Judge fines Apple for not including power brick in iPhone box

Back in 2020, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stunned Apple iPhone fans by stating that Apple would no longer include a charging brick and the wired EarPods in the box with a newly purchased iPhone unit. Many called this move a money grab by Apple since it would force those spending a pretty penny for a premium handset to lay out even more money to pay for something that they used to get gratis.

Apple reportedly saved $6.5 billion by not shipping the iPhone with a power brick and wired earbuds

Apple, in July 2020 before the release of the iPhone 12 line, disseminated a survey asking iPhone users to select one of six options that best describes what they did with the power adapter when they bought their new iPhone. The choices were:

  • I sold or traded it with my iPhone.
  • I lost it.
  • I gave it to a family member or friend.
  • I still use it at home.
  • I still use it outside (at work, school, or other places).
  • I still have it, but I don’t use it.

Apple was trying to groom iPhone users into understanding that they were no longer going to receive a power brick with the purchase of their expensive new handset. Apple knew that it wouldn’t be taking a risk because it anticipated that other manufacturers would soon follow along.

At first, Samsung criticized Apple for getting rid of the 3.5mm jack until it removed the jack on the Galaxy Note 10. These days, it is more surprising to find a handset that comes with a 3.5mm port and ships with a power brick.

Apple tried to cloak its decision to stop shipping power adapters in a green flag stating that eliminating the brick would allow it to ship the iPhone in smaller boxes that would allow 70% more devices to fit on a shipping pallet. This would reduce yearly carbon emissions by 2 million metric tons, equivalent to taking 500,000 cars off the road.

Today, some interesting news came out of Brazil where a judge ruled that Apple must pay a customer who recently purchased a new iPhone close to the equivalent of $1,081. There was no charger in the customer’s box which violates consumer law in the country. 

Tecmundo (via MacRumors) reported that Article 39 of the Consumer Code (CDC) in Brazil prevents what is known as a “tie sale.” As a result, Apple cannot sell an iPhone and the charger, used to power up the phone’s batteries, in separate transactions. Therefore, Apple is being sentenced after selling an iPhone and the related charger separately to the same consumer in the city of Goiânia.

According to the ruling announced by Judge Vanderlei Caires Pinheiro of the 6th Civil Court of Goiânia, Apple must compensate the consumer by paying him 5 thousand real for carrying out the “tie sale” of the company’s devices. Brazilian consumer group Procon-SP tried to get the country to force Apple to include a charger in each iPhone box by stating that the charger is an “essential part” of using a smartphone.

Procon-SP also said that by not including the charger in the iPhone box, Apple was violating the Brazilian Consumer Defense Code, an argument that Apple countered by saying that many already have older power adapters in their homes allowing Apple to help make the environment greener by not shipping new ones alongside a newly purchased iPhone.

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