Apple is being sued by a group of university students in China for not including a charger in the box for iPhones. Since 2020, Apple has stopped shipping iPhones with chargers and EarPods with the justification of reducing the company’s carbon footprint and that most consumers already have power adaptors.
According to a report by Shanghai Law Journal, the students want Apple to pay CNY100 (~RM65) for breach of contract, as one student had to buy her own power brick after purchasing an iPhone 12 Pro Max. On top of that, they also want the company to cover the legal fees as well.
As part of their case argument, the students pointed out that USB-C to Lightning cable that was included with the iPhone is not compatible with the chargers that Apple has previously provided as standard for iPhone. An Apple representative said that it was standard for phone manufacturers to sell the chargers separately, but the students countered by saying that plenty of Chinese smartphone brands on the market offer their phones with and without power adaptors for consumers to choose from.
The students are also disputing Apple’s excuse of environmental concerns, instead accusing the company of making the move to promote the wireless MagSafe charger, which is sold separately. According to the tech giant’s 2021 Environmental Progress Report [pdf], excluding the power brick from the iPhone 12 will save 861,000 tons of copper, zinc, and tin.
China is only one of the multiple fronts where Apple is facing pressure regarding chargers. Apple was fined US$2 million (~RM8.2 million) in Brazil for shipping the iPhone 12 without a power adaptor and is now being investigated for the same reason with the iPhone 13. As if that’s not enough, the EU is also moving towards making USB-C ports mandatory on all devices, endangering Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector.