Brazil halts sales of charger-less iPhones, fines Apple $2.3 million

Brazil halts sales of charger-less iPhones, fines Apple $2.3 million

Brazil halts sales of charger-less iPhones, fines Apple $2.3 million

Today, the Brazilian government said it will stop selling iPhones without chargers. The Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security has also said that Apple will have to pay a BRL$12,275,500 (about $2.3 million) fine (MJSP). Also, Apple reportedly paid a $2 million fine in 2021 after releasing the iPhone 12 series, which was the first smartphone to come without a power adaptor.

The MJSP also told Anatel, Brazil’s national phone company, to cancel the iPhone 12’s registration. A consumer protection group in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo called Procon-SP fined Apple $2 million in 2021. The report says that Apple sold the country an unfinished product. A Google translation of the announcement in Portuguese says that Apple hasn’t done anything since then to “minimise the damage” and is still selling cell phones without chargers.

Even though Brazilian authorities could have given similar fines, Samsung seems to have chosen to give free chargers to Brazilian customers who bought its new smartphones but didn’t get a power adaptor with them. As of this writing, it looks like you can buy an iPhone 12 or later on the Apple Brazil website.

The MJSP says that if Apple keeps breaking the law, it could be considered a repeat offender and get new, even harsher punishments. In its 2020 announcement, Apple said that getting rid of power adapters would “further reduce carbon emissions and avoid the mining and use of precious materials, allowing for smaller and lighter packaging and allowing for 70% more boxes to be shipped on a pallet.”

Apple said at the time that the changes would cut carbon emissions by almost 2 million metric tonnes per year, which is the same as taking over 450,000 cars off the road. Apple said in its iPhone 12 Product Environmental Report from 2020 [PDF] that if it didn’t include some accessories with the iPhone 12 series, it wouldn’t have to “mine more than 600,000 metric tonnes [of] copper, zinc, and tin ore.” This was based on “estimated production volumes.”

The Brazilian government says that all Apple did was pass on the cost to the customer. It went on to say that if Apple really cared about the environment, it could do more things like make its iPhone models charge through USB-C. (a move Apple is rumoured to be considering). In June, Anatel proposed that all phones sold in Brazil have to have a USB-C port. The European Union has already passed laws that require smartphones and other electronics to charge with USB-C starting in 2024. At the same time, a number of US officials are pushing for a USB-C plan that is similar.

Lastly, the Brazilian federal ministry said that taking the chargers out of iPhone boxes did not lower costs. Google’s translation of the statement says, “As a result, it is known that the price is mostly set by business strategy and not by how much it costs to make.”

At its Far Out event tomorrow, Apple is likely to show off an iPhone 14 that won’t come with a charger. Ars Technica has asked Apple for a comment; if we hear back, this post will be changed.


Sophia Amelia is the New York Times Bestselling Author. Writing stories to inspire young minds. Celebrating the power of words & imagination through my books. Join me on my journey to creating stories that will capture your imagination and captivate your heart.

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