Apple Wants To Know How iPhone Users Use Their USB Chargers

Apple logo on display as customers walk by.
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Apple is sending out surveys to get a better understanding of how some of its users are using the USB charger currently shipped in the box of every new iPhone, according to a report from 9to5Mac.

The survey, which was originally shared by a Twitter user, specifically questioned what iPhone users end up doing with the included USB charger.

Apple made it clear that it was only referring to the USB power adapter and not the Lightning power cable by saying, “The USB charger is used for charging using a wall outlet. You can plug the charger into an iPhone with a separate charging cable.”

The company then presented a series of checkboxes outlining the possible ways a user could use their adapter, including selling or trading it with their old iPhone when upgrading, losing it, giving it to a friend or family member, and a few other options.

This isn’t the first time Apple has sent out surveys to get feedback on its products, but this one comes at an interesting time. Recently, there have been several rumors suggesting that Apple may opt to remove the USB charger and EarPods in the box for the upcoming iPhone 12. This would be a first for the company and a drastic change for some users.

In a recently uploaded YouTube video, popular tech reviewer Marques Brownlee broke down the possible reasons behind Apple’s thinking — if the rumors are accurate.

Customer holding new iPhone in hand at an Apple retail store.
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Brownlee said one of the main reasons Apple might remove the charger from its upcoming iPhone is to possibly reduce e-waste. He went on to reference a report from The Verge, in which the CEO of Anker, Steven Yang, offered a rough breakdown of how much the company could actually be helping the environment with this decision.

“[Say] every smartphone has a charger with it,” Yang said.

“We had 1.5 billion smartphones that shipped last year. That’s only for phones. When we have tablets, laptops, power drills, [and more], we estimate a total of four billion chargers (were shipped last year). We estimate about 300,000 tons of e-waste just from these in-box chargers.”

Apple could also be removing the phone’s accessories in an attempt to reduce the price of its flagship device, which is expected to be announced later this year. If Apple does remove the charger from the new iPhone, the company could potentially be preparing its customers for a completely portless device that charges wirelessly.