back to article A volt from the blue: Samsung reportedly ditches wall-wart from future phones

Samsung is reportedly considering unbundling mains chargers from some of its upcoming smartphones — supposedly because customers have enough of the things lying around already. The as-yet unconfirmed report comes from Korean business publication ETNews, which cites the justification of redundancy — most people already have a …

  1. Pete 2

    The Ryanair model

    Salesperson: Certainly, here's a cheap phone. You won't find one cheaper - guaranteed.

    Oh, the battery is an extra £60 plus fitting charge

    A screen, you say. By all means .... kerching £100 more please.

    Great. Now, would the customer like some software to go with their new phone .....

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The Ryanair model

      Possibly, though Ryanair has repeatedly lost in court of synthetic charges. But for consumer electronics that need charging it's only justifiable if appropriate standardised charging devices are available, ie. not manufacturer-specific ones.

      But maybe customers will get a choice (with a synthetic discount if you don't want one, which justifies the price of the standalone one), which is probably the best approach.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Ryanair model

      Not really. We generally only have 1 spare tire *in* the car that is being used and sold/traded in. So providing one in with the price is a must for good customer service.

      But phone chargers? Most people now have loads, and if not adding one to the cart and postal system/picking it up in store is a nobrain, and much much less hassle than Ryan Air or your local car dealer taking off the door handles as "optional extras".

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: The Ryanair model

        "But phone chargers? Most people now have loads"

        Well, sort of. I have quite a few standard 0.5A USB chargers. I think I have two that support some sort of fast charging, but only the early generation type that is nowhere near the 20ish W of more modern standards. I have zero USB-C cables or anything capable of supply relevant amounts of power through them. I have a variety of cables with either mini- or micro-USB connectors rated for a variety of different powers, some power only, all unlabeled of course.

        Sure, it's possible to buy them separately, but when buying brand new things costing hundreds, potentially thousands, of pounds, there's an awful lot to be said for making sure it's actually usable out of the box. If I buy a shiny new phone, I shouldn't have to worry that I'm not actually able to charge it, and I shouldn't have to do research to figure out what I actually need to be able to do so. Providing the basic equipment needed absolutely should be part of the package.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: The Ryanair model

          Brussels cares not for such practical concerns!

          At the same time, if I were paying hundreds/thousands for a new shiny, I'd do my reseach first and see what comes with it, what extras I might need.

          That, and sales drones will be falling overthemselves to flog you more kit.

        2. DenTheMan

          Re: The Ryanair model

          First thing I do with a new phone is turn fast charging off.

          The 0.5A charge is my preferred safe choice for long life.

          I wonder if Apple were slow in upping the charge rate in their supplied chargers knowing the strain from their chunky Intel like CPU on their quite unsubstantial batteries.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: The Ryanair model

      Otherwise known as the "BMW and Mercedes" model of selling where everything not required to be a functional car is an optional cost-plus extra.

      Unlike manufacturers like Toyota, Honda, Kia et. al wheich tend to provide a good level of toys as standard and where the add-ons tend to be cosmetic..

  2. Sykowasp

    I mean, you can buy decent multi-port high-wattage USB charger warts for fairly cheap, so on the one hand, just include it you cheapskate mobile phone manufacturer, on the other, you probably already have 10 of the blighters and this will save $3 on the $1200 retail price, and this will let us pack more phones into a shipping container, which is good for the environment!

    1. Giles C Bronze badge

      Just did a quick count up most of fhe power sockets in my house also have usb power links (make that about 20 charging ports) the computers between them have about 18 USB ports and I have about 5 chargers.

      Now as to usb cables, well there are some that charge devices, some the work for data, and a few (usually misplaced) which can reliably do both, and that is before you get to the disaster zone called usb c.....

      Anyway do I need more chargers probably not.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Don't power sockets with a USB socket use a constantly-on step-down transformer to feed the USB socket so if you wire up your house with them you raise your electricity bill?

        Real question.

        1. Evil_Goblin

          Yes but then how many people unplug their wall warts when not in use?

