File this under "trends in mobile".
A three-month trial launched in October by mobile network O2 found that the vast majority of customers who participated were happy to purchase their HTC One X+ without a charger. The pilot offers the HTC One X+ handset with just the USB-to-micro USB connection lead to plug into existing chargers. Buyers who did not already have a charger had the option to purchase a charger separately from O2 at cost price.
Much like OEMs opting to not include headphones with current purchases, especially in the US, manufactures may soon opt to not include a charger as well. Read on for the details...
In the last few years, O2 has made progress towards a universal charging option in hopes to eventually encourage consumers to cut down on unnecessary environmental waste, which could also mean the elimination of manufacturing a considerable number of duplicate chargers. The company had previously stated that it would phase out in-box chargers by 2015.
Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 said of the pilot:
"More than four-in-five of our smartphone customers who have participated in the trial are willing to buy a new phone from us and to use an existing charging device to attach it to the mains.
"The results of the trial demonstrate a clear willingness among consumers to consider and respond to the environmental argument for taking a phone charger-free. I now hope that as a result of this study the rest of the industry will now consider joining us in our campaign to take chargers out of the box for good."
There are 30 million new phones sold in the UK each year, with as many as 100 million unused chargers. If all the chargers were thrown away, it would have a landfill volume equivalent to filling four Olympic swimming pools, O2 said.
Phil Roberson, regional director of the UK at HTC, said:
"A unified approach across all manufacturers and retailers would dramatically decrease the industry's carbon footprint, not only in terms of manufacturing but also packaging and transport."
If the results of this pilot were repeated with all handsets, there would be 24 million chargers fewer sold annually in the UK – a huge environmental saving.
With the slow rise of Qi Wireless charging and the ubiquitousness of micro USB chargers in the mobile world, is this a good move? How do you feel about "just buying a phone" with no accessories? Let us know in comments.