Brazil passes law saying Apple cannot sell phones without a charger included



In an unprecedented move on Tuesday, the Brazilian government levied a fine of $2.38 million on Apple Inc. and ordered the company to stop selling iPhones without a battery charger in the country. According to Reuters, the South American country's Ministry of Justice and Public Security has placed a ban on the sales of the iPhone 12 and newer models while also suspending any other iPhone model that did not come bundled with the power charger. In the order—published in the country's official gazette this week—Brazilian officials outright rejected Apple's argument that removing the battery charger from its iPhones was a move to reduce carbon emissions, pointing out that there is no evidence that selling the smartphone without a charger offers environmental protections.


The Ministry of Justice and Public Security argued that the iPhone lacking an essential component is a "deliberate discriminatory practice against consumers." According to The Verge, the sales ban comes the day before Apple's Far Out event, where the company is expected to debut its iPhone 14 lineup—which is also likely to come without a charger in the box. In a statement to Bloomberg, Apple said it would continue to work with Brazil's consumer protection agency, Senacon, to "resolve their concerns" and that it plans to appeal the ban.

"At Apple, we consider our impact on people and the planet in everything we do. Power adapters represented our largest use of zinc and plastic and eliminating them from the box helped cut over 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions—equivalent to removing 500,000 cars from the road per year," the Cupertino, California-based company said. "We have already won several court rulings in Brazil on this matter and we are confident that our customers are aware of the various options for charging and connecting their devices."

Meanwhile, Senacon argues that Apple's decision to ditch the charger is a "burden" to customers and that the company could find other ways to reduce its environmental impact. The agency added that the lack of a charging brick when buying an iPhone makes the device "incomplete" and forces customers to make an additional purchase. This is not the first time Apple has run into trouble with the Brazilian government for its decision to sell phones without chargers. The country hit the company with a $2 million fine last year for not including chargers with its iPhone 12 devices and notes that Apple "has taken no measure to minimize the damage and continues to sell cell phones without chargers."

Earlier this year, a Brazilian court ordered Apple to pay a man $1,000 for not including a power adapter with his iPhone. Judge Vanderlei Caires Pinheiro reportedly stated that "Apple obliged the consumer to purchase a second product of its exclusive manufacture which was an abusive and illegal commercial practice." Apple first announced its plans to sell iPhones without the charging brick and earbuds in 2020, citing environmental concerns. The company claimed that excluding the two accessories would allow them to sell their phones in smaller boxes and thereby offset carbon emissions. However, many believe the move benefits Apple’s finances more than the environment.

















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