          The only concern with them I have is that heat management is more of an issue, and there is no quick means of isolation if it all starts getting a bit warm, whereas if things start getting a bit melty with a wall wart you can switch it off / whip it out.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Yes but then how many people unplug their wall warts when not in use?

            Well, me for one.

            I guess if I were ever to install a power/USB socket, it'd be one which uses the switch to turn on/off both power and USB, if such a thing exists.

          2. Cuddles Silver badge

            "Yes but then how many people unplug their wall warts when not in use?"

            Why would you need to unplug them when there's a perfectly good on/off switch on the socket?

        2. Steve Todd

          Only if the manufacturers are idiots

          They mostly use switch mode PSUs, which are smaller, lighter, cheaper and draw very little power when inactive.

          The down side is they tend to be quite electrically noisy compared to a simple transformer/rectifier/linear regulator (I.e. traditional PSU).

        3. John H Woods Silver badge

          Transformer

          I should imagine it's a SMPS transformer working in the order of 100kHz and the power dissipation is almost insignificant when not powering a USB device.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: Transformer

            Am I wrong about this or is it that one person that downvotes every one of my non-anonymous posts?

            I thought SMPS had very small high freq transformers and were pretty efficient

            1. Steve Todd

              Re: Transformer

              Yes, Switch Mode PSUs have a small, high frequency transformer in them. Because the source AC voltage is first rectified to DC, then converted to a high frequency square wave, the transformer can be much smaller than the usual 50/60Hz mains transformers of linear PSUs, and you don’t get as much loss from the primary side (mostly due to core eddy currents and resistance of the many turns of wire needed for a 50/60Hz model). Because there is feedback from the output stage to the chopper circuit (that produces the square waves) there is little to no input to this transformer when there is no load on the output.

              No, I don’t understand why people are downvoting you either. It seems they don’t understand the (common) technology, but aren’t prepared to put their mouth where their voting finger is by explaining why they think you are wrong.

      2. BGatez Bronze badge

        Sure, cause my mobile phone always runs down while I'm at home

    2. big_D Silver badge

      This isn't about cost of devices, it is about electronic waste reduction. If you have 10 chargers, do you really need another one?

      We got rid of 8 or so last year, down to just 2 in the kitchen for recharging the whole house full of tech.

    3. juice Silver badge

      > I mean, you can buy decent multi-port high-wattage USB charger warts for fairly cheap

      I agree to a degree - and with the fact that you can buy a charger separately, if you so desire. And I fully agree on the environmental impact; I don't think I've even taken the charger out of the box for my last few handsets, since I've got wireless Qi chargers sat next to my bed and work desk.

      On the other hand...

      We're seeing an ongoing evolution in battery technology - both in terms of capacity and charging. E.g. as the article points out, Apple is moving to offer 20W chargers, which probably have more processing power than a Commodore Amiga packed into them, to monitor and optimise the charging flows.

      Meanwhile, most generic chargers top out at 11W, and are unlikely to have all the fancy optimisation tricks.

      Put simply, there's going to be a lot of people who'll find their big, powerful phones to be always on the edge of running out of juice, since they can't keep them topped up when using generic chargers.

      Personally, I think the environmental win is still more important, and anyone with technical nous will be able to sort themselves out.

      But I can see a lot of disgruntlement around this, and a lot of next-generation phones getting a bad reputation for poor battery life!

  3. Jim-234

    It's more than a bit annoying if you purchase a top of the range Samsung phone and are out like $1200 to $1400 at a minimum, and you still have to put up with that stupid Bixby trying to shove ads in your face if you swipe the wrong way.

    But now they just say let's forget the lube all together and not even bother putting in the $10 charger & cable so now you have to go buy it elsewhere or pay like $50 for our "original" one.

    If they are not a bit more careful what they are actually going to do is destroy their entire high end range ability as the customers will eventually say why bother paying a premium and get treated this poorly?

    1. David Nash

      The point is, pretty much everyone who will be buying one of these will already have a compatible charger. Are you saying they have to bundle an unwanted charger to maintain their "high end" image?

      1. DS999

        Yeah I think we are well past time for no longer including a charger in the box with every phone. How many people are left on Earth who don't already own one?

