O2 UK to stop selling mobile chargers with new phones by 2015

O2 UK will eventually stop providing mobile chargers with new handsets after a consumer trial suggested more than 80 per cent of buyers would purchase phones without charging units. The company said it plans to stop supplying chargers with any handsets its sells by 2015, according to Reuters.

O2 UK offered the HTC One X+ smartphone without a charger as part of a trial.

"The results of the trial demonstrate a clear willingness among consumers to consider and respond to the environmental argument for taking a phone charger-free," O2 UK CEO Ronan Dunne said in a statement. "I now hope that as a result of this study the rest of the industry will now consider joining us in our campaign to take chargers out of the box for good."

The operator estimates there are currently 100 million unused chargers across the UK and is to encourage its rivals to adopt similar step to stop this number from increasing. All major handsets, with the exception of the iPhone, now use micro-USB charging connector following a European-led industry initiative.

O2 UK conducted the three-month consumer trial in partnership with HTC which saw the operator offering the HTC One X+ handsets without the usual USB chargers, but still with a detachable USB cable.

The operator expected around 70 per cent of those involved with the trial to be happy with a greener option. Those who wanted a charger could buy one separately, according to The Guardian.

However, 82 per cent of One X+ customers agreed to buy the handset without a charger since the trial started in October, exceeding O2's expectations.

"The lesson for the industry from this pilot is that consumers are very receptive to the message that they can benefit the environment by avoiding the needless purchase of chargers," Dunne said. "I would now like to see others taking similar steps, working with us as we aim to ensure all our handsets are sold charger-free by 2015."

While Apple agreed to follow the European Union resolution to create a single universal charger based on a micro USB connector, it seems to have backtracked on this commitment by introducing its own new Lightning Charger for the iPhone 5 last year.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Daily Telegraph article
- see this Guardian article

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