Apple fined $19 million over its refusal to put chargers in iPhone boxes

Hand waving goodbye to an iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Joe Wituschek)
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Apple's decision not to put chargers in iPhone boxes has always been a bone of contention and now it's put the company on the hook for $19 million.

That money will need to be handed over as part of a fine put in place by a Brazilian court after it ruled that Apple must put a charger in the box of every iPhone it sells in the country.

Charged up

Reuters reports that a Sao Paulo court rules that Apple must hand over 100 million reais ($19 million) after ruling against it in a lawsuit "filed by the association of borrowers, consumers and taxpayers, that argued that the company commits abusive practices by selling its flagship product without a charger."

Somewhat predictably, Apple says that it will appeal the decision and appears far from keen to start putting chargers in the boxes of devices like its new iPhone 14. It hasn't shipped new iPhones with chargers in the box since 2020, leaving people to either use one they already have or pick up a new one separately.

While Apple argues that its decision not to put chargers into boxes is an environmental drive, the Brazilian court isn't convinced. Apple's stance is that smaller boxes cut down on carbon emissions during transit. It also believes that everyone already has a charger and that not shipping more cuts down on e-waste.

The court doesn't accept that, however. "It is evident that, under the justification of a 'green initiative,' the defendant imposes on the consumer a required purchase of charger adaptors that were previously supplied along with the product," said the court's decision.

Notably, Apple's iPhone 14 lineup goes on sale in Brazil today, October 14, 2022. Of course, Apple's best iPhone to date has no charger in the box.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.