        Especially if they included a QR code in the 'instruction' sheet that comes with that you can scan and go to a site where you can order one for the cost of postage.

        If the EU really wants to fix "e-waste" this is how you do it. Making the charger comply with a standard doesn't reduce waste in the long run - someday you're going to decide to throw away some of the extra chargers in your junk drawer. Better if you don't accumulate any more than you already have.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "If the EU really wants to fix "e-waste" this is how you do it. Making the charger comply with a standard doesn't reduce waste in the long run - someday you're going to decide to throw away some of the extra chargers in your junk drawer. Better if you don't accumulate any more than you already have."

          Unless, of course, this is the long term result of standardising phone charging connectors. Most people now no longer need a new one so now the e-waste "mountain" of chargers will reduce.

          1. DS999

            Perhaps, but that standardization would have occurred regardless of the EU trying to enforce it.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge
              WTF?

              You're funny

              Chargers would never become standardised without that legislation.

              Even now Apple refuse to use a standard cable.

              1. DS999

                Re: You're funny

                Apple's chargers have always been USB based. The cable doesn't matter, you can plug Apple Lightning cables in a Samsung charger or use an Apple charger with Samsung's charging cables. Are you really going to claim that cables are a big problem for landfills? How many hundreds or thousands of cables does it take to equal the 'e-waste' of a single PC?

                If the EU had gone through with their mandate we'd still be stuck on microUSB connectors on phones. Bureaucracies don't move as quickly as technology so anyone who thinks they would have quickly modified their rules when USB-C came out needs to visit their local department of motor vehicles for a refresher course in what red tape looks like.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: You're funny

                  Apples chargers may use a usb socket but they don't seem to be true usb chargers.

                  las t time a friend tried charging his iphone here (last years model) he found that with his genuine lead it refused to charge from the usb chargers that we use for our samsung & honor phones, in the end the only thing we found that would charge it was an old charger for a 1st generation ipad mini.

                  1. werdsmith Silver badge

                    Re: You're funny

                    I plug the iPhone into anything to charge it. PC or laptop outlet, the car, any old charger, USB outlets provided on buses, modern furniture and in public places. They all work and they all work with a charger cable from Poundland.

                    Apple are not going to supply the phone that can’t be charged from the USB socket in a plane seat.

                  2. DS999

                    Re: You're funny

                    I've never encountered anything USB that wouldn't charge an iPhone.

                    Perhaps those Samsung & Honor phone chargers are what is non standard, given how Android phones have competed in the "how fast we can charge" race and would have reason to go non-standard to improve that metric.

                  3. doublelayer Silver badge

                    Re: You're funny

                    "las t time a friend tried charging his iphone here (last years model) he found that with his genuine lead it refused to charge from the usb chargers that we use for our samsung & honor phones, in the end the only thing we found that would charge it was an old charger for a 1st generation ipad mini."

                    I really don't know about this. I have had iPhones, and they have charged off anything, up to and including a Raspberry Pi. I know I charged one off this really cheap plug next to me which is, let me check, a ZTE. I don't even know how I got a ZTE USB adapter, but it works fine on everything, so it remains in service.

      2. jake Silver badge

        "pretty much everyone who will be buying one of these will already have a compatible charger."

        This is true.

        Unfortunately, the very same "pretty much everyone" will be absolutely terrified over the thought of having to pick which of their many chargers to use with the new phone because the old charger might be incompatible, and thus brick the new purchase.

        You know, and I know, and pretty much everybody reading ElReg knows how phone charging works ... but most of the public don't. They want "the right charger", the one that came with the phone. I can introduce you to many people who absolutely refuse to plug their phone into their laptop or their car to charge, "because it might catch on fire".

        And bad news for high-end phone dealers ... in my experience it would seem that the wealthier the person involved, the less likely they will be to listen to the voice of reason.

    2. Qumefox

      I imagine they'll probably still come with cables. I think it's just the USB wall wart they'll be leaving out. And honestly. I have a drawer full of those already, and i'm sure most people who buy consumer products of any type with any frequency do as well. So I honestly don't think this is a horrible decision on their part. While it kind of sucks that them leaving it out isn't going to affect pricing any, at least it's slightly better for the planet in that there will be slightly less ewaste generated.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      I just use the charger from my previous phone... /shrug

  4. TVC

    Any chance of a half decent, (or even crapy) protective flip cover for my £1200 phone instead?

