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O2 encourages network operators to stop selling chargers with new phones

O2 has called for network operators to end the practice of selling mobile phones with chargers, after the results of a pilot program confirmed that most customers are happy to buy handsets without chargers.

In the three-month trial, results of which were announced this week, O2 sold the HTC One X+ smartphone with a detachable USB cable, but without the standard USB charger usually included. Chargers were made available to purchase at cost price. According to the operator, 82 per cent of One X+ customers said they were happy purchase the handset without the charger - exceeding the original 70 per cent expectation.

"The results of the trial demonstrate a clear willingness among consumers to consider and respond to the environmental argument for taking a phone charger-free," said O2 boss Ronan Dunne.

"I now hope that as a result of this study the rest of the industry will now consider joining us in our campaign to take chargers out of the box for good,” Dunne added.

In 2012, the telecoms giant announced plans to sell all new handsets without chargers by 2015 as it attempts to enact wide-ranging measures to boost sustainability.

"In the last few years, our sector has made progress towards a universal charging solution, although not nearly as fast as I would have liked. As a result, we have fallen short of our original promise as an industry to standardise charging across all handsets,” Dunne said last year, referring to a plan for a universal phone charger that has since fallen to the wayside.

In 2009, leading phone companies, including giants such as Apple, Samsung, LG, and Motorola, agreed to take steps towards adopting a universal microUSB connector in a bid to minimise the waste associated with their products. But, despite the commitment, no such connector has materialised.