With smart devices permeating our everyday lives like never before, people are buying more and more connected devices over the past few years, and the trend isn’t likely to go away any time soon. While the explosion of the smart gadgets market is good news for manufacturers, it’s bad news for the environment, with e-waste piling up by the day, especially in populous countries like China, India and of course, the US.
Most of these devices come with the standard charger, resulting in a bunch of these near-identical little devices gathering up in people’s drawers, adding to avoidable electronic waste. In this regard, the CEO of Xiaomi, Mr. Lei Jun had asked the views of this followers on Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
Mr. Lei asked, if Xiaomi doesn’t package chargers along with its phones for environmental reasons, would his customers support that strategy, as almost everybody has a bunch of chargers lying around somewhere or the other. If someone really needs a charger, Mr. Lei asserted, they’d buy a dedicated charger anyways. Xiaomi by the way, already has a Mi-branded charger that it sells for 9.99 Yuan ($1.70).
While Mr. Lei did find support from some quarters, an overwhelming majority of responders seemed to disagree. Most were of the opinion that the Xioami CEO is hiding behind the environment in order to save costs. People also felt that without original chargers bundled with phones, sale of duplicate chargers will increase, which are both inefficient and dangerous. Also, a matter for concern is whether companies will honor warranty if the customer was found to be using a charger from another brand.
From the replies, it seems as though people will find Mr. Lei’s suggestions hard to accept as of now. Xiaomi on its part can promise safety and offer warranty on its chargers, but it might take some more convincing before Mr. Lei’s followers on Weibo, and the consuming class at large can be swayed by Mr. Lei’s argument.