  5. Joe Gurman

    Isn't the EU argument....

    ....that everyone has so many cords and chargers lying around that it's creating excess electronic waste?

  6. HildyJ Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Orphans

    Everyone buying a phone, with the possible exception of orphans at an orphanage, already has a charger or lives with someone who has an extra charger.

    The production of chargers uses electronic components and plastic and creates electronic and plastic waste. The inclusion of a charger requires a bigger box which increases shipping, warehousing, and inventory space and their environmental impacts.

    Unless the charger does something special (and I have no idea what that might be) it would be a good thing if all phones shipped without chargers.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Orphans

      I dunno how the latest Samsung phones behave with USB C PD (power delivery), but the older models used a quick charging system that upped the voltage if the device shook hands with the charger. Thankfully this hand shaking malarky means no devices are hurt if one crosses chargers with the One Plus system that ups the Amps upon handshake - they all default to 2.1 a at 5v or thereabouts.

      1. HildyJ Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Orphans

        And Anker sells their intelligent fast chargers starting at under $10. Still not convinced I need a new one.

        Mind you, it would be nice if Samsung (and Apple) reduced their prices a bit. Like that will happen.

    2. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Orphans

      Unless the charger does something special (and I have no idea what that might be) it would be a good thing if all phones shipped without chargers.

      Most of the chargers I have lying around provide a maximum of 500 or 750mA. Some of them have captive cables with micro-USB B plugs, rather than a USB A socket and an A to micro B cable.

      My current phone wants a charging current of 1500mA or more, and is USB C. I think that may count as "something special", as my old chargers can't provide it.

      What I'd like the manufacturers to do is always to include a cable (sync and charge variety) in the box, as I never seem to have enough of those, and to include a voucher for a wall-wart (NOT the sort with a captive cable) in the box, so people whose old phones charged at lower current can have a free upgrade.

  7. druck Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Think of the Pi's

    This means you'll have to buy a PSU for the Raspberry Pi, rather than using old phone chargers.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Think of the Pi's

      ... you'll have to buy a PSU for the Raspberry Pi ...

      You'll have a hard time finding an OEM phone charger that gives you the solid 5V@2.0A/2.5A needed to run a RPi with something plugged in.

      Most if not all phone chargers these days are designed to charge Li-Ion batteries and this happens without issues even if the voltage drops considerably below the nominal charger output voltage, even as low as 4.5V, which is well below the minimum voltage a RPi needs to boot properly ie: 4.8V.

      O.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: Think of the Pi's

        I've never had a problem with the dozens of Samsung chargers we've got lying around. The original 5V only and the newer fast charge 9V/5V all produce a rock solid 5.25V.

  8. oiseau Silver badge
    WTF?

    Opportunity

    ... which gives you a clue to the potential benefits of offering them separately.

    Of course.

    How could they possibly miss the opportunity of gouging their customers just a bit more.

    Not to mention the fine print/legalese that will appear somewhere saying that whatever happens to a phone not charged/used with their charger is, unfortunately, not covered by the warranty.

    Wonders never cease ...

    O.

  9. Annihilator Silver badge

    Thoughts

    My first thought is, aren’t the watchdogs constantly telling us to watch out for dodgy aftermarket chargers? I’ve been through a few of the cheap ones, and they often interfere with the touch screen on my phone. Amazon certainly aren’t great at distinguishing which ones are knockoffs and likely to catch fire.

    Second one - when is someone going to come up with a 5V/12V ring main for domestic use. A single transformer in your consumer unit, serving the non-kitchen appliances. Nearly everything that’s plugged into a wall outside the kitchen runs at 12V max on the inside. Surely we can start to optimise the 220VAC -> 12VDC transformer by just doing it once instead of 40 transformers around the house? Heck lights can be a 12V main too if we all move to LED.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Thoughts

      Low voltage power distribution isn't very efficient, so possibly never. You could, however, build them into the mains socket. In fact, we appear to have a commentard further up in the forum who has exactly that on all sockets.

