Taiwanese group says Apple harms consumers by not including charger with iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 15
A consumer group in Taiwan has called for an investigation into Apple's decision to exclude chargers from iPhone boxes, dubbing the practice a de facto price increase.

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


The Consumers' Foundation on Monday accused Apple of exploiting consumers with the lack of charging adapters. In a press release, the group said that although Apple's environmental motivation was not invalid, the move also infringed on consumer rights since chargers are "essential" to operating a phone.

"If a phone manufacturer produces a phone but does not include a charger or charging cable, even if consumers purchase a fully functional and well performing high-end smartphone, of course they would not be able to turn on and use the phone normally," the group wrote.

In its press release, the Consumers' Foundation urged the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission to launch a probe into the practice.

Consumers' Foundation Secretary-General Hsu Tse-yu said that selling an iPhone without such an essential accessory amounts to a hidden price hike, since consumers would need to purchase a separate product to actually use the device. Additionally, he added that iPhone prices haven't dropped to reflect the decrease in production costs.

In contrast, the Consumers' Foundation does not believe that EarPods are an essential accessory. However, since the iPhone has been sold with EarPods for many years, the group still believes Apple should come up with a different pricing regime to reflect their absence.

Apple stopped shipping the 5W power adapter or EarPods with its iPhone devices in 2020, citing environmental concerns. The company is still required to ship those products in some regions where required by law, such as France or Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    You have a "right" to have a charger included and in the box?

    Is there no limit to the stupidity of such a group?Calling them stupid is too kind.
    williamlondonlkruppurahararinosaurbaconstangmagman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 20
    I should sue every company I’ve ever bought anything from that was sold, “batteries not included.” Better yet, I should sue people who sell lamps that don’t come with lightbulbs.
    williamlondonrob53thtmwhitelkruppurahararavnorodomzeus423magman1979stompy
  • Reply 3 of 20
    I’ve a drawe full of old chargers and cables, I’m happy not to add to the collection each and every time I buy a device. That’s obviously the theory behind the EU regulations on chargers. 

    And, arguably, the price would be HIGHER were a charger thrown in, so we’re getting a savings. 

    Maybe Apple Taiwan should put a barrel outside their stores where people could dump the extras for others to grab as needed. 
    edited September 15 zeus423magman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 20
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,883member
    Ridiculous. Who doesn’t have a charger plug by now?

    i suppose someone completely new to technology may not have a plug. 
    ravnorodommagman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,946member
    They must not sell packaged ice cream (or many other consumer products) in grocery stores in Taiwan. Price stays the same, but the size/quantity of the product included at the price goes down. Is this a price increase? Hell yeah. But when did raising prices become a crime? It's all market driven. Ford, GM, and RAM aren't going to stop selling pickup trucks at an average selling price of $55K as long as customers are lining up 10 deep to buy them and option them up further to $75K+ pickup trucks before they get them off the lot.

    My suggestion would be for Apple to either make their iPhone ordering process more like ordering a pizza, i.e,, extras cost extra, or sell predefined bundles that include accessories you want or need at a bundled price that reflects the value/quality of the bundled accessories you choose. If anyone is lamenting Apple not including the ridiculously anemic 5W charger that used to come with their iPhone, they'll be very happy to know that for an extra $20 they'll get said anemic charger in the bundle and redirect their attention to figuring out how to amuse themselves for the hours of wasted time they'll be sitting around waiting for their damn phone to charge. Or they can upgrade to a bundle that includes a 20W charger, and maybe some discounted AirPods and enjoy living in the early 21st century.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,633member
    clexman said:
    I should sue every company I’ve ever bought anything from that was sold, “batteries not included.” Better yet, I should sue people who sell lamps that don’t come with lightbulbs.
    Perfect comparisons. Perfect
    magman1979radarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 20
    Well yeah, it is a defacto price increase that also does nice things for the environment - and allowed Apple to do nice things like include a more expensive OLED display.

    I'd imagine most iPhone buyers have a bunch of idle chargers just laying around - or a Mac which they can both charge and sync to.

    So what? If Apple increased the price and included a charger would they be calling for an investigation about that?

    Does the fact that you once included a set of earbuds and a charger mean that you must do so for all eternity?
    magman1979radarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 20
    Is there a law in Taiwan that forbids raising price? iPhone 12 is different from iPhone 11. And Apple cannot change price for a new product?
    magman1979radarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Probably his first time buying iPhone. I have so many chargers laying around that I’m glad Apple doesn’t include one. 
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    Most iPhone users have more than needed chargers and cables laying around in house that adding extra does not help but adds to more clutter in house.
    magman1979
  • Reply 11 of 20
    Look up the 2006 movie Idiocracy; we didn't have to wait until the 25th century to enter a world led by sheer and utter brain dead lunatics, we've already arrived in the early 21st century!!!
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 12 of 20
    fred1fred1 Posts: 851member
    This is ironic: I’m planning on buying the new iPad Mini and finally I’m in a position where I don’t need the cable or the charger (I have them for my iPad Pro), but both are included with the Mini!
    Should i sue Apple for making me buy accessories I don’t need??
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 13 of 20
    If Apple merely was motivated by “environmental concerns” they should have reduced the price. It was “de-contenting” - a common practice to hide a price increase. 

    And no. It is not illegal. Just a scummy way to do business.
    MplsP
  • Reply 14 of 20
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,808member
    davgreg said:
    If Apple merely was motivated by “environmental concerns” they should have reduced the price. It was “de-contenting” - a common practice to hide a price increase. 

