Brazil has issued Apple with fines for selling iPhones without a charger included in the box, in a move that the Brazilian consumer watchdog labeled misleading for customers.
Upon the release of the latest iPhone 12, the Brazilian consumer protection agency Procon-SP fined Apple $2 million for failing to include a charger.
Procon-SP said that Apple’s decision not to include a charger in the box was misleading for customers, and criticised the electronics giant for unfair terms and even breaches of the Brazilian Consumer Defense Code.
It’s being reported that Procon-SP first contacted Apple about the violations of its consumer defense code back in December. In response, Apple reiterated the environmental benefits of not packaging a charging brick, adding that this lessens carbon emissions and mining for rare earth minerals.
The Brazilian consumer watchdog also requested that Apple reduce the retail price for its iPhone 12 lineup, considering that a power brick was no longer included in the purchase of a new phone.
A spokesperson for the Procon-SP consumer group has said that Apple “needs to respect these laws and these institutions.”
Apple also stated that for the majority of cases, consumers already had a charging brick in their possession from a previous iPhone that could be used.
Executive Director of Procon-SP, Fernando Capez however, demanded that Apple operate in-line with Brazilian consumer codes, and issued the $2 million fine for failing to provide consumers with a charging brick free of cost.
“Apple needs to understand that in Brazil, there are solid consumer protection laws and institutions,” Capez said.
The agency also took aim at “iOS update problems,” as well as “unfair terms” of use that allowed Apple to “exempt itself from all legal and implicit guarantees and against hidden or not apparent defects.”
According to a report from Engadget, “the fine also covers allegedly misleading water resistance claims. Apple supposedly declined to repair iPhones that had suffered damage under warranty despite touting the devices’ ability to survive immersion for extended periods.”
The agency objected to “misleading advertising as iPhone 11 Pro consumers reported that Apple didn’t repair their phones after problems with water.”
Apple first made the announcement it would stop including a power brick in new iPhone sales in October, citing the environmental benefits on offer. Apple claimed that by not including a power brick, the company is able to reduce its carbon footprint by as much as 2 million tonnes; the equivalent of 450,000 cars being taken off the road each year.
In recent weeks, Apple’s major competitor Samsung has made concessions to meet Brazilian consumer protection laws. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S21 was originally intended to be sold without a power brick, but the company has since moved to bungle a ‘gift’ charger for orders of the S21.