Following in the lead of Apple and Samsung before it, Google will not include a charging brick accessory in the box of its upcoming Pixel 6 smartphone. In fact, the company won’t include a charger with any future phones at all. Google told The Verge that it made the decision because most people already have chargers.
Writing on the wall — It was a bit controversial when Apple stopped supplying a charger with the iPhone 12. The company at the time said its rationale was similarly that people already have one, but also that removing the charger would reduce environmental waste by eliminating excess chargers that buyers don’t need and by consequently shrinking the size of the phone’s packaging.
Apple was mocked for this justification, though. Because it didn’t lower the price of the iPhone, some claimed the company was driven by a dual motivation of increasing its profit margins.
Samsung followed suite when early this year it released the Galaxy S21 sans any charger in the box.
Whether you believe in the stated rationale, it’s true that most people already have chargers lying around their homes. New smartphone buyers will be a bit inconvenienced, however. Apple extended somewhat of an olive branch when it dropped the charger with the iPhone 12, by reducing the price of the official one it sells separately to $19, down from $29. It’s still kind of lame that Apple couldn’t go with another solution, like giving a charger to customers upon request.
Pixel — The Pixel 6, set to be released this fall, sees Google refresh its staid line of flagship Android phones with a radical new design. And for the first time, the phones will use Google’s own in-house chipsets, which the company says are geared toward improving artificial intelligence and machine learning used for taking pictures, speech recognition, and more. Google has not yet released full details about the phone, which is expected to come in September.
The Pixel line was always supposed to be the best representation of Android out there, but Google had let its phones fall behind the competition in recent years. The new Pixel 6 is supposed to turn things around and make its hardware business exciting again.
Before those phones come, Google is releasing the Pixel 5A later this month. That phone is essentially a refresh of last year’s Pixel 4a but with improved specs and a lower price. Oh, and it comes with a charger in the box — the last of its kind.