Samsung will reportedly skip bundling a power adapter on its smartphones starting next year. As per the Korean news site, ETNews, the phone maker is considering the move to cut costs that are expected to further rise as new technologies such as folding screens and 5G connectivity make their way onto more phones. The expected timeline suggests Samsung’s next flagship set of Galaxy S phones could be the first to ditch in-box accessories and won’t affect the company’s upcoming new Galaxy Note phones.
ETNews says Samsung’s decision to no longer include a charger in the box is in the early stages and the company is discussing its impact with its manufacturing partners. In addition to offsetting the added charges of 5G components, this will allow Samsung to ship its phones in more compact packaging and save in distribution costs as well.
Samsung sells millions of phones every year and not bundling a charger can potentially also have a significant environmental impact. Most of its customers already own a power adapter and won’t necessarily feel the need to buy a new one. Electronic waste figures have hit a record high and only about 17% of it is recycled as per data released by the World Health Organization.
Samsung isn’t possibly the only one planning to ditch in-box power adapters. According to longtime analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will not include a charger or wired earbuds with this year’s iPhone 12 lineup to keep the starting price the same as the existing iPhone 11 series. Unlike Apple, the report doesn’t mention whether Samsung would omit complimentary earbuds too. It’s not clear, at the moment, whether these companies will continue offering a data cable in the box.
However, it remains to be seen how Samsung or Apple will accommodate this major shift. Higher-end models from these companies come bundled with fast chargers that if bought separately, will set the owner back by at least $40.
More importantly, if the two biggest smartphone manufacturers will begin ditching in-box accessories, it’s likely that the rest of the industry will follow soon too as we’ve seen in the past.