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Samsung may join Apple in ditching included chargers with new phones

The dongle is us.

samsung android phone on table

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Samsung may be the latest company to ditch included chargers with its new phones. At least, that’s what rumors are indicating. And you know what they say about rumors; if you slap a duck and it turns into a snake, you’re drunk again, Kevin.

We just learned that Apple plans to ship the iPhone 12 without an included charger. This means if you don’t have an existing charger and Lightning cable, you’ll have to buy one. It also means that if (big if) Apple finally switches to universal USB-C, you’ll have to buy a new set of chargers if you are living in the Apple ecosystem. Considering most of us have chargers in every room, that’s a nice added expense on top of forking over ~$1000 for a phone.

Reactions have been mixed, to say the least. Either Apple is being a massive prick and forcing consumers to fork over more money for a charger, or it is trying to save the environment by creating less waste (doubtful), or it assumes you already have a charger (you likely do) and don’t need yet another one. Or it is really moving to USB-C (doubtful, as that is contradictory to the ecosystem). At first, this news elicited a grumble and an irrationally angry reaction but now that Samsung is following suit, it makes sense.

For the first time in a long time, Apple is ahead of its competition in some regard. While generally behind in OS capability, this move kind of makes sense now. I use Android products, so when I first looked at it I was thinking about Lightning cables, which I don’t use. But with reports surfacing that Samsung might also remove the charger from new phone packaging it kind of clicked. There is a reason I have charging stations in every room, because every product I buy has one included with it. I have a drawer full of USB cables and while USB-C is still being adopted by many manufacturers, I have a few of those as well.

Plus, with third-party vendors like Anker and Monoprice, picking up cheap charging cables and bases isn’t a huge money sink, especially if they are secondary anyway. Chances are if you are buying a new phone that works in the same ecosystem as your previous phone, you already have at least one charging cable and base. That appears to be the logic behind the move by Samsung. For some reason, it seems more authentic when Samsung says it wants to reduce waste than Apple, a company that has been forcing users to live in dongle hell for years.

Samsung has been using USB-C for a while on its phones, as have other manufacturers of phones and tablet devices that aren’t Apple

Even so, USB-C is still not perfect as a universal power and data transfer standard, which might be a reason that could either push Apple to revolutionize USB-C or ignore it altogether. Either way, the move by both manufacturers to ditch the included power cable doesn’t ruffle my feathers as it did a week ago. Looking around my house at the countless charging cables hanging from power stations, for both Android and iOS devices, I don’t need to add to that pile, and when/if I do, I’ll just pick one up for a few bucks online.

We’re still not exactly sure what the iPhone 12 will look like, much less which charging system it will employ. Leaks point to remaining with a lightning cable, but you know what they say about leaks; if you have to take one, make sure Kevin is wearing his special umbrella hat.

What do you think? Are you ok with companies not including chargers and cables in upcoming tech devices? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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A tech writer on the internet for over 15 years for outlets such as Forbes, Wired, TNW, and others, Curtis is exhausted, burnt out and happy to just write buying guides and the occasional review for KnowTechie, the best tech blog your mom never told you about. Ephemeral existence for ephemeral times. Please send pitches and grainy pictures of the inside of your elbow to kevin@knowtechie.com

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