Your next Samsung phone’s box might be lighter, smaller, and have fewer things inside but the phone itself won’t be getting any cheaper. Following reports that Apple’s next iPhones might not include chargers in their boxes, Samsung is now also tipped to be mulling the same. In both cases, the reason is to offset the costs of increasingly more expensive smartphones. In Samsung’s case, however, the impact on the market might be bigger and not in good ways.
Smartphones have been in the market for more than a decade now and while there have been major developments in speed and capacity, the basic requirements that smartphones need to meet have changed little. There are thousands of chargers already out there, even discounting the ones that come with the smartphones themselves. Samsung believes it’s safe to exclude that critical component now that everyone basically has a charger lying around somewhere.
Reducing e-waste, however, isn’t the primary reason why Samsung and Apple are ditching the tiny power boxes. The cost of adding 5G to each and every phone is forcing them to cut out unnecessary parts and components and, after the 3.5mm headphone jack, the charger, which isn’t exactly that expensive, seems to be the next in line.
Unfortunately, Samsung’s decision could send ripples in the charger market, some good, some bad. Shipping nearly half a billion chargers inside smartphone boxes is no small matter and companies that supply these chargers could easily go bankrupt if they lose such a lucrative customer. On the flip side, this could create a surge in third-party chargers, some of which may not actually meet Samsung’s or Apple’s quality standards.
It won’t be happening immediately, though, as Samsung hasn’t yet decided on the matter. Unfortunately, its possible positive impacts won’t be immediately felt either, as phones will still be just as expensive and the volume of charger e-waste probably won’t be reduced any time soon.