I wrote an article recently stating how Samsung is likely to be the next one to ditch the charger in the box. With the launch of Galaxy S21, Samsung did join the team to ship their devices without chargers, Xiaomi followed and I’m sure soon almost everyone will join the team…
The strange thing for me is how these companies are selling this idea of ‘getting margin by shipping devices without charger’ by the name of saving the environment.
I mean, come on Apple, Samsung !!! ‘IS NOT GIVING A CHARGER ACTUALLY BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?’
Apple said, yes, shipping a box without charger means that they can now fit everything in smaller packaging, one less plastic brick. With millions of units sold per year, this could prove to be a good initiative to help environment. With this logic, if we look at box of Apple’s iPhone 12 or Samsung’s S21 Ultra, you might think wow, you guys are so eco-conscious.
This can’t be it. I just grabbed my coffee mug, sat in the gallery and thought over this…
See, fact that people won’t get chargers in the box immediately creates two effects.
- I, as a user, will have to use my old charger which is not only old, but it’s slow charger. Phones today charge at crazy speeds. Long gone are the days when cell phones used to charge at 10Watts. We’re already talking about 15 Watt, 25W, 32W, 64W…even 120W charging speeds. So I’m paying $500, $1000 to get a phone which can charge to 50% in 30 minutes to use an old charger to charge it to 50% in 2 hours?
- Think of this ! If I’m going to use my already used 3 year old charger for another 3 years, there are chances that something will go wrong with with my charger brick or it’s cable. Charger over time loose their capacity to charge.
And if that’s not enough, you’re talking about saving environment with less wastage? Lemme explain that too…
It’s clear that my old charger is not going to last long since it’s already old, I have used it for last 1-2 years, I’ll have to buy new one and straight away, it’s lot more waste than ‘if you would have included one in the box’. I’m getting a cardboard box, lot more padding inside, a plastic cover, complete new plastic brick and yeah, again, if that’s not enough, the courier guys add a bigger cardboard box to safely deliver it to me.
Is this really saving the environment? Think of how much I would have saved if I would have gotten one in the box !!!
Lemme tell you more .. it doesn’t end there. In this whole stupidity of chargers getting removed, we’ve silently lost headphones that we used to get…
Okay! So now I go to amazon.com, order new one with my own money and yeah ! there’s the disaster. I get another delivery, another packaging, another new outer big cardboard box, another cardboard box inside it, and headphones in plastic packaging and a new electronic waste !!! Not only now do I have worst earphone experience, I have already used 3 times as much packaging than if that stuff is included in original box.
I’m not blaming amazon for sending me big box for my small earphones, they have variety of things to ship, so they can’t match size of delivery box to what’s inside it but for Samsung and Apple and every other OEM, when they send out a phone, it’s going to be of the same size, same dimensions. which means they can easily optimize their packaging to use less cardboard.
If everything you need with your phone comes in one single package, think of how much does it save. We save almost 3 times packaging, delivery and courier charges and delivery trips, we save 3 times as much plastic & less electronic waste.
and you know what? I can guarantee you, within next year or so, companies are going to stop sending you the free cases and screen guards too.
If they do that !!!!!!!!!!! It’s again, another packaging, another big outer delivery box, lots of plastics inside.
While these OEM’s show their environment-friendliness, some of their actions go in other directions. I mean like how cable you get in the iPhone 12 box doesn’t fit the old charger. So if you wanna use the new cable, you got to get a new charger.
The other example could be how Apple purposefully kept it’s lightning cable and it’s port to almost all their devices so that the gadgets and accessories for Android don’t support Apple and vice versa.
And then the magsafe thing Apple just brought in the iPhone 12 release ( basically wireless charging). Like really? Now if Apple ditches whole wired charging and introduces wireless charging and no ports, I’m sure Android is going to follow this but the point is, wireless charging in general is opposite to environment-friendliness… How?
Because now not only you have to buy it separately + wireless charging is inefficient. To charge phone wirelessly, you have to create electric/magnetic field that can pass through phones body to the circuit inside…and this wastes eneragy.
I was reading an article the other day and there was a study conducted that showed how wireless chargers waste almost 50% more energy than if you would have charged it with wire…..which also means that with millions of users charging their phone, 24 hours a days, energy is being wasted…and mind it, it is being wasted just for the convenience of saving efforts to plug your phone for charge. Hahah..Awesome!!!
How much time does it take to get your cable and put your phone on charge !!! 1/2 minutes? and you are saving that with wireless charging huh !!! Brilliant…
It’s easier for companies to say that we reduced our box size this much, we removed chargers and we reduced our carbon footprint by X amount.. this looks great on paper..in reality, we already saw how much extra waste it is generating,
I don’t mean I’m genius, these companies already know this and yes companies want to be green but they only want to be as much green in so much as it makes them profit.
Anyways … do you think there was any better way to solve this no charger situation?
I think, instead of ditching charger, improve the charger. We have already been seeing chargers that use Gallium Nitride. This material being very efficient, can deliver same output for extended usage in a compact brick. And the fascinating aspect of Gallium Nitride is that every time you use it, it actually wastes less energy. These chargers could be whopping 70% more power efficient than wireless charging. 70% 🤯 + those chargers have longer life span too.
So doing more R&D on improving chargers, is what I see a solution to saving environment…not ditching a charger.
I remember what Einstein said. He said, ‘Only two things are infinite. the universe and human stupidity’….
and I’m not sure about the former !!!