O2 has teamed up with HTC to offer the first mobile phone to come without a mains charger in the box. Set to be launched later this year, the unannounced device will pilot a scheme to reduce electrical waste due to unused chargers.
Instead of a charger, the HTC handset will come with a USB to microUSB cable in the box. O2′s research found that 70 percent of people have an existing charger for their new smartphone resulting in more than 100 million unused chargers.
The move would also mean handsets are being sold cheaper as a charger will be available to buy as an accessory. Not only does the move reduce electrical waste by encouraging reuse of existing chargers, it would have further environmental benefits thanks to less packaging.
Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 said,
“I have a simple vision for O2: we want to take chargers out of boxes full stop. Right now, O2 with HTC has to go it alone on this matter – we both believe in it passionately enough that we can’t wait for the industry as a whole to join us in this crusade. That said, we hope that we will be able to pave the way for others to follow us as this has to be a collective effort if we are to achieve the bigger aim of eliminating chargers sold with every new phone in the UK.”
Most manufacturers have opted to use a microUSB port in their devices and even Apple has released a £15 microUSB to Lightning connector for the new iPhone 5. With most devices now using microUSB cables, the new HTC smartphone could herald a new greener beginning for smartphones.