      1. mikeinnc

        Re: Thoughts

        The dual wall sockets (we call them GPO or 'General Purpose Outlet') with USB included have become very popular and relatively inexpensive in Australia, and I know many, many people - most not at all 'technically' inclined - who have replaced a standard dual plate for one with in-built USB sockets. Way to go!

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: Thoughts

          And an excellent idea in many ways - I'll probably get around to installing some myself, next time I need to do mains wiring - but would I trust a USB socket in e.g. a strange hotel to be anything other than a simple 5v supply? Not bloody likely I wouldn't...

          Call me paranoid, but to me it's as mad as stuffing a random USB stick in the side... there's far too much scope for mischief!

          1. Bowlers
            Facepalm

            Re: Thoughts

            but would I trust a USB socket in e.g. a strange hotel to be anything other than a simple 5v supply? Not bloody likely I wouldn't...

            What you need then is Voltmeter App, just plug your phone into the hotel's USB socket and....Oh!

          2. JonnyT

            Re: Thoughts

            There are quite a few guides out on t'Internet dedicated to cutting the data wires on a charging lead for use in public USB charging ports; it even has a name; the USB Condom!

            https://lifehacker.com/use-a-usb-condom-to-protect-your-devices-at-public-char-1840149971

        2. druck Silver badge

          Re: Thoughts

          Be aware that the transformers in dual wall sockets tend to be very inefficient, some even operating when nothing is plugged in. This can mean a lot of heat needs to be dissipated, and how successful that is will depend on the type of wall it is fitted in. A thermal camera shows they only thing worse is an old inductive dimmer switch, and even they are only active when the light is on.

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: 5v/12v ring

      Thanks to P = VA, the current draw quickly mounts up at 12v, even more so at 5v, for a given power level. To avoid setting your house alight after plugging a few things in, your 12v DC ring will need to handle a lot more current than your standard 240v AC ring main. E.g.

      20W @ 240v = 0.0833A

      20W @ 12v = 1.667A

      20W @ 5v = 4A

      That current draw is much more manageable when each outlet (or wall wart) is doing the step-down from 240v to 12v or 5v. For the 20W example it's less than 0.08 amps at the outlet.

      Using UK standard ring main 26A cabling, you can plug in a whole bunch of stuff (~2880 devices) at that 240V, 20W, before the current draw gets dangerous.

      At 12v you can plug in ~15 20W devices before hittng the 26A threshold.

      At 5v it's only 6 devices.

      Suddenly your ring main wiring needs to be way thicker so you don't set the house on fire. Lower the volts, the thicker (and more expensive, and more difficult to work with) the wiring.

      1. Annihilator Silver badge

        Re: 5v/12v ring

        Agreed, but wondering what the load would actually look like though, I'm envisaging a low-power type socket, I wouldn't imagine anything heavy watts on it. Think about all the wall warts around your house, they're typically a couple of watts at 5V only, maybe 12V and 50W or something for a laptop, but nothing like the 300W you suggest. LED lights are single watt too.

        House of the future, outside the kitchen I can't think of more than 5 appliances that would use more than 10W. It would also eliminate the risk of the 20 to 30 transformers around the house (some built into power sockets already) of varying quality and fire safety. I'm thinking of one certified transformer in the consumer unit instead that takes care of everything, with RCD built in. Presumably more efficient than the multiple cheap nasty things at each socket too.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: 5v/12v ring

          "Agreed, but wondering what the load would actually look like though"

          There are quite a few devices capable of drawing high power outside the kitchen (and I'm assuming you are also counting the laundry room and garage in the rooms needing higher power). There is of course the powerful desktop computer, especially a gaming or high-processing dev machine, probably one of the first to jump to mind for us on this forum. But there are other things, some with even higher draw. Printers, for example, can get pretty spiky. Portable heaters which are designed to quickly warm up the immediate area are also power hungry. Vacuum cleaners vary a lot, but I have not yet seen a USB vacuum capable of rapidly cleaning the floor. Fans may not be very hungry, but they will draw quite a bit of current if you run them at 5V. Televisions, speaker systems, and the like run with relatively little power, but high enough that running them together at low voltage is going to push the current level too high. Even laptops with large screens can charge at around 100W, usually through 20V USB-PD, which at 12V is a potentially undesirable 8.33A.

