Since the beginning smartphone boxes (even with Apple and Samsung) were always packed in with necessary accessories with at least chargers and user manuals. In its earlier times, to enhance the marketing of their product most companies included headphones (earpieces), SIM ejector, etc. for benefit their first hand user experience, and has since then remained a major unboxing experience. But when you look at it, it was a necessary action back then to incorporate a charger in the box with a concern for user’s need to charge the device if the battery depletes.
With its immense popularity, smartphones have now come to an extra-hand superior status where they remain somewhat unchallenged. Giant companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, etc. behave somewhat like a trendsetters and improvise certain things.
How has Apple and Samsung decided to do this?
According to a recent 9TO5MAC.com report by a noted Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo comments that with the upcoming iPhone 12, Apple will no longer include wired earbuds or a power adapter in the smartphone box. Apple has remained to be one of the fewest smartphones to bundle both an earpiece and a power brick in the iPhone case, whereas almost all Android devices have stopped providing a headphone packed with their smartphone.
According to Kuo, Apple has made this decision to cut the price of their product. It seems that the new iPhone 12 powered with a yet powerful processor and 5G support might be quite expensive on its face. By making this decision the device could be priced at the cost of iPhone 11. Further, this decoupling will reduce the size of the iPhone packaging considerably (since it will now just include the phone and some paperwork), which in turn will lower Apple’s freight costs, and at Apple’s immense scale, it will also be good for the environment overall. The analyst has not made it clear on whether a cable will continue to be included or not.
Perhaps taking this as an inspiration, according to a recent report, Samsung has also decided to do the same, as they also consider this to be a cheaper method to ship their device to the market. The company is currently evaluating the decision, and it has not finalized when to remove the charging brick and on which phones.
With Apple and Samsung making such decisions, it would probably inspire many other companies to do so. But before we could jump into any conclusions let’s try and understand the logic behind this such sudden decision from both Apple and Samsung. Also, Apple and Samsung has not yet made any official announcement about not including charger in their smartphone boxes. Also the analyst Ming-chi Kuo has been on-point for their comments on Apple’s upcoming moves, so the report does come from a position of high confidence.
For Samsung, the decision is still under consideration, according to our understanding from the original report. Both sets of reports also seemingly suggest to the ‘charging brick’ and not the “brick plus cable” fitting and it doesn’t seem like a stupid decision but rather a smart move.
The decision made by Apple and Samsung, is with the adoption of standard connectors like the early microUSB, and the current USB Type-C. The charging set-up can be broken down into the charger and the cable (i.e. you no longer get a charger with a fixed cable). The decisions also seemingly center around the charging brick, which doesn’t see as much wear and tear as cables do.
But on the other hand, Apple and Samsung’s move can be put forth as a capitalistic approach as all Apple products are priced severely high as a 5W USB Power Adapter costs around 19$ (approximately 1700 Rs in India). So at first glance, the move appears to be going against the consumer’s real interest as it pushes them forward to make an additional purchase while seemingly providing a marketing point to Apple and Samsung of keeping the pricing of the iPhone at the same level as its predecessor.
Also rumours state that Apple and Samsung are trying to popularise the wireless charging system. With Apple this implementation might be of a better benefit as almost all their new-get product support wireless charging feature. A single wireless charging system might power iPhones, iPads and their in the pipeline Apple Glasses.
It is a fact that Apple sets the trend to the entire tech industry, whatever Apple does would initially be trolled upon and will not affect Apple’s sale. But this troll and jokes would exist for a short time and then every smartphone manufacturer would adopt the same strategy. We have seen this earlier with the 3.5mm jack and Infinite display and so on. This change might not affect the overall pricing of the product but in the end Apple and Samsung will make another step of profit and would be a little challenging to the end user. Lets see how things pan out.