Apple Fined $19 Mn For Not Bundling Chargers With New iPhones In Brazil

Apple Fined $19 Mn. For Not Bundling Chargers With iPhone Boxes

Apple started holding back battery chargers from the retail boxes of iPhones way back in 2020 and has now been fined $19 million for the practice. While Apple insists it is not providing chargers with every new iPhone to save the environment, the courts aren't convinced by the argument.


A Brazilian court has fined Apple Inc. 100 million reais ($19 million) for not including battery chargers with every new iPhone that's sold in the country. The court had previously ordered Apple to start shipping iPhones with chargers if it wants to avoid an even higher penalty for non-compliance.

Apple Found Guilty Of "Social Damages" In Brazil

Apple iPhone 12 was the first model to be shipped in 2020 without a battery charger in the retail packaging. Several Apple loyalists and potential customers complained but eventually fell silent.

Brazil, on the other hand, took a stern view of the practice since the first iPhone shipped without a charger. The Brazilian court was approached by the Brazilian association of borrowers, consumers, and taxpayers (AMBCC). The court has now ruled that Apple will have to pay about $19 million in "social damages", and stop the practice of shipping iPhones without battery chargers.

Apple has a rather weak argument to defend its decision. The company claims the majority of its consumers already own iPhone chargers. Hence, it won't make a difference to them. As for new customers, Apple sells a battery charger separately.

Apple has been a staunch supporter of environmental-friendly campaigns. The company claims including additional hardware creates unnecessary e-waste, and hence, will stand by its decision.


Will Apple Accept Court's Ruling?

Apple isn't happy with the decision and is expected to file an appeal soon. This could be a long-drawn legal battle, but Brazilian courts have been unshakable about their decisions. If the past is any indication, Apple might have to pay the fine, at least partially, to prevent any further damages.

Prior to Apple, smartphone manufacturers hadn't actively explored the idea, and as expected, soon followed the company. Popular brands such as Samsung and Xiaomi haven't adopted the practice for all their models. However, these companies are gradually dropping chargers from the retail units of many smartphone models.

Apple Fined $19 Mn. For Not Bundling Chargers With iPhone Boxes

Smartphone companies charge a pretty sum from consumers. Although competition in the smartphone business is intense, including a charger doesn't cost much. Still, bundling chargers with each device certainly does eat into the profit margins.

Additionally, retail boxes without chargers are compact. This allows companies to pack and store more phones in a smaller space. Companies save on packaging and shipping costs as well. Most of these benefits might appear small individually, but when extrapolated over millions of devices shipped and sold across the globe, the profits can add up quickly.

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