O2 will extend its “Chargers out of the Box” environmental initiative to the flagship HTC One mobile handset. This is the first time a network and manufacturer have collaborated to sell a flagship smartphone without the charging unit.

  • Flagship handset to be sold without a charger as standard
  • Follows success of pilot in which 82% of customers bought phones without charger
  • O2 bids to eliminate waste created by up to 30 million “unnecessary” new chargers a year

The all new HTC One will be sold with a USB-to-micro-USB cable, which can be used with existing chargers that have a USB input or with a PC USB slot. Any customers who need to buy a standalone charger unit can do so in-store or online at a discounted price.

In October 2012, O2 and HTC created a pilot scheme in which an HTC handset was sold charger-free. Of all customers buying the handset, 82% did so without taking the charger. The success of the pilot has given both businesses the confidence to apply the initiative more widely.

Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 said:

“The trial we have run over the past six months has given us the confidence that customers are ready to buy phones without chargers – to the point where O2 and HTC were prepared to apply this initiative to one of this year’s biggest handset launches. 

“By ensuring that we have the right support and information for customers in our stores and on our website, the vast majority are willing to consider and respond to our environmental argument for taking a phone without the charger.”

With many customers already owning charger units that can be interchanged with a majority of handsets, the initiative is being rolled out as part of O2’s commitment to reduce the upwards of 30 million new chargers that come with phones purchased each year.

Philip Blair, Head of EMEA at HTC added:

“Alongside O2, we have undertaken a really significant piece of consumer education. With so many chargers already in circulation, it’s important to remind customers to consider using the charging units and mains adapters that they already own. Applying this scheme to the launch of our flagship handset demonstrates how passionately we feel about this initiative, as well as our collective goal to reduce the amount of waste caused by unnecessary and unused chargers across the UK.”

Research by O2 suggests there are as many as 100 million unused chargers in total in the UK that are either duplicates of existing kit or are from old handsets.  These have already had a huge environmental cost:

  • A total of 18,700 tonnes of components (the same weight as 1,000 London buses)
  • 124,274 miles of copper wire and plastic covering (enough to wrap the O2 Arena 200,000 times)
  • A volume of landfill equivalent to four Olympic swimming pools if all were thrown away

Ronan Dunne concludes:

“This is another major step towards selling all phones charger-free as standard by 2015, which is my goal for O2. The environmental savings in manufacture and transport are enormous – and could be bigger if the industry as a whole joined together to take chargers out of the box. I hope our continued efforts will demonstrate there is no downside and everything to gain from more networks and manufacturers considering similar bold steps.”

Within its Think Big Blueprint, O2’s 3 year sustainability strategy, the company has pledged to supply phones charger-free by 2015 to cut down on the huge environmental waste that spare and redundant chargers create.

Promoting a single charger, selling phones without chargers as standard and encouraging recycling are just three of the ways O2 is seeking to help customers make a difference to the environment through its Think Big Blueprint – an ambitious plan to support young people, help customers make sustainable choices and reduce its own impacts by 2015.




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About O2

O2 is the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited and is a leading communications company with over 23 million customers – read more about O2 at www.o2.co.uk/news. O2 runs 2G and 3G networks and was the first to pilot 4G/LTE, reaching speeds of over 100Mpbs, as well as owning half of Tesco Mobile. It also operates O2 Wifi, O2 Health, O2 Unify, O2 Media and has recently launched the O2 Wallet. O2 employs over 11,000 people in the UK, has 450 retail stores and sponsors The O2, O2 Academy venues and the England rugby team.

Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc which uses O2 as its commercial brand in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic and is a business division of Telefónica SA.

About HTC

Founded in 1997, HTC Corp. (HTC) is the creator of many award-winning mobile devices and industry firsts. By putting people at the centre of everything it does, HTC pushes the boundaries of design and technology to create innovative and personal experiences for consumers around the globe. HTC’s portfolio includes smartphones and tablets powered by the HTC Sense® user experience. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). For more information, please visit www.htc.com

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