          The problem is that there are potential users of increased power elsewhere in the house, so you will want to provide it. Probably relatively few people want to run an 800W GPU stack, but those who do will be annoyed if you take their mains availability away. Since we can easily step down to voltages at the point of the device, but stepping up is going to mean dangerous current draw, it is probably more efficient to leave sufficient voltage for more power hungry devices. If those voltages are never requested, little is lost.

          1. Annihilator Silver badge

            Re: 5v/12v ring

            I should be clear, I'm not advocating a removal of the 220v ring main. I know there's still a use case for some devices (it's why I said "can't think of more than 5"), I'm talking about an additional low voltage one.

            The lighting circuit though, could easily be replaced with 12v.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: 5v/12v ring

              Lighting needs more than 12V.

              The smallest LED lamp that's useful for general illumination is around 5-10W, which is sufficient for a small room like a WC. That's 0.5 - 1A.

              For a lounge or dining room, we need three or four times that. A single 5 foot kitchen/office LED striplight is around 60W (replaces an 85W florry) This is all with efficacy of >80lm/W.

              That 60W striplight draws 5A at 12V. Or 0.26A at 230V.

              Power loss in the wiring is I²R, so that 12V 60W lamp wastes 370 times the energy of the 230V version.

              There is some effort into 48V lighting, a figure chosen because it's less than 50V

            2. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: 5v/12v ring

              I suppose the question would then be why. Let's assume you could create secondary circuits at lower voltage. What would the benefit be of doing that? If you still provide the main circuit at normal voltage, your secondary circuit means extra installation, extra possibility for breaking, etc. without removing any of the cost associated with the main one. Meanwhile, providing the ability to use higher voltage may be useful in a limited number of circumstances. For example, most places could probably use LED bulbs at lower voltage (although how low is in question, see the other reply for details). However, some may wish to use a different type of bulb. I know some people use bulbs that release more ultraviolet light to promote vitamin D creation. I don't know if those have a higher power requirement. Most importantly, I don't know what other unusual types of bulbs people use, and I don't know if it's a good idea to make it more difficult for them to do so.

              1. Annihilator Silver badge

                Re: 5v/12v ring

                More efficient step-down instead of 20 cheap/nasty/dangerous transformers around the house? Not sure their efficiency - a cursory Google suggests 60-70%.

                Then there's the dodgy versions. Even the supposedly good ones (Anker as an example) exhibit some of the symptoms of cheaper chargers (I've got "flicker" on mine, leaking noise from the AC meaning the touchscreen on devices is erratic) which is one of the least problematic issues.

                A cool (nerdy) comparison of how they're performing is here:

                http://www.righto.com/2012/10/a-dozen-usb-chargers-in-lab-apple-is.html

                I wouldn't mind a chunky certified transformer in one place doing this in a safer manner. Wouldn't say it should be retrofitted, but new house builds could certainly benefit from it.

    3. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Thoughts

      There was a story some time ago of Apple buying 100 “original Apple Chargers” from Amazon and testing them. Among 100 chargers sold as “original Apple” zero were made by Apple (or whoever makes chargers), and 80 were more or less dangerous.

  10. FIA

    Or Mondelez widening the gap between the peaks in a Toblerone bar. Pick your analogy.

    Oooo..... Ooooo.... Twix not lying flat anymore to save the few mm of wrapping per bar.*

    As for the charger thing, seems like a good idea, less waste and all that.

    * I'll be honest I was hoping the comments would've become a list of cuious money saving exploits by now...

  11. Pangasinan Philippines
    Flame

    Safety?

    I sleep at night, safe in the knowledge that my phones, iPad etc are using the manufacturers' chargers.

    After reading of (often fatal) fires caused by poorly made chargers (five stars on Amazon!), I will never used unbranded chargers.

    The future is not bright.

