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 and a set of EarPods will also set you back $29, 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.
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.
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