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Samsung Galaxy S21 may ditch the bundled charger and earphones after all

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. (Image credit: Future)
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If you're saving your pennies for a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S21 next year, then you probably want to know what you're going to get in the box besides the phone – and it looks as though a charger and earphones won't be included this time around.

In what's already developing into something of a saga, sources speaking to South Korean outlet ChosunBiz say that Samsung is at least considering the move, with the earphones more likely to get cut than the charging block. A charging cable is still likely to be included.

This hasn't come out of nowhere – rumors about Samsung cutting down on bundled accessories have been appearing since July – but it would be an odd development considering Samsung has already mocked Apple on social media for selling the charger and the earphones separately for the iPhone 12.

While ditching these hardware extras saves money, it also significantly cuts down on e-waste – Apple thinks most users will already have a charging block and earphones, and if they don't, they're still available to buy from Apple.

Charging forward

Any move to reduce e-waste is to be applauded, and it's the eco-friendliness of the approach that might convince Samsung to swallow its pride and do exactly what Apple has done with its next flagship phone – although it seems the final decision hasn't yet been made.

"Customers already have over 700 million Lightning headphones," Lisa Jackson, Apple VP for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said at the iPhone 12 launch. "And there are also over two billion Apple power adapters out in the world." 

"So we are removing these items from the iPhone box, which reduces carbon emissions and avoids the mining and use of precious materials."

The Galaxy S21 is widely expected to arrive in January next year, which is a little earlier than normal. It looks as though there might be quite a significant design refresh in terms of the rear camera module as well.

Via SamMobile

David Nield

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. On TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables.