Procon-SP, Brazil’s consumer protection agency, has imposed a fine of nearly $2 million (R$ 10.5 million) on Apple for not bundling a charger in the iPhone 12 box, reports 9to5Google.
According to the report, Apple has been fined for “misleading advertising, selling a device without the charger and unfair terms.” The report further said that the agency had questioned Apple about the issue last year as well. Procon-SP noted that Apple did not demonstrate any environmental gain from the move.
In the latest verdict, the agency pointed out that Apple had not responded when asked about whether the company had slashed the price of the iPhone 12 after removing the charger. The company also did not respond to questions such as what was the price of the handset with and without the charger, and if the company reduced the charger production?
Apart from the charger bundle issue, the agency also stated some other issues with the company. On the iOS updates, “it said some users reported ‘problems with some functions’ on their iPhones after updating them, which Apple didn’t help.”
“Apple needs to understand that in Brazil there are solid consumer protection laws and institutions. It needs to respect these laws and these institutions,” Procon-SP Executive Director Fernando Capez is quoted as saying.
Apple had launched the iPhone 12 in October last year. The company had said that the new model would not come with chargers and earbuds in their boxes. Apple said that the move would help curb the e-waste problem and address other environmental concerns. Samsung and other smartphone brands have also followed suit to skip the charger bundle from their phones.
Critics, however, say Apple’s decision to skip the charger bundle will have minimal impact on the environment. They also alleged that the move was primarily aimed at reducing shipping costs.
The Verge points out that the fine is unlikely to hurt Apple as the company had reported $114.4 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2021.