You can always count on your new smartphone to come with a charger in the box. However, it now seems that we're moving towards a future where that might not be the case. According to a new report from South Korea, future Samsung phones may not ship with a charger.
Samsung ships hundreds of millions of smartphones every single year. Dropping the charger from even half of its lineup is going to result in major cost reductions for the company. It may also enable the company to price its affordable devices even more aggressively.
Samsung phones may ditch the charger next year
According to the report, Samsung is discussing plans to exclude the charger from the box components for some smartphones. If it decides to go ahead with this, we might see the first Samsung phones to ship without a charger starting next year.
Chargers have been a permanent fixture for as long as we've had mobile phones. They're shipped with the device, even the most affordable of handsets come with one. The world has come a long way, though, from when manufacturers had their proprietary charging slots. You couldn't use a Nokia charger with a Samsung phone. Android manufacturers all use the standard USB connectors with the Type-C standard now trickling down to even mid-range devices. Now, you can use a Samsung charger with a OnePlus phone.
Chances are that you may have a few unused chargers lying around the house from phones that you no longer use or have since replaced. Charging cables are no longer fixed to the brick so even if the cable is damaged, you can easily swap it out for a new one. Samsung is counting on this ubiquity of chargers, which have been consistently supplied with smartphones for over a decade, to no longer ship them with new devices.
There's no doubt that Samsung would continue to sell chargers as official accessories even if it makes that decision. As inexpensive as they might be, many customers still don't prefer using third-party chargers. So Samsung will happily take their money.
Whether or not the benefit of the money saved by excluding chargers is actually passed on to customers through lower phone prices remains to be seen. This could end up being a measure to improve profit margins on smartphones. Excluding accessories to improve margins is something that Samsung already does. Many of its entry-level phones don't ship with even basic headphones in the box.
You might be surprised to know that it's not only Samsung that's considering this. Recent reports suggest that Apple may not include a charger with the iPhone 12 that's due to launch this year. Looks like this will come down to who blinks first. If Apple goes ahead and removes the charger from its new iPhone, we can expect Samsung to make a similar decision next year.