    Just saying.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No charge......

    First they came for the headphone sockets, and I did nothing..............

  13. ThatOne Silver badge
    Devil

    Standard Marketing

    Doesn't matter if it's a can of beans or some high-tech gizmo, it's always remove options (or reduce the amount of product), and to compensate, increase the price. "By popular request" of course.

  14. Big_Boomer Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Standards? <rotfpmsl>

    Excellent idea. I have a box full of model/manufacturer specific chargers as well as chargers with built in Mini-USB, Micro-USB, USB-C, & Apple Lightning cables, as well as several that just have USB type A sockets to go with a cable from the adjacent box of USB to whatever cables. Most of these have never been used as like many people I have several devices that need regular charging so by my bedside I have a 6 x 3Amp USB type A charger that can charge just about anything and a 4 x 3Amp charger with multiple mains socket adaptors for when I travel. What would make life much easier would be if all my devices used the same connector, but the chances of getting everyone to agree on one connector is slim, and before people start screaming for one or the other, I DON'T CARE WHICH so long as it's easy to plug in and is NOT polarised.

  15. big_D Silver badge

    EU push

    The Germans and EU have been pushing for this as well. The average household has more chargers than devices, so why do I need a new one, every time I buy a new device? If the device runs permanently off the main, that is another thing.

    We have 2 tablets, 2 phones, Kindles, headsets etc. that all need charging "now and then", we have 2 chargers in the kitchen for all of them (one USB-C, one MicroUSB).

    Last year, we had a clean out and I threw away about 8 orphaned USB chargers.

  16. Apprentice

    It won't be cheaper though.

    Do we really believe that savings made by omitting the charger and cable will be passed down to the consumer? Of course not. What it will do is encourage the likes of Apple to inflate the already inflated price of a charger, that you can guarantee the sheep will buy. It's not about economy or the environment, it's about increasing profit.

  17. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

    Maybe prices will go down then

    ... I crack me up!

  18. JonnyT

    Schrödinger's Wall Wart

    Phone manufacturers surely cannot have it both ways?

    If they insist on hobbling their phones so they only work with 'approved' chargers and cables, then they should bundle the means to charge said device. If, however, they start 'un-bundling' said chargers and devices, hiding behind the old 'environment' virtue signal, then allow 'customers' to charge their device how they see fit.

    If the phone manufacturers truly cared about the environment, then they would have settled on a single approved connector and power standard for chargers and cables long ago, and also given phones a supported lifespan for software updates actually longer than the average contract these days...

  19. BGatez Bronze badge

    So sure that $2 plug a profit buster on Samsungs $500- 1200 phones

  20. MachDiamond Silver badge

    I'm good

    Just put a new cable in the box that fits a bog standard USB port. F-USBc. I have a plug strip in the bedroom and home office with chargers and can switch it on when needed. I've got a shoe box full of 5v mains USB power supplies as spares. My favorite are the ones with a USB socket rather than a dangly bit of cord attached. Everything I travel with has a car charger in the car. The cables tend to be UV absorbing material that disintegrate back into monatomic dust so they always need replacing. Always keep an eye out at car parks, people kick cables out of the car all the time. I find at least one a month.

  21. Colonel Mad

    Good.

    I'm fed up with stuff that is wider/deeper that a standard UK plug top, I completely p****d off with wall warts that spew cables in every direction, or ones that resemble a Transformer™, and have be pulled, tugged or whatever to get the pins in what passes for the right pattern. One the other hand, I'll never buy an iPhone, and Samsung are too tardy in the update department for my liking.

  22. Quentintheflorid

    Ker-ching

    "My phone's stopped working."

    "Oh dear, what happened?"

    "I put it on charge last night. This morning it's dead."

    "What type of charger did you use?"

    "One I had lying around as I was told. This one, here I've brought it with me."

    "Ah, that is incompatible with your phone."

    "But I was told I could use any that fitted."

    "Sorry, but paragraph 2,300, sub-paragraph 4,000 of the customer agreement clearly states that no responsibility can be accepted for damage caused by using an incorrect charger. However we are happy to replace your phone in exchange for £600-1500."

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