News by Andrew Kameka on Friday January 18, 2013.
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British mobile operator O2 held a pilot program where it sold the HTC One X+ without the USB charger that typically comes with a phone, and the results of the initiative have convinced the company that customers don't need to have a charger bundled with their new devices.
The "Charger out of the Box" program launched in October with the aim of seeing if customers who purchased an HTC One X+ would need a USB charger to plug the phone into a wall outlet. The package included only a USB-to-micro-USB cord to connect the phone to a computer, but gave customers the option to purchase the charger at cost. O2 expected 70 percent of buyers to not need a charger because they already have the necessary equipment, but the program exceeded expectations and 82 percent did not need a charger.
O2 sees the pilot program as evidence that customers don't need new chargers with every device, so it may make more environmental sense not to include them with every smartphone purchase. O2 estimates that 100 million unused chargers in the UK unnecessarily use raw material resources and end up in landfills. With 30 million smartphones sold each year, unused chargers can lead to a large amount of potential waste. Though not mentioned specifically, cutting out bundled chargers would also save operators and manufacturers money.
The results of its pilot program have encouraged O2 to continue with its plan to phase out chargers included with smartphone sales. The company plans to supply charger-free smartphones by 2015.source: O2 UK
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.