Finished the charger with the iPhone? Apple gets a hefty fine

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In Brazil, Apple will now have to sell its iPhones with a charger. The São Paulo court has indeed decided to condemn the firm to pay a fine of 100 million Brazilian Real (or 19.47 million euros) for selling a smartphone without a charger included. The decision follows a complaint from Associação Brasileira de Defesa do Consumidor (PROTESTE) – the largest consumer association in Latin America.

On top of that, the court requires Apple to provide chargers to anyone who has purchased a charger for their iPhone 12 or 13 within the past two years. Apple is also now required to include the accessory for free with all iPhones sold in Brazil. Apple nevertheless decided to appeal the decision.

Why Brazilian justice ruled against Apple

According to Engadget, the judge in charge of the case decided that the removal of the charger in the iPhone boxes constitutes a “abusive practice” because this “requires consumers to buy a second product to make the first work”. Apple, however, defends the removal of the charger.

The decision was made as early as iPhone 12 in 2020. The firm points out that any old Lightning charger can charge the latest iPhones. But also that it helps the firm to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality: the boxes of the iPhone 12 and 13 are smaller and therefore take up less space.

This allows more to be transported without increasing CO2 emissions. And the absence of a charger also means less electronics to manufacture, therefore less pollution. It is difficult to doubt the sincerity of the approach, as the question of reducing carbon emissions is so important for American companies.

In most of the world, Apple’s decision has certainly caused a lot of ink to flow. But no country or court has so far issued a similar ruling. After all, everyone should make efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. We note in passing that in the same “anti-waste” spirit Apple will have to switch all its products to USB type C cables in Europe by 2024.

This is not Apple’s first battle on the subject with Brazilian justice. A year after the release of the iPhone 12, another consumer association, Procon-SP, won its case over the withdrawal of the charger, forcing Apple to pay a fine of $2.28 million. In any case, the outcome of the appeal remains uncertain at this stage – if the judgment is confirmed, it is unlikely that Apple will put the charger back in iPhone boxes in the rest of the world…

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