Last fall, when O2 sold the HTC One X+
in the U.K., it did so without a wall charger. That was not as harsh a move as you might think considering that studies showed that 70% of the carrier's customers already had a charger
that would work with the device. The practice continues to this day and to be sure, the phone does come with the USB to micro USB cable which means that buyers of the phone lack only the actual prongs that fit into the wall outlet. And if someone buying the phone wants to buy one, U2 will sell the missing part at cost.
O2 sold the HTC One X+ in the U.K. without a charger
While the studies would have you estimate that 30% of those buying the HTC One X+ from O2 would opt to purchase the charger, only 18% did. If you can do simple math, 82% purchased the unit without the charger which apparently has given O2 enough confidence to say that it will eliminate chargers from the boxes of all new phones
sold starting in 2015. With 30 million new phones sold annually in the U.K., if the results of this test are repeated, it will save 24 million chargers from sitting around in a desk drawer.
O2's research shows that 100 million unused chargers currently are collecting dust in the U.K., either from an old phone or a duplicate of an existing charger. Consider that these weigh 18,700 tonnes, or the equivalent of 1,000 London buses. It also amounts to 124,274 miles of copper wire and plastic covering, enough to wrap around the O2 Arena 200,000 times. The 100 million chargers would also equal the amount of landfill needed to fill four Olympic-sized swimming pools.
If this program ever migrated to the U.S., would the results be as successful as those experienced by O2 with its trial?
"More than four-in-five of our smartphone customers who have participated in the trial are willing to buy a new phone from us and to use an existing charging device to attach it to the mains. The results of the trial demonstrate a clear willingness among consumers to consider and respond to the environmental argument for taking a phone charger-free. I now hope that as a result of this study the rest of the industry will now consider joining us in our campaign to take chargers out of the box for good."-Ronan Dunne, CEO O2