Nokia N79 Eco - buy a phone without a charger

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Following in the footsteps of the N79 Active comes another N79 variant, the N79 Eco, which is available for pre-order through Nokia's UK online shop and ships without a charger. Customers are expected to retain the charger from their previous Nokia device. The concept is part of a trial to save energy and reduce waste and is part of Nokia's power of we: strategy. Read on for stats and the full scoop.

Nokia N79 Eco

In addition to shipping without a charger, the Nokia N79 will come in a smaller box, which allows for further energy and waste savings. To round things off Nokia will, for each N79 Eco sold, donate £4 to the WWF (a global conservation organisation). It is likely the phone will be pre-loaded with 'power of we:' content - already available to existing users through Download!

The Nokia N79 Eco costs the same as the regular N79 in the online shop - £319. However, aside from the obvious eco-benefits, it does come in the Petrol Black colour (compared to Canvas White/Seal Gray), which should make your N79 stand out from the crowd.

The smaller box may not sound terribly significant, but when you operate on the scale of Nokia the little things really do add up. For example between February 2006 and the end of 2007, Nokia shipped 250 million phones in smaller packages resulting in 5,000 fewer truck journeys and saved 100 million Euros. In 2007, Nokia saved 15,000 tonnes of material (that's about 55,000 trees) and 100,000 m3 of water (that's around 18,000,000 toilets flushes).

Currently you can only pre-order the Nokia N79 Eco from the Nokia UK Shop, there is no indication of when it will start shipping. It is likely to be made available in other regions, perhaps through the various Nokia flagship stores. 

On the pre-order page, there's also a link to a survey to gather consumer opinion about the idea of selling phones without chargers and other accessories, but we would also be interested in hearing your opinion in the comments thread.

Clearly there's scope for leaving out other accessories too. How many people really need a paper manual? Would downloading connectivity software from the Internet be a serious hurdle? How about the PC connectivity cable or headset? Personally I like the idea of the N79 Eco, but I imagine it will require a real cost saving to push most consumers into buying a 'reduced accessories' version of any phone. Reasonable prices (i.e. lower profit margins) on standalone accessories would also help - it's not as if the charger really costs £15 after all.

Of course, if you subsequently decide you do need an extra charger after all, you can further burnish your green credentials by buying Nokia's energy saving charger.

Rafe Blandford, All About Symbian, 15 Jan 2009