Remember that the EU has been encouraging for universal chargers for smartphones for years to decrease enviroinmental footprint, avoiding a new charger for each new device you buy? Well, looks like the industry have settled on the microUSB 2.0 interface for now, but there’s still a several types in the output from charger to charger.
Yet, regardless of whether you plug your phone in a common computer USB 2.0 port with 500mA output or a beefy 2A dedicated charger, current will still run to your device and the battery will charge, either it’s a day or an hour. And you possibly already have a few of those around from older devices, Xiaomi CEO is pondering shipping smartphones with no charger in the box.
Trying to avoid the possible riot when consumers receive their next Xiaomi smartphone, Lei Jun has asked the question on Weibo, and is collecting opinions about the issue. He’s taking the environmental standpoint, but still some may argue that Xiaomi is just trying to decrease their costs. With a charger by Xiaomi priced at CNY 19.9 or $3.20, and costing a tenth of that to build, there’s tiny merit to that complain.
However, there are practical considerations leading you to think it makes sense not having a bundled charger. For example, if you have a tablet, a smartphone and a smartwatch, it means having three chargers ocuppying three power outlets. Or you can just buy an aftermarket charger which have three USB ports and let the others free. And the trends are to have powers strips, incorporating USB charging ports, with Xiaomi offering a charging port with three USB ports, and three AC outlets.
The batteries are increasing their capacities, so fast charging has become a desired feature, and it requires a particular charger. Omitting in the retail pack and pushing you to use legacy charger and increases the charging times, which won’t be ideal.
Still, there’s a middle ground to be discovered, and entry-level smartphones could be sold with no charger, since they usually come with small batteries. On the other hand, power-hungry flagships could bring a fast charger with them, as a couple of dollars will make a tiny difference in general cost anyway. Taking a no-charger policy to the company, may be a little bit too much at this point.