Some phone users in Nigeria have expressed their anger at the latest trend by phone manufacturers of excluding chargers and earpieces from new phones. This trend is causing phone users extra money as anyone without an old charger would have to start looking for an original charger to buy after buying a new phone.
Apple started the trend in 2020 with iPhone 12, citing environmental reasons. The company said the decision to ditch chargers and earpieces from its phone pack would help to reduce plastic waste. Samsung also followed suit by releasing its S21 series without a charger and earpiece. The latest iPhone 14 as well as Samsung S22 are also being sold without chargers or earpieces.
Nigerians who took to the microblogging site, Twitter, to express their displeasure with spending extra money after buying exorbitant phones, said other phone manufacturers would soon copy the trend if not checked.
What they are saying
Expressing his displeasure with the development, a Twitter user with the handle @ThatPHCBoy said: “I cannot believe we are okay with phone companies selling mobile phones without chargers. Apple started this nonsense and Samsung and Google have followed them. A few years ago, you get a charger, earpiece, pouch, and screen guard all for free, this is actually upsetting. If the excuse is protecting the environment as they claim, why then are we getting new phones every year, and why are they still making chargers for sale?”
“Now you buy a charger and air pods after buying a phone. What’s next? Phones won’t come with batteries and you have to buy that separately? I cannot believe we are okay with this. Vehicle manufacturers are taking notes, soon you will buy a car and then buy a battery and tyres separately. Let’s be watching!
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“I really hope Europe does something about this so it can cascade across the world, America is the global HQ of capitalism so nothing will happen there,” he added.
In another tweet, @SuogheneB said: “My Samsung came without an earpiece I demanded to know why and was told some even come without a charger. Not cool at all.”
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Also reacting to the development, @robisky6 said: “This is serious oh. So, a first-time iPhone user will have to go buy a charger separately if peradventure he doesn’t have a spare one. That’s like renting an apartment without a roof.”
For @honkezo, the decision to jettison chargers by the device makers was profit-motivated and not out of concern for the environment. “They reduced content, yet the price is still through the roof. I think they use tactics to maximize profit. People recycle things, but they still produce enough chargers for users to buy, so where is the protection of the environment there?” he queried.
Another Twitter user, @lordairo, said: “This is going on because the government kept quiet about this bad practice by these companies. If all governments can shake them like the Brazilian govt. did, maybe they’d reconsider.”
How Brazil is tackling the issue
- The government of Brazil last month banned the sale of iPhones that are shipped without a charging brick. This decision came two years after Apple stopped including charging bricks and earphones in the iPhone retail boxes to make them smaller and to reduce the carbon footprint.
- An order published by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security also noted that the company was being fined $2.34 million (BR$ 12.275 million).
- The order said that the environmental reasons provided were not enough and it shifted the burden on the consumer to obtain a charger. It opined that the company could take other steps, like switching to USB-C from the lightning port for charging the iPhone.
- Earlier this year, the country’s telecom regulator said it is considering making USB-C the default port for all smartphones.