Apple forced to include charger with iPhone in Sao Paulo

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2020
Apple will be required to bundle a power adapter with iPhone models sold in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, despite removing the accessory from the box elsewhere.

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider
Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider


Procon-SP, Sao Paulo's state consumer protection agency, has decided to require Apple to provide a charger with iPhone 12 models to customers who request them, the agency said in a press release Wednesday.

Earlier in 2020, Procon-SP asked Apple why it was no longer providing charging accessories with its new iPhones. Apple's answer -- that most consumers already have charging bricks and removing them would reduce carbon emissions -- didn't satisfy the consumer protection agency.

In its release Wednesday, Procon-SP added that a charging brick is "an essential part" of using an iPhone or other product. By not packaging a charger with its devices, the agency said that Apple is violating the Brazilian Consumer Defense Code.

Additionally, the agency said that Apple did not sufficiently demonstrate the environmental gains made by removing the charger, and did not make it clear enough that a charger wasn't included with new iPhones in its marketing.

Although the decision only applies to the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil's National Consumer Secretary is said to be mulling a similar move at the federal level.

The situation is similar to the one in France, where Apple is forced by law to include EarPods with its iPhone models. Because Apple reduced the size of its iPhone packaging, it's doing so by including the actual iPhone inside of another package with the bundled EarPods. It's likely that similar packaging will be used in Sao Paulo, and possibly elsewhere in Brazil.

Apple announced that it would stop packaging EarPods and chargers with its iPhones back in October, citing environmental benefits and the fact that there are currently two billion Apple power adapters out in the wild already.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    I love this!! Stick it to the man. Not everybody has a USB-c charging block, considering almost all iPhones until very recently have been regular USB charging cord.
    SweeTangoparaeekerlkruppDogpersonprismaticsGeorgeBMacanantksundaramchemengin1
  • Reply 2 of 28
    Alternative viewpoint; Brazil's government has a very poor standing as far as protecting the environment and reducing emissions or waste.  Excerpt from an article on the subject: 

    • Between March and May 2020, the government of Jair Bolsonaro published 195 infralegal acts — ordinances, normative instructions, decrees and other measures — which critics say are an indirect means of dismantling Brazil’s environmental laws and bypassing Congress. During the same period in 2019, just 16 such acts were published.
    • In April, 2020 Environment Minister Ricardo Salles suggested that the administration “run the cattle” which experts say, within the context Salles used the phrase, is a euphemism for utilizing the COVID-19 crisis as a means of distracting Brazilians from the administration’s active undermining of the environmental rule of law.
    • A partial study of the 195 acts has found that they, among other things, allow rural landowners who illegally deforested and occupied conserved areas in the Atlantic Forest up to July 2008 to receive full amnesty for their crimes. Another change pays indemnities to those who expropriated properties within federal conservation units.
    • Shifts in administration management responsibilities have also resulted in what experts say is a weakening of regulations granting and managing national forests, and the relaxation of supervision over fisheries that could allow increased illegal trafficking in tropical fish. A study of the repercussions of all 195 acts is continuing.
    Dogpersonforgot usernamedewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 28
    wby5 said:
    I love this!! Stick it to the man. Not everybody has a USB-c charging block, considering almost all iPhones until very recently have been regular USB charging cord.
    You're spot on.  All these chargers everyone supposedly already have, are mostly not USB-C and aren't compatible with the cable included with the new phones.  It's obvious this was simply a way to get people to spend more.  The "reduced carbon emissions" reasoning is only a creative excuse to put a better (albeit false) spin on it.
    paraeekerlkruppavon b7DogpersonprismaticsGeorgeBMacanantksundaramchemengin1
  • Reply 4 of 28
    To be honest, Apple have taken absolute liberties with removing the charger and spinning it as a ‘Sustainability’ issue. They would have made perfect sense had they not put in a usb-c to lightning cable, then introduce a 20w usb-c charger for £20!

    Mug over here immediately bought one, played right into the corporate machine that’s is Apple....
    paraeekerDogpersonMplsPanantksundaramchemengin1
  • Reply 5 of 28
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,092member
    haml87 said:
    To be honest, Apple have taken absolute liberties with removing the charger and spinning it as a ‘Sustainability’ issue. They would have made perfect sense had they not put in a usb-c to lightning cable, then introduce a 20w usb-c charger for £20!

    Mug over here immediately bought one, played right into the corporate machine that’s is Apple....
    So instead of buying a $10 cable that works with your existing charger or the myriad of devices that have USB-A ports, you're going to buy a new charger for $30?

    Yeah makes perfect sense. 
    forgot usernamewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 28
    By removing the charger, Apple can make the boxes thinner and pack more in the same volume-weight metric, thus saving a significant amount in shipping costs. This is, I believe, is the main motivation. The rest is spin. 

    Apple could have passed on some of those savings and that would have been fair. 

    The ratio of chargers to devices is going to remain constant as older devices are passed on. There isn't a surplus of chargers as Apple contends!

    edited December 2020 chemengin1
  • Reply 7 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    Simplest solution? Make the charger a $30 option at the time of  ordering or purchase, just like other accessories. Those who don't need one will not have to pay for something they don’t need. Those who don't have a drawer full of chargers taking up space can buy one from Apple or whoever. If some regulator wants to force the issue then up the price of the iPhone by the MSRP of the charger. There is no such thing as free or included. Everything has a price.

    I hope Apple ups the price of iPhones in Brazil to compensate for the mandated charger.
    edited December 2020 uraharaforgot usernamedewmewatto_cobraDetnatorjony0
  • Reply 8 of 28
    MJG33 said:
    Alternative viewpoint; Brazil's government has a very poor standing as far as protecting the environment and reducing emissions or waste.  Excerpt from an article on the subject: 

    • Between March and May 2020, the government of Jair Bolsonaro published 195 infralegal acts — ordinances, normative instructions, decrees and other measures — which critics say are an indirect means of dismantling Brazil’s environmental laws and bypassing Congress. During the same period in 2019, just 16 such acts were published.
    • In April, 2020 Environment Minister Ricardo Salles suggested that the administration “run the cattle” which experts say, within the context Salles used the phrase, is a euphemism for utilizing the COVID-19 crisis as a means of distracting Brazilians from the administration’s active undermining of the environmental rule of law.
    • A partial study of the 195 acts has found that they, among other things, allow rural landowners who illegally deforested and occupied conserved areas in the Atlantic Forest up to July 2008 to receive full amnesty for their crimes. Another change pays indemnities to those who expropriated properties within federal conservation units.
    • Shifts in administration management responsibilities have also resulted in what experts say is a weakening of regulations granting and managing national forests, and the relaxation of supervision over fisheries that could allow increased illegal trafficking in tropical fish. A study of the repercussions of all 195 acts is continuing.
    I have a question: are you Brazilian or lived here for any period of time? I think not. Our national environment policies are indeed deplorable, no question about that. Also yes, we did elect a dipshit as president, but I don’t think most people on this forum can hold this against us.

    As for the state o São Paulo (translated from Portuguese to Saint Paul, no idea where Sao Paolo came from), its policies are on the opposite side of the spectrum from federal ones. Besides, the Consumer Protection Agency here is truly independent, and is just following laws that does protect uninformed (or misinformed) costumers, specially those with more money than brains.

    And I can’t find fault on the reasoning from the agency. I have yet to see Apple break down the numbers about the environmental impact. I do believe there is a positive effect, but when you have to argue over laws, we do need to see the specifics, to strike the best balance about environmental concerns and consumer rights.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 28
    uraharaurahara Posts: 636member
    lkrupp said:
    Simplest solution? Make the charger a $30 option at the time of  ordering or purchase, just like other accessories. Those who don't need one will not have to pay for something they don’t need. Those who don't have a drawer full of chargers taking up space can buy one from Apple or whoever. If some regulator wants to force the issue then up the price of the iPhone by the MSRP of the charger. There is no such thing as free or included. Everything has a price.

    I hope Apple ups the price of iPhones in Brazil to compensate for the mandated charger.
    Agreed. 
    And other option: price the bundle higher, with a discount option if you don’t take the charger or headphones. 
    Then the psychology is not “they cost extra” but that “I can save some money and have less co2 footprint at the same time”. 
    forgot usernamelkruppwatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 10 of 28
    lkrupp said:
    Simplest solution? Make the charger a $30 option at the time of  ordering or purchase, just like other accessories. Those who don't need one will not have to pay for something they don’t need. Those who don't have a drawer full of chargers taking up space can buy one from Apple or whoever. If some regulator wants to force the issue then up the price of the iPhone by the MSRP of the charger. There is no such thing as free or included. Everything has a price.

    I hope Apple ups the price of iPhones in Brazil to compensate for the mandated charger.
    I think the cost of an iPhone is the highest in Brazil, when compared to anywhere else. Granted, they are all taxes charged by the government, but I hope Apple doesn't burden it's Brazilian customers more by pricing them higher.
    forgot usernamewatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 28

    I have a question: are you Brazilian or lived here for any period of time? I think not. Our national environment policies are indeed deplorable, no question about that. Also yes, we did elect a dipshit as president, but I don’t think most people on this forum can hold this against us.

    As for the state o São Paulo (translated from Portuguese to Saint Paul, no idea where Sao Paolo came from), its policies are on the opposite side of the spectrum from federal ones. Besides, the Consumer Protection Agency here is truly independent, and is just following laws that does protect uninformed (or misinformed) costumers, specially those with more money than brains.

    And I can’t find fault on the reasoning from the agency. I have yet to see Apple break down the numbers about the environmental impact. I do believe there is a positive effect, but when you have to argue over laws, we do need to see the specifics, to strike the best balance about environmental concerns and consumer rights.
    I was careful to say “Brazil’s government” and not its people for that reason. But I understand your other points and I appreciate the information. Thank you. 

    P.S. I’m also by no means throwing stones, as the U.S. government’s current administration has done its own share of environmental protections rollbacks. 
    edited December 2020 forgot usernamedewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 28
    I think another aspect of this that is being missed in the article and comments is this could be partly playing to the EU as well. This year, the EU voted to force phone manufacturers to have a common charger standard to avoid the increasing e-waste of chargers. Apple fought it along with other tech companies and wanted the Lightning port to be included as one of the “standard” charger ports allowed instead of having to move to USB-C (or aging micro USB). 

    By simply avoiding including a charger and then throwing a USB-C to Lightning cable, they could be seen as appeasing the EU to some extent — at the same time as yes, saving a ton of money themselves in manufacturing, shipping, packaging, etc. and getting the PR bonus of environmental responsibility. 

    Regardless of their motivations, the fact that the EU was focusing on charger standardization and a reduction of chargers ending up as e-waste shows this wasn’t all Apple’s thinking out of nowhere. 
    edited December 2020 forgot usernamelkruppwatto_cobraviclauyyc
  • Reply 13 of 28
    jasonfjjasonfj Posts: 556member
    I have around seven lightning to USB-A cables with wall plugs lying around which work fine. I have another couple of QI chargers.  

    The vast majority of iPhone 12 buyers will also have plenty of existing cables and compatible chargers. The addition of the lightning to USB-C cable in the box provides the option to plug into a recent MacBook that many may not have already, and it doesn’t implicitly require an extra charging brick. 

    So it depends how you look at it. I see it as a positive. 
    edited December 2020 smiffy31forgot usernamewatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 14 of 28
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,227member
    The São Paulo stance is fine and well reasoned.

    It is reasonable for the exclusion of the charger to be clearly explained to the user, as is the idea that everything necessary for correct usage of the device actually be included in the box.

    It's logical for Apple to want to spin the move as some kind of environmental move but the reality is that it is a hard sell given what has gone before. More than 10 years of shipping the same woefully underpowered chargers in exactly the same scenario as now. They also made a massive profit off dongles during various 'transitions' and the environment didn't take much prominence then, and they charged a pretty penny for those. 

    There were a few options open to Apple to do this in a better way. They chose the one that probably earned them more. I can't argue with that but that has little to do with the environment or consumer protection. 
    edited December 2020 GeorgeBMacMplsPanantksundarammuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 28
    jasonfj said:
    I have around seven lightning to USB-A cables with wall plugs lying around which work fine. I have another couple of QI chargers.  

    The vast majority of iPhone 12 buyers will also have plenty of existing cables and compatible chargers. The addition of the lightning to USB-C cable in the box provides the option to plug into a recent MacBook that many may not have already, and it doesn’t implicitly require an extra charging brick. 

