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Rumor: Apple to drop headphones and charger from iPhone 12 box

Red iPhone unboxing
Red iPhone unboxing (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Barclays claims Apple may make a big change to its iPhone 12 box.
  • They say it won't include EarPods, or perhaps even a charger.
  • They also suggested the iPhone 12 Pro models will get a LiDAR scanner, as per previous reports.

A new report from Barclays claims that Apple may drop both EarPods and the charger from the iPhone 12 box.

According to MacRumors:

In a research note obtained by MacRumors, the Barclays analysts said that iPhone 12 models will not come with EarPods in the box, in line with a prediction shared by Ming-Chi Kuo last month. Oddly enough, the analysts also heard that iPhone 12 models might not ship with a power adapter of any kind, leaving only a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box.

According to the report, Barclays also claims the iPhone 12 mass production timeline is behind by 4-6 weeks compared to a usual year. They also note that they expect the iPhone 12 Pro to feature a triple-lens camera configuration with LiDAR scanner, echoing previous reports.

The big news is obviously eschewing the charger. A previous report in May from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously suggested Apple's new iPhone may not ship with EarPods. That move was mostly touted as a way for Apple to drive custom for its AirPods. This latest report would likely reflect an environmental focus for Apple's next iPhone 12 and its packaging.

Think back to the last time you opened an Apple device, iPhone or otherwise. The charger plug (not the cable) is the biggest factor in the size of Apple's device boxes due to its shape. If Apple were to remove even the charging plug and retain the cable, it could save a very significant amount of size, reducing its shipping costs or carbon emissions for the iPhone by a very large amount. The iPhone's box would need to be only slightly larger than the iPhone itself.

Cutting the charger from the iPhone's box would certainly draw ire, but Apple hasn't shied away from this kind of wholesale, radical change before.

Just yesterday, a report suggested Apple was working on a new 20W charger for its iPhone 12, which would seem to directly contradict this report. The only reasonable explanation would be that Apple plans to sell the higher-wattage charger separately.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

6 Comments
  • :S Sounds great and charge more to get a charger. Assuming you don't have a charger laying around to charge your iphone.... Though in most cases I have chargers for iphone so suppose it wouldn't matter if they remove it all together.
  • Maybe the one reportedly being removed is the old one. Instead, they add the new 20w.
  • That would be a bad move. Especially if they want to keep getting people over from Android. What about those random people that still don't have any kind of smartphone etc. (yes, they still exist, you wouldn't believe the helpdesk tickets I saw come through when we went to teleworking with MS Authenticator required to log in)
  • Didn't say there wouldn't be a cable. Your Android charger will work just fine, as will the port on your laptop. Unless you have a MacBook of course ;)
  • I have a MacBook Pro. My iPhone came with a Lightning/USB C cable. Everything is fine.
  • I’ve had bologna twice today. I had it at lunch and now here.