The brand new Pixel 5a, announced today, is the last phone in the range to ship with a physical charging brick in the box. It will come with an 18W USB-C charger.
However, those snapping up the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will have to make their own arrangements for charging the device, which promises to be one of the best phones of 2021.
In confirming the news to The Verge, Google did not give reasoning for leaving the charger out of the box. However, Google is thought to be looking to cut the costs associated with the phone’s production.
It remains unclear whether these production and shipping savings will be passed on to the consumer in order to buy a charger, or whether Google will pocket the excess. However, due to the new Tensor processor and other factors like build quality, the Pixel 6 range is expected to go up in price overall.
The move is also likely geared towards matching the environmental commitments made by Apple and Samsung, at least from a PR perspective. Tech companies are on the hook for the historic uptick in plastic e-waste.
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The European Parliament believes requiring all tech companies to adopt a standardised solution would actually reduce the amount of cables that end up in landfill. It estimates that obsolete cables produce a staggering 51,000 tonnes of waste every single year and that’s before we mention the charging bricks themselves.
Apple for instance is under pressure to drop its proprietary Lightning cable and charging port in favour of a standard USB-C charging solution it already uses for MacBooks and iPad Pro models. There are rumours Lightning cables for new iPhones will be a thing of the past also.