The as-yet unnamed device (which could turn out to be the firm’s rumoured 5-inch ‘phablet’) will be sold as part of a pilot scheme aimed at abating the environmental damage that can be caused by the disposal mobile phones and associated gadgets.
O2 estimates that around 70% of the 30 million new phones sold in the UK each year are bought by people who already have a compatible charger for the device they are purchasing. The network has previously stated that it plans to phase out chargers completely by 2015.
Several major mobile manufacturers, including Nokia and Samsung, committed themselves to a voluntary agreement three years ago which aimed to produce a universal charger for all phones. However, no such device has emerged so far.
Referring to the arrangement between his network and HTC, Ronan Dunne, O2’s chief executive, said: “We both believe in it passionately enough that we can’t wait for the industry as a whole to join us in this crusade.
“The environmental cost of multiple and redundant chargers is enormous and I believe that, as the mobile phone has become more prevalent, we as retailers and manufacturers have an ever-greater responsibility to be a more sustainable industry.”
The new HTC handset sold by O2 will come with a USB lead that can be plugged into an existing charger, with those customers who don’t have one able to buy a new charger at cost price.