It was a rather controversial move for both users and a few government regulators, but the trend of removing the charging brick from smartphone boxes might become standard soon. Apple started it, and Samsung followed suit after mocking it. Google will soon be next because the company publicly announced that the Pixel 6 wouldn’t ship with a charger either, for the precise same and sometimes questionable reasons its peers are pushing since last year.
There are two main aspects to manufacturers’ decision to ditch the charger that shipped with smartphones. The less obvious but more understandable reason is to keep prices down, even by just a touch. Second, reducing what’s shipped within the box, which could reduce the dimensions of the box itself, and reducing the necessity to supply as many chargers as there are smartphones also reduces the general cost.
And then, there are the environmental reasons these companies are presenting because of the primary cause for the change in direction. It supposedly reduces electronic waste, but its effects are harder to quantify, especially given the practice’s new. Some countries have even forced Apple to incorporate a charger within the iPhone 12 boxes or face fines.
While it’s true that nearly everyone features a USB charger lately, things aren’t as black and white. Additionally to differences in ports and output, some phones even have proprietary fast-charging technologies which will require specific chargers to use. Finally, there’s the likelihood that the value of chargers and e-waste will just be offloaded to third-party manufacturers.
Regardless of that context, there’s probably no stopping Google from shipping the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro without chargers. With three major smartphone brands (four if you include Xiaomi) thereon train, this practice of ditching chargers might soon become the de facto standard. But, of course, that won’t stop manufacturers from advertising new fast-charging technologies, during which case you’ll find yourself buying a charger separately anyway.