    So it depends how you look at it. I see it as a positive. 
    I thought the same until I left my 12 Pro Max to charge and update overnight on a 5W charger, only to be told in the morning that the update couldn't be completed because it wasn't connected to a power supply. Give it a try.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 16 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    lkrupp said:
    Simplest solution? Make the charger a $30 option at the time of  ordering or purchase, just like other accessories. Those who don't need one will not have to pay for something they don’t need. Those who don't have a drawer full of chargers taking up space can buy one from Apple or whoever. If some regulator wants to force the issue then up the price of the iPhone by the MSRP of the charger. There is no such thing as free or included. Everything has a price.

    I hope Apple ups the price of iPhones in Brazil to compensate for the mandated charger.
    I think the cost of an iPhone is the highest in Brazil, when compared to anywhere else. Granted, they are all taxes charged by the government, but I hope Apple doesn't burden it's Brazilian customers more by pricing them higher.
    Brazilian customers deserve to be burdened with higher prices because it’s THEIR government doing this to them, not Apple.
    watto_cobraviclauyycjony0
  • Reply 17 of 28
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,985member
    wby5 said:
    I love this!! Stick it to the man. Not everybody has a USB-c charging block, considering almost all iPhones until very recently have been regular USB charging cord.
    Except for the fact that they will charge with any USB A charger/cable. Absolutely should check before you post nonsense.
    watto_cobrachristophbDetnator
  • Reply 18 of 28
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,283member
    SweeTango said:
    wby5 said:
    I love this!! Stick it to the man. Not everybody has a USB-c charging block, considering almost all iPhones until very recently have been regular USB charging cord.
    You're spot on.  All these chargers everyone supposedly already have, are mostly not USB-C and aren't compatible with the cable included with the new phones.  It's obvious this was simply a way to get people to spend more.  The "reduced carbon emissions" reasoning is only a creative excuse to put a better (albeit false) spin on it.
    Any lightning cable will work to charge iPhone 12 and any other iPhone since 2012. There are 2b chargers in the wild and they aren't all USB-C. I don't like the fact that my Pro Max didn't come with a charging brick don't get me wrong. I have commented here that at the price point of these phones and considering people changing over from Android or any other non Apple phone you have to include a brick for charging.

    I am ok with no headphones as a way to stop waste, but no brick seems a bit much in my opinion. However to make it seem like this all just a cash grab isn't right either.It's not impossible to charge your phone if you don't have a USB-C brick.

  • Reply 19 of 28
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,283member
    oodlum said:
    jasonfj said:
    I have around seven lightning to USB-A cables with wall plugs lying around which work fine. I have another couple of QI chargers.  

    The vast majority of iPhone 12 buyers will also have plenty of existing cables and compatible chargers. The addition of the lightning to USB-C cable in the box provides the option to plug into a recent MacBook that many may not have already, and it doesn’t implicitly require an extra charging brick. 

    So it depends how you look at it. I see it as a positive. 
    I thought the same until I left my 12 Pro Max to charge and update overnight on a 5W charger, only to be told in the morning that the update couldn't be completed because it wasn't connected to a power supply. Give it a try.
    So there is something wrong with the brick or wire? There is a chime,quick vibration and icon to let you know the phone is charging?  If you didn't verify that I am not sure what you're point is?

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 28
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,227member
    lkrupp said:
    lkrupp said:
    Simplest solution? Make the charger a $30 option at the time of  ordering or purchase, just like other accessories. Those who don't need one will not have to pay for something they don’t need. Those who don't have a drawer full of chargers taking up space can buy one from Apple or whoever. If some regulator wants to force the issue then up the price of the iPhone by the MSRP of the charger. There is no such thing as free or included. Everything has a price.

    I hope Apple ups the price of iPhones in Brazil to compensate for the mandated charger.
    I think the cost of an iPhone is the highest in Brazil, when compared to anywhere else. Granted, they are all taxes charged by the government, but I hope Apple doesn't burden it's Brazilian customers more by pricing them higher.
    Brazilian customers deserve to be burdened with higher prices because it’s THEIR government doing this to them, not Apple.
    It's the same in the US where government taxes may apply and you may not be aware but it is not unheard of for Apple to increase prices (even without taking into account currency exchange and taxes) for certain regions. 
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