In an effort to be greener, British carrier O2 has announced that it will be selling HTC’s next “flagship” smartphone without a charger included in the box. Neither O2 or HTC has revealed what that smartphone will be yet, but the carrier says it’s arriving before the end of the year.
The pilot scheme hopes to reduce the number of unused chargers in circulation. According to O2, 70% of customers who buy one of the 30 million phones sold across the United Kingdom each year already have a relevant charger. As a result, there are more than 100 million chargers that go unused.
Not only will removing the charger from the box help cut down this number, but it will also mean that manufacturers won’t need to purchase so many components to produce them, because they’re likely to need significantly less if they’re not handing them out for free. What’s more, it also means packaging can become smaller, which in turn would reduce the amount of transport needed to shift these handsets around.
Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2, hopes that other smartphones manufacturers will take note of the scheme and follow suit:
“I have a simple vision for O2: we want to take chargers out of boxes full stop. Right now, O2 with HTC has to go it alone on this matter – we both believe in it passionately enough that we can’t wait for the industry as a whole to join us in this crusade. That said, we hope that we will be able to pave the way for others to follow us as this has to be a collective effort if we are to achieve the bigger aim of eliminating chargers sold with every new phone in the UK.”
HTC’s new device will be bundled with a USB cable, so you’ll still be able to charge it through your PC, or with one of the chargers you probably already own. But if you need a new one, you’ll have to buy it separately.
Personally, I think this is a great idea. I have about 10 iPhone chargers I’ve collected over the years, and only two or three of them ever get used. I certainly wouldn’t miss it if my next smartphone came without one. What do you think?