Apple caused a sensation by doing without a charger on the iPhone 12. In some countries, consumer advocates are taking action against the decision.
São Paulo’s consumer protection agency Procon-SP has fined Apple 10,546,442.48 Brazilian reais (around 1.6 million euros). The reason for this is the lack of a charger on the iPhone 12, which the company violates Brazilian consumer law.
Apple has been under observation since October
In October last year, Procon-SP asked Apple to take a position on not using a charger, as the Brazilian technology portal ” Tilt ” reports. Apple officially justifies the waiver by wanting to protect the environment. Apparently, however, this statement was not enough for Brazilian consumer protection. The authority has therefore decided to impose a penalty.
“Apple needs to understand that there are solid laws and institutions in place in Brazil to protect consumers. It has to respect these laws and institutions, “said Fernando Capez, Managing Director of Procon-SP on the matter.
Apple can appeal the decision. There is already a precedent in which a court ruled in Apple’s favor. In January, a consumer’s complaint about the missing power supply was dismissed.
However, Brazil is not alone in this decision. In France, Apple already has to deliver a charger with every iPhone 12 sold. There you get two packages when you buy: one with the iPhone and one with a charger.
Also interesting: Is Apple ending production of the iPhone 12 mini?
Apple’s decision is controversial
With the iPhone 12, Apple decided for the first time not to include a USB charger. The self-declared goal is to reduce emissions and protect the environment with smaller packaging and without the charger. The company justifies the decision by stating that most of them already have several USB chargers at home. Nevertheless, the decision caused controversy. One of the reasons is that Apple ships a USB-C to Lightning cable with the iPhone 12 – but most of them only have traditional chargers with USB-A. The company is therefore accused of forcing an additional charger to buy.
The iPhone 12 mini with 64 GB costs the equivalent of 1070 euros in Brazil. For the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 512 GB it is a total of 2140 euros. For a USB-C charger with 20 watts of power, another 30 euros are due. For comparison: in Germany the iPhone 12 mini costs 799 euros and the 12 Pro Max 1599 euros. An additional charger is available for 25 euros.
Also other companies in the sights of the Brazilian consumer protection
Other companies have already followed Apple’s example and also do without a charger in the scope of delivery. With the Chinese Xiaomi Mi 11, those interested in buying can decide for themselves whether they want to do without the power supply.
Samsung also leaves out the charger in the Galaxy S21 series. In Brazil, the company escaped punishment by negotiating a deal with consumer protection agencies. Accordingly, everyone who pre-ordered a Galaxy 21 received a charger for free.
Further allegations against Apple
The million dollar fine is only part of the ongoing investigation against Apple in Brazil. Consumer protection accuses the company of “lying propaganda”, selling devices with factory defects, using unfair terms in contracts with consumers and not repairing devices that are still under warranty, Tilt reports.
One of the allegations is that Apple does not repair devices that have been damaged by water, although the IP rating suggests protection against water penetration. Apple also ignores Brazilian consumer protection laws if it does not repair devices purchased abroad within the warranty.