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Do we really need a charger in smartphone boxes in 2021?

Galaxy S21 In Box Contents Leak
Galaxy S21 In Box Contents Leak (Image credit: WinFuture)

There's been a lot of talk around smartphone boxes in recent months. Apple doesn't include an AC adapter or earbuds in the iPhone 12 box, Samsung's more than likely ditching the charging brick for the Galaxy S21, and this has caused quite the commotion in the AC forums.

On one hand, you can argue that including chargers and earbuds is unnecessary at this point in time and does nothing but cause inevitable e-waste. Alternatively, some people see this as a cash-grab from companies who are now charging for accessories that would otherwise have been included. If anything, it's an interesting point of discussion.

Taking a look through the AC forums, here's what some of our members have said on the topic.

How much are really saving by NOT INCLUDING the accessories. I get ELIMINATING the 3.5mm headphone jack because of the BILLIONS in sales with the AirPods series but to say that Apple is doing this for environmental reasons, hence the BS in the title. I'm surprised they include all those USELESS manuals and the SIM ejector tool. If you haven't read, Samsung will also not be including...

bembol

You just kinda proved their point there: you just gave her the included accessories that most people don't use (and shouldn't, those AKG wired buds sound pretty crappy). I'm happy if they do what they did for those (god awful) headphones with the latest phones, though... don't include it, BUT give the option for users to request one for free. As for chargers, I have a mountain of them, I...

SpookDroid

All these manufacturers going this way, trying save money every which way , or get you buy their accessories.

mustang7757

I've got mixed feelings about this to be honest. On one hand it's stupid not to get a charger with such an expensive device, on the other we produce insane amounts of unnecessary electronic waste including chargers and cords with everything. Personally haven't bought a charger in over 5 years, I have dozens of them. My Note 9 and Note 20 Ultra chargers haven't even been removed from their...

L0n3N1nja

What say you? Do we really need a charger in smartphone boxes in 2021?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

14 Comments
  • Historically, when I sell my old device I sell it with the box, charger, headset and any accessories it came with. Typically, that's the only way to expect top dollar. Only more recently have I invested in additional chargers and wireless earbuds. If it wasn't for those, I'd likely stop selling my used devices with accessories knowing they will no longer be replaced.
  • Apple no longer supplying chargers with iPhones.
    Android fans..."Apple is ripping off their customers. This is nonsense....blah blah blah" Samsung no longer including chargers with phones.
    Android fans..."This is fantastic. They aren't needed. Great move Samsung"
  • Just goes to show that Android fanboys are hypocrites. I don't agree with Apple's or Samsung's moves in removing the charger from the box of their phones.
  • Well, if manufacturers keep upping the charge speeds on phones then they should include the appropriate charger. The average consumer won't know how fast their phone charges or what type of charger they need.
  • If Apple was actually serious about waste reduction they would encourage people to keep their existing phone for a much longer time, at the expense of sales. Just another Apple PR campaign for the Sheapple (Sheeple). The annual incremental upgrades, since the i6 or i7, are so small it takes 3 years, or longer, for most people to realize any measurable, quantifiable net benefits to one's life by making a new iphone purchase.
  • So, how do you encourage your customers to keep their devices longer? Maybe by providing upgrades, both OS and security, for a longer period of time. Guess who is the best at that? That's right, Apple.
  • Maybe you can give that same advice to Samsung and Apple is best with software updates and you do realise that the average iPhone user hold on to their phones longer hence why Apple gives 5 years of software updates.
  • I think if the device has a new "type" of charger, like the S20 came with a USB-C to USB-C cable/charger instead of the old USB-A to USB-C, then providing it should be required to catch you up on the current type. But if I upgrade to a newer phone that uses the same charger typ, then I don't need it. So once they have gotten to a second model phone with the same "new" charging brick, then they should make it an option you can add but not provide by default. Like my wife has an iPhone XS, but the 11 and 12 use the USB-C to Lightning brick so she would prefer to upgrade her charger even though the old one works, so it should be an option they provide for free, but you need to request it. Once they get to the iphone 13, 14, most people would have the new style and won't need it, so opting for it I can see by then you need to buy it, but maybe cheaper if packaged with the phone, but full price if you buy it later. Same goes with the S21. Most people upgrade phones every 2 models since they need to pay it off. So if they are upgrading from say a S10 to S21 they would need the updated brick so they should have the option to have it included. I don;t think they need to start including them, but make it a free option for a few generations, until most people have them.
  • There should be a charger.
  • Samsung and Apple are first and foremost businesses and the FIRST priority of any business is PROFIT! Take out chargers, headphones and the s-pen and charge extra for these items =more PROFIT! It's simple business. Just don't give some BS reasons for doing things when all it boils down to is making more money! Not everyone will buy a new charger or headphones or an s-pen but for every single person that does(which will be a lot of people) that means more profit for said companies because these things were given for free before but now you have to buy them. Would you buy a kettle or fridge or washing machine without a plug? Companies shouldn't 'assume' you already have something as a reason not to supply something. Also it's a good way to stop folks changing from IPhone to Samsung and vice versa if you DO already have these items as they will all become useless and you will HAVE to buy new chargers etc.
  • Generally I'm okay with it. But it was kind of nice to keep getting more chargers for the house. But at some point I had a bunch of USB A chargers. My step daughter managed to lose most of them. So collecting a bunch of USB C chargers wouldn't be a bad thing in my current situation, but she is supposed to get a job soon so she's going to have to be responsible for her own devices anyways so it probably won't have much effect on me going forward.
  • Every move Apple makes is perfect and everyone else is just a bunch of followers.
  • Because Apple sets the trends and as the world's richest company that makes the most profit the others want to follow the Apple blueprint for success.
  • Bit of a silly question of course we need chargers in the box with our phones, this "protecting the environment" is bs on Apple's part and Samsung's decision to follow Apple is bs especially if you're new to either brand.