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You don't need a charger or headphones in the box with your next phone

Samsung's 25W charger
Samsung's 25W charger (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Ming-chi Kuo is an analyst with a track record that says he's worth listening to. He recently said that the next iPhone isn't going to come with a charging block or EarPods, and as you might expect, the Apple side of the internet isn't very happy about it.

According to Kuo, Apple will be doing this because it wants the iPhone 12 to be sold at a similar price to the iPhone 11, but the inclusion of 5G radios means corners need to be cut to meet that goal. An 18-watt charging brick currently costs $29 at the Apple store (opens in new tab) and a set of EarPods will also set you back $29 (opens in new tab), so Apple apparently can shave $58 off of the price of its next phone by making the box a little lighter.

I'm all for it.

Let's be clear here — I don't think Apple is doing this to cut down on e-waste or just to keep costs down. Apple is a business, and businesses are designed to make as much money as they can. But I do believe that Apple or any other phone maker would not hesitate to jack the price up by $60 or more because it prints 5G on the front of the box. We've seen that companies like Samsung are not afraid to pass cost increases associated with 5G on to customers (again, that whole business thing), and every one of us hates paying more than we have to pay.

More: Best Gallium Nitride chargers in 2020

I just wish every company would stop charging us extra money for a crummy OEM charging brick and a pair of cheap earbuds and cut the price by $60. Most everyone already has a power adapter or two and cheap headphones, and if you don't, $60 will buy whatever you need from Amazon when it comes to either. As a bonus, it would cut back on e-waste, so that's another plus. Everyone wins.

As long as the company that makes your next phone includes a cable that plugs into a standardized USB port, there is no downside here. USB is interoperable no matter who makes the equipment, so no matter if you buy a new charger from a company like Aukey — whose charging bricks are really great and affordable, and what I use every single day — or use one from the junk drawer of leftovers from your last phone, there is no problem.

Unfortunately, what will probably happen is companies will stop putting charging adapters in the box with new phones and just pocket any savings because that's how this sort of thing always happens. Anyhoo, this move seems inevitable to me, so we may as well get used to the idea.

