Brazil says it is banning the sale of iPhones without power adapters.
In a statement on Tuesday, Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security said it had fined Apple 12.275 million reais (£2.04 million).
Brazilian consumer agency Senacon said Apple’s decision to exclude the power adapter from the new iPhone discriminated against consumers by selling an “incomplete product”.
Apple will appeal the ban.
The company told Reuters in a statement that it would work with Brazilian authorities “to address their concerns,” but added that it had previously won several court decisions in Brazil on the issue.
“We are confident that our customers know the options for charging and connecting their devices,” Apple said.
The fine and ban on sales of iPhones without USB power adapters was announced a day before Apple showcased its new iPhone 14, 14 Pro and Apple Watch Ultra.
São Paulo’s consumer protection agency fined Apple £2 million last year, saying the sale of the iPhone 12 and all subsequent models violated consumer law because they didn’t come with a charger.
Pulling the plug
With the launch of iPhone 12 in 2020, Apple is stopping the inclusion of power adapters and headphones in iPhone boxes.
The company said the move comes after first ditching the power adapter from the new Apple Watch box, which will help reduce Apple’s carbon footprint by shrinking the packaging.
“Sometimes it’s not what we make that matters, but what we don’t do,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environmental, policy and social initiatives, said during Apple’s September 2020 keynote address.
She added that there are already more than 2 billion official Apple power adapters worldwide.
Senacon launched a lawsuit against the move last year, saying Apple’s arguments for removing USB power adapters from iPhone boxes on sustainability grounds “fall short.
It said there was no evidence that removing the chargers would be good for the environment.
According to the Brazilian Justice Ministry, Senacon said the company could have considered other ways to reduce its environmental impact that would not have burdened consumers – such as using USB-C cables and chargers to reduce e-waste.
The European Union provisionally agreed on plans to enforce a common USB-C charging cable for portable electronic devices earlier this year.
Senacon also said that selling the new iPhone without the power adapter is an example of Apple effectively forcing consumers to buy a second product after buying the new iPhone.
It said the power adapter should be part of the product because it is necessary to operate the phone and without it is an “incomplete product.
The organization added that the move has shifted the blame to third-party suppliers as well as consumers because the price of an iPhone without a power adapter has not dropped.
Apple has been contacted for comment.