O2 and HTC will begin selling a new, as yet unannounced, phone before the end of the year without a charger in the box as part of a pilot scheme to reduce the number of “wasted” chargers in circulation.
According to O2, 70 per cent of customers who buy one of the 30 million new handsets sold in the UK each year already have the relevant charger.
As a result more than 100 million chargers remain unused. As well as removing the number of components needed to produce said chargers, O2 says, the move will reduce environmental damage further by limiting the amount of packaging and transport required.
A charger for the so far unnamed HTC handset will still be available to buy separately, but the phone will come with only a USB to Micro-USB cable. As with the Amazon Kindle, users will be able to charge the phone via a computer or by plugging it into an existing charger that houses a USB port.
"I have a simple vision for O2: we want to take chargers out of boxes full stop," said Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2. "Right now, O2 with HTC has to go it alone on this matter - we both believe in it passionately enough that we can’t wait for the industry as a whole to join us in this crusade.
"That said, we hope we will be able to pave the way for others to follow us, as this has to be a collective effort if we are to achieve the bigger aim of eliminating chargers sold with every new phone in the UK."
O2 has been championing the move towards a universal phone charger, but with limited success.
Presumably companies looking to save money will welcome the move.