More: Best cheap headphones and earbuds in 2020

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

34 Comments
  • "If not including a weak charger or crummy earbuds shaves even a few dollars off of those hefty price tags, let's do it!" It won't, that's not how capitalism works. Any costs saved will be reabsorbed as profit, not passed to the consumer. And don't try to pretend that because Apple charges $58 for a standard charger and earphones in its shops that it'll save that much by not including them. It'll be closer to $8.
  • Close your eyes before you bury you head in the sand.
  • Do you all sit in the office and smoke weed all day? What's the next great idea, let's not put new phones in the box coz everybody's got old ones in a drawer at home somewhere? And being serious will they still say you need to use the OG charger and not aftermarket ones or they may damage your phone? And whatever miniscule savings MAY be had will soon disappear when said aftermarket firms start bumping up their prices when they know people will have to buy their products because they don't come in the box anymore. How bout giving some incentives to justify the spiralling cost of phones these days by putting quality headphones and the proper fast charging bricks in the box instead of having to pay extra to get the feature that's built into the phone? I'm no expert but my guess is that 5g chips cost pence/dimes to add to the cost but phone makers add pounds/dollars to the asking price of new phones. Please Jerry stop trying to justify blatantly bad decisions by these multi billionaire companies that mean the consumer loses out while they get richer.
  • You are wrong. 5G is expensive. The SD 865 is particularly expensive.
  • If it is so expensive, why can certain brands put all top of the line specs (and the 865 and still price it sub $1000?) 
  • Who says so? The company that makes the chip? I sell potato chips and mine cost $15.00 an ounce because I say that my potatoes cost more to grow then anyone else. They must be more expensive because I say so and I'm the only one making potato chips. Sheesh!
  • as usual..all these android sites will praise whatever Apple moves and will try to influence others to follow..Android is always destined to follow whatever Apple dictate..
  • Except as of late, its been Apple following whatever Android does... otherway around boiyo
  • Agreed. OnePlus, etc all require OEM chargers for fast charging and warranty yada yada yada. Or what if someone didn't own a phone before or owned a different manufacturer. Cell phones are ridiculous in their pricing and shelf life.
  • That's right, Android phones are ridiculous in their pricing and shelf life.
  • Would LOOOVE to see what its like working for this company. One day it posts an article about how Apple may not include a charger or earbuds, and how that's stupid and ridiculous. Very next day, posts an article praising Apple for it and saying that its a great big bonus. You're all full of ****... First, there will be no cost cutting. They said they want it to COST the same as an iPhone 11, meaning FOR... THEM... They are NOT goin to pass jack **** down to the customer other than a higher price. They are not saving 50-60 dollars by not including these items, they're saving 2-5 dollars if that. Second, crummy earpods and chargers? I'm sorry but a majority of phones charge BEST with their included chargers... whether thats cause of stupid proprietary bs, or just cause the manufacturer KNOWS THEIR OWN DEVICES and thus KNOWS WHAT CHARGERS THEM BEST... But yea, usually the headphones included with phones are pretty garbage. Unless you're buying a Samsung phone, in which the past couple of devices have shipped with some pretty damn good earbuds that I'm still using to this day because they just sound better than any of these 200+ dollar over priced pieces of garbage that this site also seems to want to shove down peoples throats. Oh, what's this? Scrolling down the main page a few times reveals not two, not three, but SIX different headphone articles all claiming to be ranking 'the best you can get' and each one having a COMPLETELY, DIFFERENT, LIST, FOR THE SAME, FREAKING, TOPIC..... "best earbuds 2020!" "best wireless earbuds 2020!" "best headphones 2020!" "best headphones for X phone 2020!"... and they all have vastly different headphone rankings, from vastly different manufacturers, all for the same regurgitated titles... COME ON GUYS N GALS! Write us some REAL, ACTUAL articles with ACTUAL INFO that people CARE ABOUT.... not just all these paid promotions bullshits...
  • Get a grip
  • Well this article didn't go over well
  • What kind of BS is this? Apple charges us minions $29 each for a pair of earphones and charger. This is certainly not what it costs them and everyone knows you pay a premium for anything with an Apple logo on it. I'm sure this is just marketing hype to make you think that Apple is trying to save you $, when in fact, its probably a ploy to have you spend money at the Apple store if you want genuine OEM products. Plenty of 3rd party vendors that are just as good/better and cheaper than Apple products. P.S. Poor reporting and article by AC.
  • This is the most ridiculous editorial I've seen in a long time. I suppose if not including side windows and windshield wipers shaved a few dollars off of the price of a new car, Jerry would be hyped for that too....
  • I would be ok with it if the savings were actually passed on to us as customers.... BUT we know it's not the case...
  • I sometimes wonder why I bother to even read these articles.
  • The problem is that it won't lower prices.
