Apple made waves a few months ago when it announced that it wouldn’t be including charging bricks with the iPhone 12. At the time, the Big Tech firm cited environmental concerns and the fact that most people already have a charging brick (albeit not the right one) as the main reasons for the change.
Now, another large smartphone manufacturer is taking the same approach. Xiaomi has confirmed that its upcoming Mi 11 won’t come with a charging brick in the box, The Verge reports. Oddly enough, Xiaomi was one of many companies to poke fun at Apple after its controversial decision earlier this year.
It now appears that Apple has started yet another trend for the smartphone industry. Consumers who like getting all the parts they need to operate a new device might be in for a rude awakening with the launch of next-gen flagship phones.
Adapter Not Included
Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun confirmed the news on China’s social media site Weibo on Friday. He said, “In response to the call of technology and environmental protection, the included charger is canceled from the box. Hope to get your support. Is there a better solution between industry practice and environmental protection?”
To be clear, helping the environment by reducing e-waste and not selling unnecessary tech junk is a noble endeavor. The problem with the trend of not including a charging brick in the box is that many manufacturers are switching to USB-C charging. Given the fact that USB-C-to-USB-C chargers are still relatively new, most consumers don’t already have that type of charging brick. Instead, many have dozens of adapters with a USB-A port.
Moreover, many of today’s newest phones are compatible with fast charging. Without a compatible power brick, however, that feature is rendered useless.
As such, the trend of not including power adapters in the box begs the question: is there an ulterior motive?
Most people would say yes. It is a clear way for device manufacturers to further add to their profits while still charging consumers more than ever. Aside from the decreased cost of not supplying a power brick, companies also have an opportunity to sell their own accessories.
Apple (conveniently) already does this. While it’s unclear what Xiaomi plans to do, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the company selling an official charging brick in the near future.
Perhaps the most concerning part of this trend is that Xiaomi doesn’t appear to be the last manufacturer with plans to ditch in-box charging adapters.
Numerous rumors claim that Samsung won’t including a power brick with its flagship Galaxy S21 phones. If both Samsung and Apple ditch chargers, it’s likely that the rest of the industry will follow. That being said, the end of buying a device with all the accessories you need for it could be coming to an end.
Ultimately, that is a sad reality for the tech world as manufacturers continue to separate consumers from their money under the guise of helping the environment.