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Why it matters: Following months of rumors that it would do so, Apple confirmed during its recent iPhone 12 event that the handsets would not come with wall chargers or headphones. There’s been speculation that Samsung would copy its rival and ship next year’s Galaxy S21 sans charger, but that’s looking less likely.
It was way back in May when renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted the iPhone 12 series would lack power bricks and EarPods in the box, a theory echoed by British bank Barclays a month later.
Apple confirmed the predictions this week, claiming that the move would reduce e-waste. It says there are already 2 billion Apple power adaptors in the world, and customers have over 700 million Lightning headphones. It added that the move would cut over 2 million metric tons of carbon: the equivalent of 450,000 cars.
Not everyone is happy about the plan: it’s not as if Apple has passed its savings onto the consumer, a lot of current iPhone owners will sell the chargers with their handsets before upgrading, and some people simply don’t own a power brick.
As was the case when Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, other manufacturers are expected to follow suit and drop the charger/earphones—a report in July claimed Samsung was considering it. Judging by a recent Facebook post from the Korean company, however, it isn’t getting rid of them just yet.
“Your #Galaxy does give you what you are looking for. From the most basic as a charger, to the best camera, battery, performance, memory and even 120Hz screen,” it reads.
??Your #Galaxy does give you what you are looking for. From the most basic as a charger, to the best camera, battery, performance, memory and even 120Hz screen ✌️ on a smartphone. ??Posted by Samsung on Tuesday, October 13, 2020
We’ve been here before, of course. Samsung publicly mocked Apple when the latter dropped the 3.5mm jack from its phones, yet it didn’t take long before the legacy port started disappearing from Sammy's lower-end handsets. Eventually, the Galaxy Note 10 became the first Samsung flagship to lack a headphone jack.
Additionally, MySmartPrice writes that a Chinese certification site shows the Samsung Galaxy S21 shipping with a charger, though the fact it’s a 25W fast-charger, the same as the Galaxy S20, is suspicious. Take this with a heavy dose of salt.
It’s likely that the Galaxy S21 will come with a power brick and earphones, but don’t be surprised to see Samsung drop them from cheaper devices before the same happens with its flagships, at which point the Apple mockery will be forgotten.