A Brazilian court has ordered Apple to sell iPhones with chargers for the third time
In context: Apple started the unfortunate trend of leaving chargers out of the box when it announced the iPhone 12 in 2020. Brazil has been fighting to get chargers back for three generations of iPhones, but has only levied fines that are a drop in the bucket for the world’s most valuable companies.
State Court in Sao Paulo committed a R$100 million ($19 million) decision against Apple on Thursday. He ruled, for the third time in Brazil, that Apple violated consumer law by selling iPhones without chargers and ordered the Cupertino company to reverse its unpopular policy. Apple said it plans to appeal the ruling.
“It is evident that the defendant under the justification of ‘green initiative’ imposes on the consumer the mandatory purchase of charger adapters that were previously delivered with the product”, the court announced.
The Sao Paulo consumer protection agency Procon-SP was the first to open an investigation into Apple’s practices at the end of 2020. In March 2021, it announced that its investigation had stalled after Apple stopped responding to its requests for information. That fined the company 10.5 million R$ (then 1.9 million) and told him to put the chargers back in the box for the first time.
credit: Steve Johnson
“Apple needs to understand that there are strong consumer protection laws and institutions in Brazil. It needs to respect these laws and these institutions,” said Procon-SP CEO Fernando Capez.
Brazil went after Apple again this year in September. The Department of Justice and Security fined the company $12.28 million (about $2.34 million) for leaving the charger out of the box on the grounds that Apple was selling an incomplete product. He ordered the company to return the chargers a second time. Apple apparently hasn’t done that yet.
Apple defends its position by saying that it is more environmentally friendly. Apple executives said on stage during the iPhone 12 announcement that the move to smaller and lighter packaging is projected to prevent two million tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year. It was also supposed to reduce the number of unused chargers becoming e-waste, but an after-the-fact analysis showed the impact of the change was likely to be minimal.
Brazil’s National Secretariat for Consumer Protection (Senacon) disputed Apple’s claims about environmental concerns. He says that Apple could implement more effective measures to protect the environment, such as replacing the Lightning port with USB-C. Brazil announced a proposal to make USB-C mandatory in all phones starting July 1, 2024, earlier this year.
masthead: Will Porada
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