Apple has been fined nearly $2 million in Brazil for selling iPhones without a charger in the box, citing environmental reasons. The fine has been imposed by Procon-SP, the Brazilian consumer protection regulator in Sāo Paulo.
Apple has been roughly fined R$10.5 million, which is roughly equivalent to US$2 million. Apple has also been accused of misleading advertising, selling devices with factory defects, and “maintaining unfair terms in the contract with consumers,” and not repairing a product that was under warranty.
Procon-SP asked Apple back in October last year whether the company has reduced the prices of the iPhone 12 lineup after removing the charger from the box. The regulatory body was not satisfied with Apple’s response and had issued this statement back in December:
Apple does not demonstrate in its response that the use of old adapters cannot compromise the charging process and safety of the procedure, nor that the use of third-party chargers will not be used as a refusal for eventual repair of the product during the legal or contractual warranty.
They also claimed that while Apple did inform consumers about removing chargers from newer iPhones, the company failed to “demonstrate [any] environmental gain” with this move.
The regulatory body has also accused Apple of disrespecting Brazilian law. The company refused to repair a product for a consumer within 30 days of its international purchase. Additionally, Apple was also fined for misleading advertising. The body had received complaints from many iPhone 11 consumers whose devices Apple refused to repair, citing water damage despite them being dust and water-resistant.
Apple does have the option of appealing this decision in Brazillian court. Despite the fine, Apple removing the charger from newer iPhones has set the trend for other smartphone makers to follow.
Xiaomi, Samsung, and other OEMs have already launched phones without a charger in their box, and in the future, this is likely going to become the norm rather than the exception.