Apple fined more than $2 million and banned iPhone 12 and above from being sold in Brazil because it came without chargers

Ah, good ole consumerism. We live to earn and buy. The fun of getting the next shiny new thing and the never ending show makes life more exciting. However, in recent years, the world has gone to the toilet a lot, the rich are getting richer while the middle class struggles to put bread on the table.

Most of us want to get the most out of the limited amount we get through hard work. So when the big companies decide to stop including as many products at the same price or at a higher price, questions arise in the audience, most of which begin with the phrase, “What’s going on in the wrinkles of a dull bull in the sky?”

Brazil has decided to take a stand against Apple selling its phones without chargers as a way to fight a “deliberate discriminatory practice” against consumers. However, is this all just a matter of money, profits and injustice, or does Apple have their reasons? Let’s dive into the details.

More information: Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security

Brazil takes a stand against Apple for selling its phones without chargers as a way to fight a “deliberate discriminatory practice” against consumers

Image credits: hs you (not the actual picture)

A decision, the first of its kind, was made in Brazil last Tuesday – the country banned the sale of iPhones and fined Apple 12.275 million reais ($2.38 million) for not including chargers in its boxes.

As I mentioned ReutersBrazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP) deemed it an insufficient product, arguing that the iPhone was marketed without the necessary component in a “deliberately discriminatory practice” against consumers.

The decision to stop selling phones comes after Brazil’s Consumer Protection Agency (SENACON) opened a case in December last year, when Apple was sued for the same reason: selling phones without a charger in what appeared to be a tethering agreement.

Apple has been fined 12.275 million riyals ($2.38 million) for not including chargers in its packaging, and is prohibited from selling any phone models that do not include them.

Image credits: Carles Dembrance (not the actual photo)

A binding agreement, as described in Merriam-Websteris an often illegal agreement by one party to sell a product or service with the condition that the buyer also purchase another and different product or service from the same supplier.

MJSP stated in press release. Hence, for now, Apple will not be able to sell iPhone 12 and later models in the country until a charger is included.

The Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP) stated: “Chargers are associated with or sell an incomplete product or lack basic functionality.”

Image credits: Toshiyuki IMAI (Not the actual picture)

So what prompted Apple to exclude chargers in the first place? Back in 2020, the trillion-dollar company stopped including chargers with its phones, angering customers; However, Apple argued that the move provides environmental benefits and is aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

F. Cucchietti et al. It is reported that more than 1 billion new mobile phones are sold annually, with approximately the same amount of old devices being disposed of, thus contributing to e-waste. Old chargers, which are often not compatible with new phones, are also discarded, adding to the e-waste problem and increasing end-user costs.

Image credits: Sean McEntee (not the actual photo)

smart company Reports indicate that there are about 4.78 billion mobile phone users globally (61.2% of the world’s population). Mobile phone chargers alone generate more than 51,000 tons of e-waste annually. On that basis, it would make sense if more tech users re-use phone chargers and if tech companies switch to the standard charging method to work across different brands.

Brazilian authorities have rejected Apple’s argument that the practice is aimed at reducing carbon emissions, saying there is no evidence that selling a smartphone without a charger provides environmental protection.

An association agreement is the illegal practice of selling a product or service with the condition that the buyer also purchases another product from the same supplier

Image credits: bfishadow (not the actual image)

In response, Apple announced that it will continue to work with SENACON to “address their concerns” but plans to appeal this decision. They stated, “We have already won a number of court decisions in Brazil on this subject and we are confident that our customers are aware of the different options for charging and connecting their devices.”

The long-term effects of this move may reveal a new trend coming, as a lot of major companies, including Samsung and Google, are releasing new devices without charging adapters.

This could be a huge problem if more countries follow in Brazil’s lead and start speaking out, which leads us to wonder how much these companies are already doing to reduce their environmental impact and how removing chargers would actually change anything, other than making the average person spend more Funds on core products.

Back in 2020, Apple stopped including chargers with its phones, aiming to reduce carbon emissions and claiming they provide environmental benefits.

Image credits: Mike Mozart (not the actual photo)

Bored of the panda Recently covered news The European Union is moving towards a USB-C port For all devices to reduce the need for multiple and different chargers. This will have a huge impact on iPhone models, which still use a Lightning cable, but it will also eliminate the need for users to buy different chargers for different devices.

People argue that switching to the global USB-C charging standard would be a better way to reduce their environmental impact, if that’s really Apple’s goal. However, even with its latest model, the iPhone 14, that step has yet to be taken.

Some have suggested that it is a way to push consumers towards purchasing wireless chargers, which leads to a slew of other concerns. Not only is it another form of charger, but it is also seen as very important lavish, consumes about 47% more power than a regular cable. Globally, energy use is by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, so we end up in an inevitable loop.

Although Apple aims to become carbon neutral by 2030, it remains to be seen, especially when it comes to global ports and power-heavy wireless charging

Image credits: Lucas Koster (not the actual photo)

Apple aims to become carbon neutral by 2030, but that’s not yet clear. Let us know your thoughts on this – do you think Brazil is right? Or is this a stark reminder that we are a long way from uniting in the goal of combating climate change? Tough topics lead to interesting discussions, so stop the audio below!

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Many debate the possible implications of Brazil’s decision. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!