According to a statement by Apple, the decision to remove the charger included in the iPhone 12 and its old iPhone models is to protect the environment by reducing electronic waste. That’s because Apple believes that most new iPhone buyers already have old chargers and can still be reused, so it’s no longer necessary to include a charger.
Following Apple, Xiaomi is the second largest smartphone company officially announced the removal of the charger on the new flagship Mi 11, also for the reason of “environmental protection” as above. However, Xiaomi is also more open to users than Apple by giving them the choice between the free version of the charger and the free 55W GaN fast charger (for a limited time).
Remove the charger can protect the environment?
The first is Apple. Most people already have chargers, the company says, so it’s unnecessary to include them in a new iPhone case and could cause e-waste. However, the company’s new iPhone 12 line comes with a USB-C to Lightning cable, which is not compatible with older chargers. That means users will have to buy more compatible chargers to fast charge the new iPhone.
Perhaps this decision is only useful for the environment if users upgrade to older versions of the iPhone since they are compatible with most chargers on the market. But the problem arises when a user gives away or sells his old device to someone else, instead of bringing it to the Apple Store in exchange for a new device. The new owner of the old iPhone will still have to find a new accessory kit in order to continue using it.
This means that Apple removes the included charger does not mean that users will not need to buy the charger for their iPhone. They still need the charger, and when it’s not included with Apple, they’ll have to buy it from outside again. This means it won’t change much for the environment with tons of new charger packaging thrown away.
Xiaomi’s way of doing is not even better. Whether launching up to 2 versions of Mi 11, no charger and bundled charger, with the same price for users to choose, but it’s too difficult for users to choose to protect the environment.
Simply because during the promotional period, buyers of Mi 11 version with charger will get free 55W GaN fast charger. After the end of the promotion period (Xiaomi does not say when it will end), the version sold with this charger will cost 15 USD higher than the original version.
Not to mention the price difference, even the 55W fast charging feature of this charger is also a reason why it is difficult for users to refuse it. Perhaps Xiaomi will “protect the environment” more when they give users a discount coupon or a backup battery.
The sales results show this even more clearly. Of the 350,000 people who bought the first Mi 11, less than 6% of them – about 20,000 buyers – chose the Mi 11 version without a charger to protect the environment.
Perhaps, not only Apple or Xiaomi, regardless of smartphone or electronic device, they all need their own charger. Therefore, the elimination of the charger will not benefit the environment as users have to buy new chargers every time they upgrade the device. And the emissions associated with buying those removable chargers – like shipping, packaging, and so on – will impact the environment in many different ways.
Not protecting the environment, but why do companies claim to remove the charger to protect the environment
Turns out the reason was very simple. Smartphone companies always want to cut costs to increase profitability for their products. And when it is no longer able to reduce the cost of components inside equipment, they choose to cut down on the accessories they sell to customers themselves. But how to cut down on an accessory that comes with expensive smartphones without frustrating the user?
It must have a good reason.
What could be more humane and plausible for this decision when companies claim that it will help protect the environment, reduce e-waste emissions. These statements will help customers happily accept the loss of a very important accessory in their phone box without complaining.
The cost for each charger included in the box, although small (about $ 15 for Xiaomi and $ 19 for Apple), would be a huge sum if multiplied by the hundreds of millions of devices these companies sell each year. . Cutting down the charger will save the company a substantial amount of money in its operations. Moreover, the fact that users still have to buy chargers for their phones will also help the company gain another revenue from the sale of these accessories.
Moreover, with the reason of “humanity” as above, the phone price has not even decreased after the charger is removed, even higher. The Mi 11 version with the charger has the same price as the free version with the charger. The same is true for most iPhones that have just been dropped by Apple, while the new iPhone 12 is even more expensive than its predecessor (you’ll get a screen and, of course, better CPU chips).
Needless to say, Apple is not the first to drop the charger. The first company to do that was Motorola in 2013 when it shipped the first Moto G version. And very frankly, the company has stated that, I do it to save costs. Indeed, the Moto G is one of the best priced and cheapest smartphones on the market and the beginning of the low-end smartphone era.