The “Charger out of the Box” pilot launched in October to test whether customers wanted a charger included with their mobile phone purchase. Under the pilot, HTC One X+ mobile phones were sold with just the USB-to-micro USB connection lead, and not the charger. Customers were able to purchase a charger at cost price.
Four out of five customers who participated in the trial were willing to buy a phone from O2 and use an existing charger device, said O2.
O2 and HTC said the pilot provides evidence that customers are ready to change their purchasing decisions and urged the rest of the industry to consider joining the campaign to separate chargers from mobile phone purchases.
O2 pledged within its three-year sustainability strategy to supply phones charger-free by 2015 to cut down on environmental waste created by spare and redundant chargers.
There are as many as 100 million unused chargers in the UK that are either duplicates of an existing kit or are from old mobile phones, according to research by O2. The wasted chargers are made up of 18,700 metric tons of components and 124,274 miles of copper wire and plastic. If all the chargers were thrown away, it would have a landfill volume equivalent to filling four Olympic swimming pools, O2 said.
In 2009, Apple, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research in Motion, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Texas Instruments agreed to develop a universal standard phone charger for the European market, at the behest of the European Union. The resolution signed by the mobile phone and chip makers agreed to create a common charger, based on a micro USB connector, by January 2012.