always included and you have to spend a separate component to achieve this.
Discouraging people can help
Could you make sure you think about needing help with a new charger?
In England, the government raised a fee for plastic bags for larger businesses in October 2015. It was thought that it would prevent you from using the widely used plastic carrier bag, and instead would bring your own way of carrying your items.
Tote bags cost 5 pence (about 10 cents in the US), but it was still affordable for those who forgot their bags or wanted to opt for the plastic option.
According to the UK government, the top seven supermarket retailers saw an 83% drop in plastic bag consumption after the charges were brought.
Could a similar idea work for phone chargers? If you think, “Do I really need a new phone charger?”, This can ensure that some customers sit back and consider whether this is really necessary.
Many will be disappointed to have to buy a new phone charger, but it would make sense if Apple and Samsung still offered a charger for free along with your purchase, but make sure you have to choose to get one.
We don’t know how manufacturers would implement the lack of a charger in the box, but it may be introduced as an option that’s still free when you buy a new device, but you’ll have to request it instead of getting one by default.
That would go against electronic waste, but it would not increase the cost of buying a new phone for anyone who really needs a new one.
Also keep in mind that portless is coming
The other thing to remember is that phones are likely to become portless in the near future.
Various rumors suggest that the iPhone 2021 may be the company’s first portable device, and we’ve seen concept phones from other manufacturers that show how the idea could work.
That means you need to use wireless charging to charge your device, and there’s no option for headphones over a Lightning cable.
Whether you think that’s a good idea is a completely different question. Perhaps that’s why Apple and Samsung now see the leakage of physical chargers as a possibility.
You may only have a few years left in which you will need a physical charging cable and a module anyway.
Nobody knows exactly what will happen in the next few years, but I’m sure that putting the charger in the box with your next-generation smartphone will protect the environment, even if it’s not better for your bank account.