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Apple forced to include charger in iPhone box in Brazil

Shubham Verma     December 3, 2020

Apple took a risky decision when it removed the charger and EarPods from the new iPhone boxes. So when you buy a new iPhone from Apple, you get only the iPhone unit and the Lightning cable. This applies to all markets except France where the local law mandates smartphone companies to ship earphones, including Apple. Now, Brazil has ruled that Apple must provide the new iPhone units with a charger to the buyers of the country, marking the second instance against Apple's new 'initiative'.

The Brazilian state of Sao Paulo has ordered Apple to start shipping the power brick in the iPhone boxes. This would mean that the new iPhone boxes, including those of the iPhone 12 series, iPhone 11, and iPhone XR, will include the unit, the Lightning cable, and the power brick. According to Folha de S.Paulo, the decision was taken by the court and confirmed by Procon-SP, the consumer protection agency of Sao Paulo. The agency had notified Apple in October to explain why it removed the power adapter from the iPhone retail box.

Apple was also asked by the agency whether the company's decision to remove the power brick will impact the customers and that it will substantially benefit the environment. To these queries of Procon-SP, Apple replied that most users already have a charger lying at their home and that removing the power brick will help reduce carbon emissions. But, to Apple's dismay, the Procon-SP showed no interest in this reply. It thought Apple's justification is not convincing enough to allow it to sell the iPhone without the charger.

According to the agency, a charger is an important part of the product usage and not including it with the main product goes against the standards of the Brazilian Consumer Defense Code. It also said that Apple has not provided enough evidence that omitting the charger from the iPhone box is helping the environment in any means. It has also said that the company has not stated that it will offer the same technical support to its customers who buy third-party chargers as it does to the buyers of Apple chargers.

For now, the order against Apple's decision is applicable to iPhone sales in the Sao Paulo state. However, the National Consumer Secretary of Brazil is mulling to enforce this order country-wide. This would mean that Apple will be required to include the chargers in the iPhone boxes for sales in the entire country and places where Brazilian court orders are valid.

Brazil becomes the second state after France to force Apple to include iPhone accessories in the box, a move that left several iPhone users and buyers fuming. Apple had cited that since most people already have power adapters, the company can reduce carbon emissions by just removing it from the new iPhone boxes. However, this logic did not go well with several people who would buy the iPhone for the first time or have an old iPhone model to trade off or upgrade from.

This is because the charging cable Apple is shipping with the new iPhone uses USB-C standard on one side Lightning on the other. So if you have an old iPhone charger including the cable, you will not have an issue. But, in case you are upgrading from, say, iPhone XR, you will need to buy a power adapter because iPhone XR's power brick has Micro-USB port that is not meant for USB-C cables. Moreover, if you are upgrading from an Android phone, you might also need the power adapter. Only a handful of Android devices come with a USB-C port on the power adapter.

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