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Report: Samsung considering shipping phones without chargers

Awhile back, my colleagues here at discovered that Malaysian units of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 smartphone were being shipped without USB adapters. That was already pretty disappointing news for many—but now, a new report claims that Samsung is now considering plans to exclude chargers from standard smartphone boxes in the future.

According to ET News in Korea, this change means that we could be seeing new Samsung smartphones—some of which cost upwards of RM4,000—arriving without in-box charging bricks. This would be a significantly negative move on Samsung’s part, and the sheer number of phones shipped by the company (they’re the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world) means that millions of new customers could be affected by this change in strategy.


So, why would they do this?

It’s worth noting that the report doesn’t make mention of specific phone models, which means that not every device will be missing a charger. I can’t think of a smartphone that has been released without a charger, and it’s usually a given that you’re getting one included in the box. However, Samsung is reportedly betting that chargers have been “sufficiently supplied” enough over the past 10 years—which means that users should have at least one or two lying around the house.

However, smartphones support various charging speeds and technologies these days, with Samsung’s own S20 Ultra supporting 45W fast-charging. Any old charger lying around the house probably won’t be able to charge at that power output—so you’d be charging your device with a much lower speed like the standard 10W (5V 2A). So, what would you do? You’d head over to Samsung’s store, and buy an expensive fast-charger, of course.


ET News also says that Samsung’s move to exclude chargers is down to cost reduction, with the cost of making a smartphone shooting up due to the development of 5G. While internal components are likely more expensive than these chargers, we’ve seen manufacturers exclude accessories such as wired headphones in the past. This is likely to be a result of the heavily saturated smartphone market, and competition (and margins) can be tight.

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Perhaps Samsung is betting that wireless charging will continue to grow as a norm in the industry. Of course, Qi-standard wireless charging is supported on most flagship-class smartphones (and even TWS headphones) these days, but they often don’t produce the same sort of charging speeds that good old wired chargers have.

At the moment, nothing is final yet. Samsung has not officially responded to the news, so this information isn’t confirmed news right now. Furthermore, a timeline hasn’t been given for this purported move, so remember to keep your browser bookmarked on for the latest developments.


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