Tech | April 21, 2022 2:34 pm

Apple Fined for Not Including a Power Adapter With iPhones

A Brazilian court ordered the tech company to pay a man nearly $1,100 for selling its iPhone charger separately

Lightning cable and Apple logo on iPhone are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on September 25, 2021
No power adapter with your new iPhone? In Brazil, that'll cost Apple.
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty

Are we about to get our power adapters back when we buy Apple products?

That’s one potential outcome from a new ruling in Brazil, where a judge reportedly ordered the tech giant to pay a man the equivalent of $1,081 for not including a power adapter with the purchase of a new iPhone.

According to Insider, Judge Vanderlei Caires Pinheiro in Goiânia ruled Apple’s practice a “tie sale,” which is when a company requires that a customer buy two of its products for one of them to work. He also called this move an “abusive and illegal commercial practice.”

Apple’s counterargument is that they include a USB-C cable that works with numerous chargers (Apple or not); the judge ruled that not all chargers include a USB-C port.

Apple’s rationale for removing the power adapter (and earbuds) from the recent iPhone purchases, which started in 2020, is as follows (from their online store): “As part of our efforts to reach our environmental goals, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max do not include a power adapter or EarPods. Included in the box is a USB‑C to Lightning Cable that supports fast charging and is compatible with USB‑C power adapters and computer ports.”

However, the judge also chided the company on its environmental claims, noting that Apple still manufactured and sold power adapters separately. As well, because Apple can void a warranty if you have issues related to a third-party charger, consumers are essentially forced to shell out for the Apple plug.

This isn’t the first time Apple has had issues with removing the power adapter. Brazil fined the company $2 million for the practice last year, and Apple may now have to pay out for thousands of other customers who also did not get a power adapter with their new iPhone.

While Apple appears to be stubborn when it comes to Brazil, the company has capitulated to other consumer law demands before. For example, you still get earbuds with your iPhone in France. Here’s hoping that continued fines lead to the brand returning our wall plugs (and, while we’re at it, those underrated white earbuds).