Samsung was quick to mock Apple when it revealed that it was going to stop including power adapters with the iPhone. But a few months later, it seems the South Korean tech giant has reconsidered its stance, and realized that maybe Apple actually kind of had a good point.
At least, that’s according to images leaked by tipster Evan Blass, showing what he claims are promotional images for the Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra. The new premium handsets boast a refreshed design, support for 5G — and no charger in the box.
The smoking gun is an image titled “What’s in the box.” This reveals that the new handsets will come with a USB-C, SIM-ejection tool, start guide, and… well, that’s it. No power adapter and no earbuds, either. That’s exactly the same accessories Apple stopped including with the iPhone 12. Samsung notes that its decision was taken to be “ultra-kind to the environment.”
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 13, 2021
This is, incidentally, the same argument Apple made when it first announced the iPhone 12. At the time, Apple said that not including a wall charger or earbuds would have positive environmental impacts. Its means less packaging, less CO2 emissions related to making the components and shipping the heavier boxes, and more.
Samsung was quick to mock Apple
As noted, Samsung was quick to jump on Apple when it decided to make this change. It posted an image on Facebook, featuring a power adapter and the message “Included with your Galaxy.” It later quietly deleted this post.
Whether Samsung and Apple genuinely are saving the planet with this decision is open for the debate, of course. Many have pointed out that, while it does have environmental impacts, it also has positive business repercussions. Simply put: It makes shipping cheaper (smaller boxes means more units per shipping container), while also boosting the companies’ accessories market. Apple, for example, is very keen to sell AirPods — which people may be more likely to buy if they don’t receive EarPods with their new iPhones.
Interestingly, Apple has received legal challenges in some parts of the world about this. As a result, in France Apple has to continue shipping chargers and EarPods with the iPhone. Presumably Samsung will face similar issues if/when it launches the Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra. It also remains to be seen whether Samsung will extend this decision to older handsets as well. This is what Apple has done across its entire iPhone range.