Want an iPhone 12 with headphones in the box? Buy it in France.

Apple Iphone 12 Super Retina Xdr Display
Apple Iphone 12 Super Retina Xdr Display (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple's iPhone 12 will ship without a charging brick or Lightning EarPods.
  • Except in France, where headphones remain in the box.
  • That's because of a French law designed to protect young children from electromagnetic waves.

Apple's new iPhone 12 comes with some very exciting new features, but many users have been left upset by Apple's decision to remove the Lightning headphones and power brick from its iPhone 12 packaging.

However, as several people have pointed out, you'll still be able to buy an iPhone 12 will headphones in the box in one place... namely, France.

As noted by Reddit user AdamGregory1 yesterday:

If you buy a iPhone 12 in France you get lightning headphones

France Iphone

France Iphone (Image credit: iMore)

Sure enough, Apple's French website lists the iPhone 12's box content, and Apple's Lightning EarPods remain. As eagle-eyed commenters, and more recently MacRumors have noted, this is due to a French law which requires vendors to include a hands-free kit or headset suitable for children under the age of 14 with a mobile phone.

The new law dates back to 2015, and according to LEXplicit is driven by concerns about electromagnetic radiation. From the explainer:

While it is commonly accepted that exposure to electromagnetic waves is liable to have harmful consequences, the levels of exposure liable to alter the health of persons subjected to them are not clearly known. However, in the name of the precautionary principle on which it is based, the new law provides for the following obligations.

There follows a list of measures including the obligation for mobile phone vendors to include a headset or hands-free kit with a smartphone, as previously mentioned.

Apple has also announced it will remove the charging brick from the box of the iPhone 12, a move it says will reduce waste by 2 million tons a year, the equivalent of taking 450,000 cars off the road every year.

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. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9