Google has launched the Google Pixel 5a and, the company confirmed, it will be the last of its smartphones to be delivered with a charger in the box, following in the footsteps of Apple and Samsung.
The decision was, of course, motivated by environmental sustainability. The cardboard used for packaging will be reduced and (according to Google) there should be no particular problems for users, given that Google’s Pixels are equipped with a USB-C port, which is now the charging standard in the Android world.
Even with this in mind, there was no lack of criticism regarding this decision, with many believing that this choice is merely a marketing gimmick used by the company to inflate its profits, rather than a choice made with the environment in mind.
Also Read: Right To Repair: How Do We Make Tech More Sustainable?
While the company removed the chargers from the box, this doesn’t mean that the consumers will not have to purchase an updated charger if they want to charge their new smartphone quickly.
It’s not hard to see the pattern here: users buy a charger at their expense while, on the other hand, the manufacturer will recommend buying the original one for better performance and battery life. Hardly expected of anyone to recommend a cheaper, third-party charger, right?
Besides, it’s truly no secret that, by choosing this option, Google can cut its costs, since it doesn’t have to produce a charger for every unit it manufactures. Not only that, but shipping costs will also go down, thanks to a reduction in the size and weight of the box.
Freelance writer Max Weinbach offered a simple solution to Google: offering the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro at a discounted price to the users who choose to purchase the devices without the charger. No doubt, this would be the most correct solution, though it’s doubtful that Google would consider it.
The Pixel 6 series will launch this fall with top-notch hardware and with the latest software on board. Additionally, the devices will go on sale in countries where Apple and Samsung already sell smartphones without chargers in the box.
The sustainability factor is not without reason however: if the users can use the chargers from their previous models and if those chargers offer what the new devices need, then just piling up new ones doesn’t really make sense. Additionally, the company can minimize its electronic waste, since the consumers will have one less product to throw away when they update their device.