    And no. It is not illegal. Just a scummy way to do business.

    Your argument might make sense if we were talking about candy bars or ice cream containers where the product is exactly the same, but you just get less of it.
    However, advanced technology doesn't work the same way. How could you possibly know or understand the cost of each component and how it impacts the selling price?! Maybe, as an example, the increased cost of the improved camera was offset by the elimination of the charger thereby keeping the phone's price the same. Decisions like this are made every day by every company in every industry.
    radarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 20
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,433member
    davgreg said:
    If Apple merely was motivated by “environmental concerns” they should have reduced the price. It was “de-contenting” - a common practice to hide a price increase. 

    And no. It is not illegal. Just a scummy way to do business.
    …and support right to repair. There’s nothing worse for the environment then throwing away a device and getting a new one.

    mike1 said:
    davgreg said:
    If Apple merely was motivated by “environmental concerns” they should have reduced the price. It was “de-contenting” - a common practice to hide a price increase. 

    And no. It is not illegal. Just a scummy way to do business.

    Your argument might make sense if we were talking about candy bars or ice cream containers where the product is exactly the same, but you just get less of it.
    However, advanced technology doesn't work the same way. How could you possibly know or understand the cost of each component and how it impacts the selling price?! Maybe, as an example, the increased cost of the improved camera was offset by the elimination of the charger thereby keeping the phone's price the same. Decisions like this are made every day by every company in every industry.
    But that’s what companies do to hide things. They change and repackage so you can’t make a direct comparison. If you look at historic iPhone prices vs model specs, there was no discernible difference when they removed the charger. Apple doesn’t make public the profits for each segment, so there’s no way of knowing if their iPhone profit margins are higher or lower, either. We do know they saved money on chargers, packaging and shipping when they removed the charger.

    Of course, they also removed the charger right as they switched to USB C, meaning none of the ‘millions’ of chargers people had laying around were compatible anyway.

    I’ve long said that Apple should have simply included a $20 credit towards accessory purchases in place of the charger. If you wanted/needed a new charger you were set. If not, you could get another accessory. Apple would get more sales and people would get a charger or get somethign else they needed. Win-Win.
    muthuk_vanalingamradarthekat
  • Reply 16 of 20
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,433member
    clexman said:
    I should sue every company I’ve ever bought anything from that was sold, “batteries not included.” Better yet, I should sue people who sell lamps that don’t come with lightbulbs.
    There are countries that require devices to be usable out of the box - presumably that would cover including batteries, too. 

    Would that be the end of the world? How many times have you gone to the battery drawer only to find out your kids used the last 2 AA batteries and you’re out?
    muthuk_vanalingamcuriousrun8
  • Reply 17 of 20
    The issue here as I read last evening was "If a person purchased a new iphone when they never bought one before" would not have the charger, but just a USB-C cable and not a charger from iPhone 12 which is also different than all the other chargers previous to it. I note that in the iPad Pro the charging cable is different than iPads previous.
    So yes a consumer may have chargers and cables just lying around but the iPhone 13 as the previous iPhone 12 does not use the standard cable nor charger brick.

    So yes include it in the newer products instead of having to buy the $19 charging brick or as many sites have suggested to lower the price on the devices so as to have a customer opt for it to be included or not.

    And then there must be an adapter purchased in or to connect to CarPlay since it does not connect via a USB-C cable but a standard USB connection. Cars may include the capability in the future but many cars do not have that connectivity not operate as a wireless CarPlay device.


    tenthousandthingsMplsP
  • Reply 18 of 20
    This change happened over a year ago. There was much gnashing of teeth, and then nothing, because it's not a problem. With the devices staying at the same price, newer tech built-in surely offset some, all, or even more than the value of the missing charger.

    The truth is, Apple was shipping millions of chargers and earbuds that weren't being used, ever. Those things were of no value to the customers who put them in a drawer, where they'll sit until they eventually end up in the trash. It was also noted at the time that the smaller boxes meant more iPhones per shipping pallet, which decreases shipping costs and environmental impacts. Also, with both wired and wireless charging possible, not packing the cheapest default in the box means customers can choose which charging devices they want and will actually use. Also, älso, Samsung and other competitors quickly followed suit. That's millions upon millions of superfluous bits of e-waste that will never be manufactured and will never end up in a landfill.  It's better all around.
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,112member
    Are there iPhone models that were sold with a charger at the same price as they are being sold now without a charger?  I would assume that the transition to no bundled charger came at the same time as a product line refresh, and price drop of all existing models. 

    Even if it didn't, so what if it's de facto price rise?  Companies are allowed to raise their prices aren't they? Consumers don't have to like it, but that's why you vote with your wallet.

    Sounds a little bit whiny.  Maybe Apple could be a bit more up front about no charger being installed, and perhaps offer a discount if a charger is bought with a new phone.  But otherwise, this smacks of nonsense, and I'm not even sure what the angle is.
    radarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 20 of 20
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,812member
    I did not like it when Apple eliminated the charger. But then I’m still pissed that HP and other printer companies stopped including a USB cable. Some things are part of the package, you can’t make it run without one. IMO Apple should give you the option of getting a charger at time of purchase, if you need one, for a very nominal fee, ~$5 or so, rather than making you go to another page and add one for full retail price. 
    elector
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