Brasília: The consumer protection agency of Brazil, Procon-SP, has reportedly slapped a fine of nearly $2 million on tech-giant Apple for “misleading advertising, selling a device without the charger and unfair terms” after the company stopped providing charger in the iPhone 12 box in order to curb the e-waste problem and address other environmental concerns.
The report further stated that the São Paulo based agency had questioned Apple about the issue last year as well, to which the Apple, however, failed to demonstrate any environmental gain from the move.
In the latest verdict, the Procon said it asked Apple whether the company would reduce the iPhone 12’s price since there were no chargers included, but the smartphone giant did not respond to questions. The agency also did not get answer to questions such as what was the price of the handset with and without the charger, and if the company reduced the charger production?
The consumer protection agency also accused the Apple of failing to help customers who had “problems with some functions” on their iPhones following iOS updates, “it said some users reported ‘problems with some functions’ on their iPhones after updating them, which Apple didn’t help.”
A spokesman for the agency, Fernando Capez said Apple, “Apple needs to understand that in Brazil there are solid consumer protection laws and institutions. It needs to respect these laws and these institutions.”
Apple, while the launch of iPhone 12 in October last year, had announced that the new model would not come with chargers or earbuds in their boxes, citing environmental concerns. Including a USB-C to Lightning cable with iPhone 12 and other new models, Apple said it would be able to reduce the raw materials for each iPhone it sells, in addition to reducing the size of the phones’ boxes.
Critics, on the other hand, suggested that Apple’s decision to skip the charger bundle was primarily aimed at reducing shipping costs, while, the environmental experts said the impact on the environment would likely be minimal.
Meanwhile, Samsung and other smartphone brands have also followed suit to skip the charger bundle from their phones.
Coming back to Apple, the fine is unlikely to hurt the the multi dollar company as its revenue for only the first quarter of 2021 was reported around $114.4 billion, so $2 million won’t hurt the smartphone giant much but it could make the company include charging bundle in their upcoming models.