Explained: Why removing the charger from smartphone boxes is much more insidious than people think


Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi all stated that they were removing chargers from their smartphone boxes to help save the environment.
This endeavour was not just a failed attempt at greenwashing, but it was also a much more insidious scheme to generate even more money than people believe.

When Apple decided to remove the charging brick from the box of their smartphone, people and other smartphone makers, such as Samsung and Xiaomi, mocked them, calling them greedy, and promoting the fact that, unlike their competitors, they do include a charging brick.

A few months later, the very smartphone makers who had previously derided Apple began doing or rather, mimicking exactly what Apple had done.

Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, and any other firms that claim that not including chargers with their phones is due to environmental concerns are engaging in what is known as greenwashing.

Greenwashing is the marketing of a corporation or organisation to make it appear more environmentally friendly or ecological (more natural, healthier, chemical-free, recyclable, less wasteful of natural resources, etc.) when its operations pollute the environment.
This is true of all manufacturers, not just technology companies.

Customers end up buying the current charger separately, with its own packaging and shipping, because they expect their new device to recharge at the fastest possible rate, while smartphone makers enhance the charging capability of their devices year after year.

People may infer that Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, and others of its ilk are abandoning chargers in order to make a few extra cash from increasing charger sales.
That is, however, a fairly cursory assessment of the situation.
Things are actually a lot more subtle than that.
This is why:


When we update to new phones, the majority of us either exchange or sell our prior phones.
By eliminating the charger from new phones, corporations like Apple and Samsung are inadvertently making it more difficult for someone else who might be interested in buying a used phone.
Manufacturers are attempting to persuade secondhand shoppers to purchase a brand new charger from them.
People nowadays find it difficult to purchase used phones without a charger included in the box; most people would avoid such a deal if they could.

Increasing sales of wireless earphones/headphones

Smartphone makers have deleted the accompanying headphones that they used to supply, arguing that they want to reduce their boxes as much as possible.
Although most modern smartphones lack a 3.5mm jack, this did not prevent them from including a pair of USB-C headphones.
Because the chargers have already been removed, smartphone manufacturers now have an excuse to remove the headphones as well.
Would you rather buy a pair of Bluetooth headphones or earphones, or a pair of USB-C headphones?
Certain smartphone manufacturers even offer combo deals in which you can buy one of their latest devices and receive a pair of TWS earphones for a fraction of the price.

Exclusive charging mechanisms

Apple is definitely opposed to USB-C, at least when it comes to incorporating it into its iPhones.
They’d much rather you use the Magsafe charger to charge your iPhones.
Apart from having its own packaging and everything, the Magsafe doesn’t come with a charging brick, so you’ll have to buy one separately if you want to use it.

Having said that, technology businesses do engage in environmental initiatives.
However, we should not expect these firms to benefit financially from these activities.
Tech corporations, like any other business, will never pass up an opportunity to make more money through sales, even if it means harming the environment.

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