HTC and O2 are buddying up to release a phone that will be sold sans charger, Pocket-lint reports. The phone will be launched as part of a pilot scheme designed to tackle the number of unused chargers -- currently estimated at around 100 million -- thought to be in circulation in the UK.
O2 cites statistics that suggest up to 70 per cent of people who buy one of the 30 million new phones sold in the UK every year already possess the appropriate charger.
"I have a simple vision for O2: we want to take chargers out of boxes full stop," said Ronan Dunne, the network's CEO. It's an honourable aim to have, but it does beg the question as to what the other 30 per cent are supposed to do. I imagine there will be an option at the checkout to include a charger for some extra dollar.
A bit like ripping open a new toy on Christmas day to discover batteries aren't included, the move could prove a real inconvenience (not to mention disappointment) to some consumers. When Nintendo released the 3DS XL earlier this year, it also refrained from sticking a plug in the box, which apparently was to reduce the up-front cost of the handheld games gizmo. It just proved awkward and annoying.
Similarly, many people appreciate having more than one charger that can be used with a device and there's nothing to prove that all the surplus chargers out there are definitely bundled up in the cable drawer (you know the one I mean).
Much like the Kindle, a USB to micro-USB cable will be included in the box, which means that even if you don't already possess the right three-pin socket filler, you should still be able to charge the phone via a computer.
There are also environmental benefits to leaving phone chargers out of the box, as the transport and packaging needed to deliver each phone will be reduced.
Do you think HTC and O2 have got this one right, or would you prefer to always have a charger thrown in with a new phone? Let me know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page. And if you fancy a laugh, be sure to check out our round-up of phone charger concepts, which range from the brilliant to the bizarre.