Removing the charger from the iPhone’s box might have been a profitable affair for Apple but it has also attracted unwanted legal battles. The Brazilian government ordered a ban on selling iPhone models without a charger in the box. The government stated that by not providing a charger in the box, Apple was providing an incomplete product to consumers. The government’s Justice Ministry fined Apple $2.38 million and also ordered (via) to stop the sale of the iPhone 12 series and newer models that come without a charger in the box.
Apple had removed the charger from the iPhone’s retail box to reduce carbon emissions. This led to a reduction in the box size, which also allowed the company to ship more products at a time. The US tech giant said it will work with the Brazilian consumer protection agency Senacon in order to “resolve their concerns.” Apple will also appeal the decision ordered by the Justice Ministry. “We have already won several court rulings in Brazil on this matter and we are confident that our customers are aware of the various options for charging and connecting their devices,” Apple said.
Is Apple Alone in Selling Phones Without Chargers? No
Apple began the trend of selling its iPhones without a charger in the box. The iPhone 12 was the first series to not include a charger in the box, followed by the iPhone 13 series and the iPhone SE 2022. Apple is unlikely to add the charger to the iPhone 14 series box. Soon after Apple, the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi and Google removed the charger from the box.
The companies initially trolled Apple but later followed its footsteps and removed chargers from some of their phones. The flagship Galaxy S22 series does not come with a charger in the box. The same is the case with Xiaomi’s budget Redmi Note 11 SE. Google, too, does not offer a charger with its Pixel smartphones in India and other markets.
Chinese tech giant OPPO also announced that some of its smartphones will not come with a charger starting from 2023.
Courts Argument Against Apple Explained
The Brazilian ministry stated that Apple was not providing a complete product to consumers with the iPhone. By removing the charger, the ministry argued that the iPhone was lacking an essential component in a “deliberate discriminatory practice against consumers.” It also rejected Apple’s argument that the practice had the purpose of reducing carbon emissions, saying there is no evidence that selling the smartphone without a charger offers environmental protections.
Buying a charger separately not only invites additional costs for consumers but also brings with it a lot of documentation that is packed for legal purposes. This negates Apple’s claim of being environment-conscious.
Apple is accelerating towards its goal of becoming 100 per cent carbon neutral by 2030. The company is also working with its suppliers and partners to help them transition to renewable and clean energy, and reduce carbon emissions. While the company might be working on a more sustainable future, it still needs to figure out a way to offer a customer-friendly option while fighting the legal battle over the inclusion of a charger in the box.