March 24, 2021 | Eul Basa

Apple Was Fined $2 Million In Brazil For Not Including Chargers With iPhone 12

Apple is under fire after Procon-SP, a Brazil consumer protection agency in São Paulo, penalized the tech giant for removing chargers in shipped iPhone 12 packaging. The agency, which handed out the US$2 million fine last week, accused Apple of "misleading advertising, selling a device without the charger, and unfair terms."

When Apple first launched the iPhone 12, they announced that they would not be including a charger in the box, citing environmental concerns and a desire to reduce its overall impact. The company claimed that excluding the charger would reduce the box size, allowing it to reduce annual carbon emissions and ship more units at a time.

They also pointed out that there were approximately 700 million Lightning-to-USB cables and two billion iPhone chargers already available, so they felt it was unnecessary to introduce more of them with their latest launch. The company then proceeded to ship the new iPhone 12 with only a Lightning cable. Currently, chargers are sold separately by Apple for US$40 each, which converts to around 219 Brazilian real.


A few months later, Procon-SP began to question Apple's motives. They asked Apple execs to further elaborate on their decision to remove the charger and if they could provide statistical data to demonstrate that the removal would actually have a positive impact on the environment. They also asked Apple if they ended up lowering the price of the iPhone 12 due to the resultant cost-savings.

Apple did not respond to all of these inquiries, and any responses they did give "never offered a convincing explanation," according to follow-up reports.

"Apple needs to understand that in Brazil there are solid laws and institutions for consumer protection," said Fernando Capez, Procon-SP's executive director. "It needs to respect these laws and these institutions."

Back when Apple started to remove EarPods from their mobile phones, they were hit with an $89,000 fine from France. Apparently, that was enough to convince Apple to reintroduce Earpods into the packaging. Procon-SP hopes that their hefty fine will also make Apple reconsider shipping the Lightning cables and chargers together.



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