Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun is considering shipping future smartphones without a charger in the box. To avoid potential uproar when consumers receive their next Xiaomi device, Lei Jun has asked the big question on Weibo, and is gathering user opinions on the matter.
He is taking the environmental standpoint, though some may argue that the company is simply trying to cut costs. With a Xiaomi charger priced at CNY 19.9 or $3.20, and likely costing a tenth of that to manufacture, there’s little merit to that claim.
There are practical considerations however, which may lead you to think it makes sense not to have a charger bundled. For example, if you have a smartphone, a tablet, and say, a smartwatch, that means having three separate chargers occupying three power outlets. Or you can grab an aftermarket charger with three USB ports and free the rest of the outlets, and also render three bundled chargers useless.
Well, the industry seems to have settled on the microUSB 2.0 interface for now, though there’s still a huge variation in the output from charger to charger. Remember how the European Union has been pushing for standardized chargers for smartphones for years to reduce environmental footprint due to having a separate charger for each new generation device you pick up?
Not to mention the trend towards power strips, which incorporate USB charging ports, with Xiaomi itself offering one with three AC outlets and three USB ports.