Brazil to Apple: You Can Not Sell The iPhone without a Charger

Space Grey iPhone 8

Almost two-year ago (October 23, 2020) Apple released the iPhone 12. The first iPhone not come packaged standard with ear buds and a charging brick. Apple’s justification for excluding these was for environmental reasons. Without these accessories Apple could use a smaller packaging with less of a carbon footprint. Sounds logical, especially since they also wouldn’t be manufacturing as many of the charging bricks and ear buds as well. However, you could say this would be the same as selling Electric Vehicles (EV) and not including the charging cable in the MSRP. Seems silly right…oh wait Tesla already did that earlier this past spring. Some countries are not very please with Apple’s decision.

The Brazilian government isn’t happy about Apple’s decision to stop including chargers starting with the launch of the iPhone 12 and has responded by suspending local sales of iPhones that don’t come packaged with chargers. In addition to halting some iPhone sales, Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security also ordered Apple to pay a fine of R$12,275,500 (about $2.3 million USD) and canceled the iPhone 12’s registration with Anatel, Brazil’s telecommunications agency that is similar to the FCC.

This isn’t the first time Apple has faced issues in other countries over its decision to stop bundling earbuds and charging bricks with new iPhones. A French law previously required Apple to include earbuds with all devices released in the country, but France passed a law earlier this year that no longer requires mobile companies to include earbuds with their phones. The European Union, as a whole, is going after Apple’s use of a proprietary charger and is implementing a new law that will require phone makers to use USB-C ports by 2024. Brazil is also mulling a similar change that would make USB-C chargers mandatory.

I am mixed on this. On one hand it seems like a waste to include the charger when most consumers by now likely have a drawer full of them. Handy if you are traveling or need a spare charger at the office. Also handy if you have children or pets which tend to cause you charges to get destroyed or turn up missing.  However, I don’t own any Apple products…had an iPod Touch for about a week many, many years ago and bought a MacBook Pro back in 2017 only to return it un-opened a couple days later when I realized the software I needed for my networking courses would not run (natively) on a Mac. So in that case, not having a charger included would be a burden, especially since Apple insists on using their own proprietary over-price Lightning cables. I also agree we need a universal charges (USB-C) for all phones. Of course Apple won’t like that as they make a good chunk of money from selling their branded ‘Lightning’ accessories (Lightning to HDMI, Lightning to USB-C, Lightning to 35 mm Headphone Jack, Lightning to VGA, etc.).

via The Verge