Why your next new phone may come without a charger

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022 17:46 | By
Sample phone chargers
Sample phone chargers. PHOTO/Courtesy.

The move by top mobile phone manufacturers to cut global e-waste is expected to transform how Kenyans will buy their electronics in the coming days.

Mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung, iPhone, Huawei, Nokia, Sony, Motorola and Oppo may soon adopt the trend of shipping phones without some accessories.

Unlike a few years ago when phones used to come equipped with chargers and earphones, going forward they may not become equipped with some of the add-ons.

Latest reports indicate that Oppo could also be on its way to the adoption of the trend although its latest release Reno 8 series comes equipped with a charger.

However, the latest Galaxy S21 series does not have earphones or a charger plug in the box because Samsung wants to minimise the impact their products have on the environment.

Recycling habits

More and more Galaxy users are making sustainable choices in their daily lives to promote better recycling habits, according to the South Korean multinational manufacturing conglomerate.

“To support our Galaxy community in this journey, we are transitioning to the removal of earphones and charger plugs starting with the Galaxy S21 series,” Samsung says on its website. However, Samsung will still sell the accessories to consumers who need them.

The trend started with Apple in 2020 when it shipped its first consignment of iPhones without a bundled charger, sparking outrage among consumers, who protested the phone maker’s bid to cut the prices.

Then, the US tech giant said the decision to ditch phone chargers and earpieces from the phone pack would aid in the reduction of plastic waste.

According to former ICT PS and Kenya’s Ambassador to Belgium Bitange Ndemo, this is an opportunity window that Kenya should grab and run away with.

“Our young people now have the chance to widen their innovative scope and start the manufacture of chargers. The local market is about to get huge. If given the correct government support, the sector could be a huge point of an economic turnaround,” he said.

Going Type-C

To further reduce the cost of disposing of the extra electronic appliances, the European Union has set 2024 as the deadline for phasing out lightning cables.

The regulations will see the USB-C cables, popularly known as type C, become the universal charger for mobile phones, tablets, keyboards, computer mice, smart watches, electronic toys and low-powered laptops.

Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charger every time they buy a new device, as they will use a single charger for a whole range of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.

Regardless of their manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port.  Others to be equipped with a USB Type-C port are portable navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts.      

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