Brazil bans Apple from selling iPhones without chargers, When it comes to charging accessories, the Brazilian government plans to go to war with Apple. On Tuesday, the Brazilian Justice Ministry fined Apple 12.275 million reais (about $2.38 million) and banned the sale of iPhone models that do not come with a charger.
This unexpected cancellation would have an effect on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, as reported by Reuters. Since 2020, Apple’s iPhone 12 hasn’t included a charger in the box.
Apple and other electronics manufacturers say their decision to stop including accessories with new devices is an honest effort to reduce the amount of trash and electronic waste that accumulates in consumers’ homes. According to the information given earlier this year by the European Parliament, unused and discarded chargers may account for about 11,000 metric tonnes of e-waste yearly in Europe.
Authorities in Brazil, however, disagree and claim the lack of charging stations constitutes “intentional discriminatory activity against consumers,” as reported by Reuters. According to the officials, iPhones that aren’t accompanied by their chargers are missing a crucial part and are therefore defective.
On the other hand, Apple is not alone in this. Several Galaxy models from Samsung, as well as the Pixel 6 from Google last year, did not come with headphones or a charger. After making fun of Apple’s choice, Xiaomi followed suit with its Mi 11 phone by no longer including charging bricks.
Whether or not these businesses will be subject to Brazil’s new regulations remains to be seen. When compared to other markets like the United States, Apple’s overall footprint in Brazil is noticeably lower. Counterpoint Research reports that Apple only has 5.7% market share in Brazil for smartphones in Q1 2018, while Samsung had 45.6%.
Gizmodo’s request for comment from Apple went unanswered for some time.
Brazil’s efforts to buck a global trend
At the same time that regulators in other regions are enforcing restrictions intended to minimize the number of unneeded chargers created, the Brazilian government is on a crusade against Apple’s charging choices. After years of deliberation, European politicians have settled on a USB-C charging connector standard for smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other gadgets sold in the EU by Fall 2024.
In principle, once the standardization process is complete, customers will only need a single charger for their ever-growing collection of electronic devices. Around the same time, Bloomberg also reported that Apple was testing iPhones with USB-C support.
The desire for a new charging system is not limited to Europe. U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sent a letter earlier this year urging the Commerce Department to propose its own guidelines for a universal charging standard.
The rule proposed by U.S. senators to limit various types of charges could aid in the reduction of electronic waste, much like the legislation proposed by European politicians.
The lawmakers said in the letter that people “typically just toss away their outmoded chargers” when their devices no longer work with their original chargers. When discarded improperly, electronic trash (e-waste) can contaminate water, soil, and air.
There is a common root to these many strategies: the fact that customers find the charging process in its current form to be inconvenient.