A few weeks ago we announced that Apple was thinking of selling its new smartphone, the iPhone 12, without a charger in the box. The arguments are cost savings and making a product more sustainable. Now it seems that Samsung, another industry giant, could accompany you in this change of strategy.
The 5G integration It is causing a headache for smartphone manufacturers, who on the one hand want to keep the price of their products under control and, on the other hand, have to please users who do not conceive a high-end terminal without the best connectivity options. We saw it, for example, with the new Xiaomi and the latest generation of Samsung with 5G that surprised many by its high price. Thus, while the inexorable technological advance causes component prices to drop, companies will choose to eliminate an essential element to use the product: the charger.
It is likely that the dofficial course that we see has more to do with the environmental factor, an argument that is certainly powerful and that makes us consider if it makes sense that 1.5 billion smartphones that are sold each year do so accompanied by a chargerEspecially if we consider that we almost have a standard (USB-C for almost everyone, Lightning for Apple). A priori, eliminating them would reduce electronic waste by millions of tons, forcing us to “recycle” what we already have.
Delete the charger to favor the user?
From a technological point of view, how and with what a smartphone is charged is not a trivial matter. The new terminals have complex energy management systems and fast charging functions, which cannot be used with chargers from other terminals or low-cost alternatives. Or worse, the use of a non-original charger can degrade the battery in the medium and long term (not surprisingly, the same manufacturers recommend its use).
The fairest alternative would be sell the terminals with the option of including the charger or not. Thus, the user who already has one can save its price (and, incidentally, check if the cost is really reduced) and both the economic and environmental arguments are strengthened. The problem is the enormous logistical expense that would suppose, in a globalized world and that, more and more, bets on the standard for everyone.
To what extent does the charger represent a significant part of the cost of manufacturing a smartphone? How will users know if the final price of the device has been lowered for that reason? Are we facing the first step in the definitive commitment to wireless charging? What consequences can charging a smartphone with a charger other than the official one have? Will the guarantees respond? As you see an uncertain future for decisions that, if confirmed, will generate controversy and debate. What do you think?