MIIT, the Chinese government body that inspects all your favorite mobile gadgets and toys, has announced that starting December 1st, mobile phone makers do not need to provide a charging cord to them along with the phones they submit for testing. What does that mean for consumers? It means that mobile phone vendors are now free to sell their devices without packaged power cords.
Sina Tech is trumpeting this is a victory for the consumer, since third-party chargers are often significantly cheaper than the ones that come bundled with your phone. Think about, for example, the difference between Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone chargers and third-party chargers. that USB connector cord will cost you $20 if you buy it from Apple, and $0.89 if you buy a generic brand. so that means big savings, right?
Well, yes and no. from what we can tell, although phone makers are no longer required to package power cables with their phones, MIIT’s new regulations don’t stipulate that they’re not allowed to, and since that’s often a way for phone manufacturers to make some extra money, we’d guess that especially in terms of higher-end phones, you may still have to buy them with the power cord packaged.
That said, many vendors will likely offer phones without packaged cords regardless of what manufacturers plan, allowing customers to save money and also potentially reduce waste if they already have a charger or two for the phone at home. It’s not an earth-shaking market change, but it does seem like it can only be good for consumers, so…hooray!