There have been rumors that Samsung intents to remove the charger from the smartphone boxes starting next year. At least for some phones, if not all in the first phase. However, that didn’t stop Samsung from making fun of Apple’s move to remove the charger adapter from the Apple iPhone 12 series boxes when the new iPhones were announced back in October. However, some eagle-eyed observers have noticed that Samsung has quietly deleted those social media posts mocking Apple. This could be the biggest hint that Samsung will be walking down the same path soon enough.
A Facebook post made on October 13 spotted by the good folks over at iMore had read, “Your #Galaxy does give you what you are looking for. From the most basic as a charger, to the best camera, battery, performance, memory and even 120Hz screen.” This was accompanied by the image of a Samsung fast charging adapter. This is more a case of history repeating itself. Samsung had mocked Apple when the iPhone X was launched without a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack, and later deleted the same adverts and social media posts when they launched the Galaxy Note 10 without a headphone jack.
All that is being posted and deleted on social media, it perhaps makes sense for phone companies to eliminate the power brick from phone boxes. The numbers are mind-boggling. According to research firm IDC, smartphone companies shipped as many as 368.8 million smartphones in just Q4 2019. If we are to spread that out through the year, we are looking at well above a billion phones shipped globally in just one year. That means over a billion chargers and over a billion charging cables shipped too. A lot of these smartphones would have been bought by folks who still use the charger from the phone they have just replaced, which means the charger that came with the new phone just sits in the box. Money and resources, financial and environmental, were spent in making it and yet it just sits there.
According to the International Telecommunications Union, “One million tons of external power supplies are manufactured each year. This highlights the importance of efforts to reduce the number of such power supplies, and to make them more sustainable.” At the same time, the European Union has been pushing for universal chargers, which will work with all smartphones, in an attempt to standardize the power accessories as well as make them work across the board. In 2018, Apple, Samsung, Google, Motorola and Sony, to name a few, signed up to standardize USB-C standard for smartphone charging by the year 2021.