A civil court in Sao Paulo ordered Apple to pay a fine of $19 million for selling iPhones without chargers in the box.
According to sources, the Brazilian Consumers Association is the one who initiated the legal action against Apple, claiming that the company engaged in “abusive behavior” by not putting a charger in the package. Judge Caramuru Afonso Francisco concurred with this assessment, concluding that Apple “needs customers to acquire a second product for the first product to operate.”
Apple’s decision to discontinue supplying a charger with new iPhones is part of an effort to reduce the amount of electronic trash (as well as waste from packaging) produced worldwide. Since many customers already have a compatible charger compatible with their new smartphone, including one with each device is an unnecessary and wasteful practice. Reuters has reported that Apple has the intention to file an appeal of the verdict, which should not come as a surprise.
This is not the first time Apple has been punished in Brazil for failing to provide a charger for its mobile devices when they are sold there. Because the iPhone 12 did not come with a charger, Apple was fined a total of $2 million in March of the previous year. More recently, the Ministry of Justice in Brazil issued an order mandating that Apple stop selling iPhones nationwide without accompanying chargers. The ministry asserts that by doing so, the business is providing customers with an unfinished product.
By 2024, the European Union will require all mobile devices, including phones, tablets, and cameras, to charge over USB-C.
One has to wonder why Apple doesn’t just flip this around and start packing a separate charger but provide a discount on the price if the consumer opts not to have one. This would seem to be the most logical course of action. In this manner, it would still encourage Brazilian customers to generate less electronic trash, which would be a step in the right direction while avoiding additional legal action.