It’s a lesson many of us learn throughout life: First they laugh at you, then they copy you. That’s exactly what Xiaomi did when it made fun of Apple for deciding to stop shipping wall chargers with its iPhones earlier this year. In the greatest of twists, just two months later, Xiaomi now thinks nixing wall chargers from its phone boxes is a great idea. I’m betting there’s a whole lot of people over at Apple saying, mm-hmm.
As spotted by the Verge, on Saturday Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun announced that the company’s upcoming Mi 11 phone will not include a charger. Lei, who made the comments on Chinese social media network Weibo, said that the company had made the decision not to include chargers in order to protect the environment, adding that everyone has a lot of idle chargers. Xiaomi will launch the Mii in China on Monday.
Lei’s announcement comes more than two months after the company poked fun at Apple on social media by showing off the charger in the box for its Mi 10T Pro.
But Xiaomi wasn’t the only one that laughed. Samsung also gleefully made fun of its rival and posted a photo of its Galaxy charger on social media with the caption: “Included with your Galaxy.” Nonetheless, Samsung was recently caught deleting its posts about the charger because… it’s reportedly also axing the chargers in the box with its Galaxy S21 series, which looks like it will launch in January.
When Apple announced that it was not including a charger, or headphones, for environmental reasons back in October, it reasoned that customers already had over 700 million lightning headphones and that many used wireless headphones anyway. It stated that there were two billion Apple power adapters in circulation, as well as billions more third-party adapters, and that removing both items from the box was environmentally friendly.
The move was initially heralded as a win for the environment until people realized that Apple was changing the cable included in the iPhone 12’s box to a USB-C to Lightning. Considering that almost every previous iPhone came with a USB-A wall charger, it’s kind of hard to defend the “everybody already has a charger” argument.
Doing things to minimize environmental waste is a good thing, and it’s something we should all think about. If Apple’s move makes Xiaomi, Samsung, and others to reduce their charger waste, hat’s off to them. But when you say you want to reduce waste, focus on actually reducing waste, instead of selling chargers separately. The planet can’t afford empty promises.