A Brazilian consumer group isn’t OK with Apple’s environmental “progress” to stop including a power adapter with new iPhone 12 handsets.
Procon-SPm Brazil’s consumer protection agency, fined the California company the equivalent of roughly $2 million on Friday (via 9to5Mac). Local reports in Brazil note that the fine stems not just from the removed charger, but also unfair warranty terms and misleading advertising related to the device’s water resistance. The missing power adapter is especially notable, however.
Back in October, Apple announced the decision to only include a charging cable with the iPhone 12 series. Every previous iPhone came with a power adapter cube and a charging cable, along with wired earbuds. For the newest phone, Apple scrapped the cube to lighten the electronic waste. If you need one, it has to be bought separately.
Brazil pushed back in late 2020 after Apple’s decision, arguing that the charging cube is an essential part of the phone and should continue to be included. It found that Apple’s environmentally friendly justification didn’t have much merit, with consumers forced to separately buy adapters. The iPhone 12 mini starts at $1,200 in Brazil — much higher than in the U.S.
The consumer agency argued that if Apple wouldn’t include a complete charging kit, the overall price of the phones should be lowered. That hasn’t happened. So the group went ahead with its fine “for misleading” consumers.
Keep in mind $2 million is nothing for the iPhone maker. In 2020, the company made $28.7 billion in the last three months of 2020 alone. But it’s also less about the money than how it looks. There’s been plenty of pushback in response to Apple’s latest cuts for the iPhone — to the point that the iPhone 12 still does ship with EarPods in France — as the company still struggles to convince consumers that this is a good thing for the world. This new development in Brazil won’t make that effort any easier.
We reached out to Apple for comment on the fine, but haven’t heard back.