Brazil fined Apple $19 million for selling iPhones without including a charger

Originally published at: Brazil fined Apple $19 million for selling iPhones without including a charger | Boing Boing


Is it even a punishment if they still save money by paying the fine and continuing to ship phones without chargers?


That’s exactly what they’ll do. $19-million is pocket change for Apple.

While Apple maintains that its decision to ship iPhones without chargers is about reducing carbon emissions

That’s cynical BS even by Apple’s standards. They might barely have a case if the phone port was USB-C, but that’s only coming next year at the earliest because the EU forced them to adhere to the standard.

ETA: if they’re just not including a USB-A or -C wall outlet piece as others are pointing out, that’s another matter. There are tonnes of those things already floating around or available for a dollar or two.


I have several chargers in my home. I usually only need one. Why should a new phone include yet another charger? Wasteful.
(they do include a charger cable)


This. I have far more chargers than I will ever use. I don’t need another one. It’s not like Apple is going to give it away free. If they include the charger, you’re going to end up paying for it.

I also don’t get the argument that there is no environmental benefit to not including the charger. The vast majority of people buying an iPhone are not buying their first phone, and even with Apple’s non-standard lightning cables it’s not like they’re changing those frequently (though, as you pointed out, they do include the cable, just not the USB charger).


This suit is BS, but everybody loves to get in on that sweet Apple lawsuit money. Apple should be free to include or not include in their product anything they want. Customers can choose not to buy it if it bothers them that much. I myself have a drawer full of phone chargers.


The phones are not functional without a charger, so I think it’s more a matter of how well they indicated this to consumers.


Not really BS. The suit looks at consumer’s reasonable expectations for a product they buy. A consumer has a reasonable expectation that the product they buy will be functional at point of sale. This includes the ability to power and recharge if applicable.

Would you be upset if your laptop came without a charger? How about a microwave or a washing machine without a wall plug?

Most manufacturers get around this by informing consumers on the package that “batteries not included” or “charger sold separately.” Thus the buyer can make an informed decision whether they want to buy the phone if they also have to splurge on headphones, and charger, and whatever else.

Finally, Brazil is a developing nation, and it is reasonable to assume that for many purchasers this will be their first iPhone, and they won’t have a drawerful of orphan 110/220v to USB chargers.

ETA: @Jesse13927 beat me to the batteries not included argument.


Are we using the same Apple charging cables? I’ve rarely seen an Apple cable for any device whose lifetime extends very far into the double-digit months. Our house is littered with broken, non-functional cables, plus a collection where you have to pin the cable into just the right position for the phone to charge.

Apple cables couldn’t strain-relieve their way out of a paper bag. Obsolescence is even more built-in than it is in their phones.


All the more reason to not have them keep giving me more. I agree with you on the quality of their cables. I mostly use third party cables, which I generally find are higher quality.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had one of their chargers die, though. Maybe that’s because I have a whole drawer full of them, so no individual charger gets that much use.

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ewaste noun — tonnes of those things already floating around or available for a dollar or two.


interestingly enough, if you pay upwards of a grand for, say, a new electric dryer or dishwasher, you also have to pay seperately for ‘hook up kit’, which is a bit of a pain. The dryer I can understand because not all homes have the current 4 prong standard outlet (especially out here, where there are a bunch of homes that still have the older 3 prong style), but a dishwasher? I’ve yet run into a single place where the dishwasher is hardwired into the house’s grid.

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According to the Mashable article, the court found it unreasonable to expect consumers to purchase a separate charger; it doesn’t sound like a prominent “charger not included” label would have changed the outcome.

Personally I’m fine with not getting yet another USB wall wart with every purchase; unless a device has unusually heavy power requirements (like a laptop) I already have chargers that will suffice. But I can understand that other countries might not already be overflowing with those.

I had thought the EU passed a law forbidding including a charger with phones, but I can’t seem to find it, so it might only have floated such a law?

