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Brazil sues Apple for not delivering chargers with the iPhone 12

Tech Edition

Procon-SP, the consumer protection agency of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is suing Apple for failing to deliver chargers with the new iPhone 12. Apple created quite a buzz when they announced that, in order to prevent unnecessary electronic waste and so protect the environment, they would not be shipping the iPhone 12 with a charging brick.

Apple is now facing a $1.9 million fine as Procon-SP has not accepted their justification for removing the charger. Apple originally claimed that the charger was not included to eliminate e-waste and that the smaller and lighter boxes would also see a reduction in carbon emissions, preventing approximately two million tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere. Upon closer inspection though analysts have concluded that the real benefits were connected to Apple’s profit margins.

Procon-SP announced last November that they were investigating Apple’s claims but midway through the investigation Apple stopped responding to requests for further info. Procon-SP was thus not able to get clear answers to their key queries, which was whether Apple passed on the cost savings to the consumer, and whether charger production had been slowed down. Without the proper correspondence the agency was forced to reach a guilty verdict.

Procon-SP’s Executive Director, Fernando Capez, stated that “Apple needs to understand that in Brazil, there are solid consumer protection laws and institutions. It needs to respect these laws and institutions.”

Further details of the fine include misleading advertising, bad customer support, and unfair terms of service. Procon-SP has indicated that Apple’s refusal to repair some water-damaged iPhone 11 Pros, after advertising them as waterproof, was a clear example of all three claims.

Apple now has the option to contest the lawsuit in court. Chances are that they would have a good case to get the fine thrown out as other device manufacturers have also started selling handsets without chargers. So, it would seem that the real losers here are the consumers who will need to fork out extra for chargers.


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