  • Jerry, you're kinda speaking for yourself this time my friend. No doubt, this is influenced by Apple's decision to forgo their weak charger and crummy earbuds. The thing is, maybe other phones come with a weak charger and crummy earbuds, but mine did not. Even four years ago, my phone came with a 19 watt Qualcomm certified quick charger, and that phone was compliant with QC 3, 4, 4+, AND USB C Power Delivery, at a time when Samsung could only manage QC 2.0. I can't even write about iPhone chargers with laughing. Cheap earbuds? Must be Samsung or Apple. Yeah, I have a Note. We have two of them as a matter of fact, and I have original Samsung AKG earbuds. They sound like crap. Matter of fact, they sound SO bad that another company demonstrated, live on stage, how bad they were during a product launch. EarPods are not much better. If my earbuds were crummy, I wouldn't care. But it's a different story when your earbuds rival Sennheiser HD 600's in spatial positioning and sound stage, have amazing detail, bass extension that seems like it has no lower limit, active noise cancellation that works so well they have scared my wife when she had to shake me to get my attention. And if that's not enough, they can actually scan your ears and tune themselves to your hearing. Of course it should be obvious by now which ones those are, as the only earbuds with those capabilities are HTC's USonic. /rant With my opinion out of the way, the positive I DO see is that it will have a big impact on electronic waste. Not in every case though. I have a rack of iPhones in front of me (as I like to tell Beno), and I don't have an original iPhone charger or cable. The chargers get borrowed and lost, and the cables fail. I think the one original Apple cable my wife does have has exposed shielding and I handle it gently, lol. By the time most people get a new iPhone, they NEED a new cable. Or at least, I do! For reference, I do own three sets of Sennheisers, including the HD 600 and HD 558 which are hanging on my bedpost because I use one or both them every day. Also hanging there are the Ghostek soDrop 2's which you recommended, and I still love. In conclusion: I'm fine with OEM's deleting crummy headphones, but not the great ones.
  • Oh geez not you guys too. Read the article on imore about this yesterday and its just as baffling you all are pushing this narrative.
  • Headphones yes but Charger no. Huawai include their 40 watt charger in the box. The charger is often a USP. We'll be going back a step if it's not included as people will likely not buy their own.
  • First and foremost, phones are now $1k when they were 300$ with a two year contract. Second, leases suck and that is what is pushed now. With this in mind, you think the OEM can throw in a charging cord which is needed to operate out of box. Headphones are another thing altogether, but cmon, let's feel like we get dinner before we get fd.
  • Fun thing... They were still expensive on contract. The difference is that the provider was willing to eat more of the upfront charge because they would then have you locked in for 2 years and were able to get repayment for the rest through your bill. The phones didn't cost less (they did... But not as much as people think) you just didn't see the full cost.
    As for your second point, sprint is the only company that does a lease in the true sense of the word. In that you either pay an exuberant amount at the end of the lease to keep the phone you were paying for or you trade it in and get a new one. In some cases I've come across people that are over 30 months paying on their lease because they never did anything so sprint kept charging them. The rest is closer to loan. You agree to pay them off and at the end you own the device. Leave service, pay up the rest of the device.
  • I have Sprint and have had for decade. My service bill has been a flat cost line for a decade. However Insurance is up and premium phone add on is up. No matter. So, back in day I get 300$ phone that's mine to keep after two years. If I use my phone for 24 months, it's $12.50 month. The more I use it after 2 years, the monthly cost goes down. Now if i would lease, phone is 25$ x 18 months or 450$ and I don't own it. So I just paid more, can't lower my monthly cost, and don't have an asset. Sure people like leases, they seem low cost every month, and they think it's nice to have a new phone every 18 months but in the end leases always cost more. I can't speak for other phone carriers.
  • Why is Jerry and other writers writing that Apple(or others) would lower Phone prices because of this? Seriously, guys. I have a bridge to sell you.
  • Jerry, don't listen to the fools on here. I haven't used the crap buds and crap chargers that come bundled with a new phone for years. They get sold unused when I pass the phone on.
    We don't need them.
  • Sure...remove the the 3.5 headphone jack, now let's remove the charger and ear buds...let's see, what can we take out next...I know let's take out the battery...no, no, no we can't do that because then the battery would be user replaceable and they could buy a new one when the old ones craps out in a year..Hmmmmm?
    So what else can we remove...I know, let's give this to the R and D department and they'll come up with something
  • I've been using mobile phones for well over 20 years now and I can honestly say that the only set of half decent headphones came with a Blackberry Z30. All the others were absolutely rubbish. I do though think that a charger is still an integral part of the purchase package.
  • You might have never had an HTC then. The ones that came with the M8 were very good, the HTC Actives are one of the best earbuds I've heard, and their USonic earbuds are up there with studio grade Sennheisers.
  • If this was a company like LG instead of Apple would this article have been written?
  • I agree with Jerry. Who the F needs another Apple 5 watt charger? Please Apple, don't include that crap with my next iPhone.
  • Lol, charging cable sold separately. No, the cost of a charging cable is not keeping buyers away from the best phones in the world.... Lol, about $500 is. Jerry, just maybe mobile consumers need to wrap their head around the fact that the most premium, maxed spec phones are not intended to be affordable to everyone. For example, who buys maxed out spec PC's either ever, or on a regular basis? Almost nobody. Furthermore, is it not the rumour that Apple wants to get rid of the charging port altogether, and only rely on awful wireless charging? Nobody is buying the most premium phones every two years.... Lol, wake up. The Samsung A71 would be a good example of what truly sells in the Android space, lol.
  • All chargers are not equal!
  • It could also be due to the fact that the EU have made it clear that soon all phones etc. must all be sold with USB charging standards. Apple didn't somehow like that very much.