Fascinating. I have had iPhones ever since the first and the only(*) iPhone cables that have broken for me are Monoprice cables (which is odd because while Monoprice is a “knockoff brand” they are normally a very high quality one!). The mono price iPhone cables break with significant regularity.

I wonder if I use my phones/cables oddly or if you do.

(*) er, also some very unusual not-for-sale debug cables that had a triple length strain relief. They don’t count though.

I had one of the 1999/2000 era PowerBook chargers fail. It was very sad. It was also over a decade old by then.

I think my washing machine came with one, but the dishwasher didn’t, nor did my clothes dryer.

Interestingly I thought the EU had another law preventing shipping phones with chargers (in the name of preventing waste), but couldn’t find it. I thought it was at least floated around 2011 or so. The new “USB-C on the phone or bust” stuff is all I can find.

Given that I can’t find it, it isn’t much of an argument against greed :slight_smile: Nor is listing other companies that do it because all companies are greedy (I just happen to think Apple is more “long term greedy” leading it to put more emphasis on making customers happy, and maybe not killing all the customers via poor environmental practices, not because I think Apple is “good” but because they are maximing profit over years or decades and not the end of the quarter)

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from here

Unbundling the sale of a charger from the sale of the electronic device: consumers will be able to purchase a new electronic device without a new charger. This will limit the number of unwanted chargers purchased or left unused. The results produced and the possible extension of the measure to the cable will be assessed in the course of the implementation.

“possible extension of the measure to the cable?” I guess it’s what some people have always dreamed of.

Apparently Apple’s recently released ipad uses both usb-c and a first generation apple pencil. The first generation apple pencil uses a lightning connector to charge (take off the cap and plug it in to the ipad)

so I guess you need a fussy adapter now. Yes, apple does have a pencil 2 that uses wireless charging, but it’s not compatible.


Mine is. There’s no outlet in the dishwasher bay, just a few feet of romex coming out of a hole in the wall that gets wired into a box on the bottom of the dishwasher. I didn’t realize that was atypical.

Interesting; I know it’s possible, because the install manual for mine had instructions for the installer to follow, but it’s something I’ve not encountered here in arizona. (then again, I don’t routinely pull those things out and replace them, so it’s possible that I’m the atypical one here.

Interestingly enough, I do have an outlet under the sink which the dishwasher and waste disposal plug into, so a box might have been put in as an option when the house was originally built, or during one of it’s remodels over the decades.

You needed a fussy coupler in order to use a standard lightning cable to charge the thing with as well if you didn’t want it sticking out of the charge port of the tablet, but finding that out was annoying to me. (I took mine, made a modification to a charging dock for the pencil I found on Thingiverse, and now when I charge the pencil, it looks like a rocket ship. :smiley: )

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Is that “will be able to” like “yeah that will happen sometimes”, or “after so phase in time that’ll be the only way it happens”?

Very recently, like within the last 2 days :wink:

Yeah, I think that is dumb, although it is possible that since they were using the A14 SOC that doesn’t have a USB-C controller built in, while the M1 does. Then again Apple actually designs both SOCs, if they had wanted USB-C they could have put it on (it likely takes around 2 to 3 years to do that, so maybe they hadn’t decided in 2019 that the consumer iPad would have USB-C…).

Yep, the pencil 2 would need some alignment magnets on the iPad and some charging contacts. Maybe the same contacts the folio keyboard uses, but the new base model iPad has rounded sides and the square-ish sides are from the Pro design language & they probably would new a whole new method & it would lose the Pro distinction of “well you can just put the pencil on the side while not using it and it stays…that is worth the price bump, right?”

(& yes, maybe the awkwardness isn’t a technical problem with putting USB-C on to, but a market segmentation choice not to put USB-C on it; and even if they charge their mind about that in a year or two that doesn’t mean today’s choice wasn’t market segmentation driven…or even that today’s choice would be USB-C but the two years ago when it mattered choice was market segmentation driven)

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