O2 to ditch pre-packaged chargers from all new phones by 2015

It turns out phone buyers don’t actually want duplicate chargers, a pilot by the operator with HTC has found.

O2 is urging the whole telecoms industry to ditch the practice of including chargers with new phones after a trial by the mobile operator found the majority of consumers opting not to take a charger with their new device.

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O2 began its Charger out of the Box trial with HTC trial last October. The pilot gave UK customers who bought HTC's One X+ the option to purchase the device with just the USB-to-Micro-USB connection lead, rather than with a plug-in charger. Eighty-two percent of customers didn't take the charger.

The carrier said it had expected only 70 percent of sales to be without the charger, and as a result it now plans to ditch pre-packaged chargers altogether by 2015, with consumers able to buy them as an optional add-on.

Based on the results, O2 estimates that 24 million of the 30 million phones sold in the UK each year would exclude the charger, which could go some way to slowing down the build-up of unused chargers, estimated to be as many as 100 million in UK.

"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," said O2's chief exec Ronan Dunne.

"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. 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."