Apple’s decision to remove the charger inside the box starting with the iPhone 12 was initially met with criticism and ridicule. As with anything Apple, however, others eventually followed suit anyway. Those, however, might also follow Apple’s fate as the Cupertino-based company now faces a nearly $1.9 million fine in Brazil. That amount, which might be just a slap on the wrist for the tech giant, covers not only its removal of the charger from the iPhone’s packaging but also for other unfair practices that the consumer protection agency Procon-SP is accusing the company of putting in place.
Procon-SP’s high-profile beef with Apple goes back to October last year when Apple confirmed what some consumers already heard from rumors. The agency demanded that Apple explain the reason why it removed chargers from the boxes, after already removing headphones as well. The company’s appeal to the environment, however, didn’t satisfy Procon-SP which has now decided to follow through with a 10,500,000 BRL fine, roughly $1.9 million.
By now, Apple isn’t the only smartphone maker that has ditched the charger but others have found ways to get around sanctions. The report says that Xiaomi offered buyers of its Mi 11 the option to get a charger at no extra cost. Samsung, meanwhile, offered the charger for free only during the pre-order promo period which surprisingly satisfied the consumer watchdog.
Procon-SP’s fine, however, doesn’t cover just the charger issue. It is pretty much an all-in-one sanction for anti-consumer practices it is accusing Apple of, including misleading water resistance advertising, iOS update problems, and not following Brazilian warranty laws for products purchased abroad. The agency says that Apple didn’t respond to the questions raised, prompting them to push through with the fine.
It isn’t the end of the story for Apple, though, and it can still appeal the fine or challenge it completely in court. Given the fine covers a wide range of distinct issues, there’s a good chance that Apple can knock down that amount to peanuts.