A judge in Brazil has ruled Apple must pay a man over $1,000 for not including an iPhone charger in the box.
The case’s verdict comes on the heels of intense scrutiny of Apple from the Brazilian government.
Will this case set a legal precedent forcing Apple (and others) to include chargers with phones in Brazil?
The question is whether or not this sets a legal precedent to force all companies to include chargers in this country.
Naturally, a controversial move as it was, Apple faced severe criticism, but it stood by its decision that followed the company’s efforts toward marginalizing the impact of electronics on the environment.
A court in Brazil's Goiania city says Apple is in violation of consumer protection laws and must compensate a customer who was sold an iPhone without a charger.
Obviously, if Apple needs to include chargers with iPhones so would other companies. For what it’s worth, Samsung does include chargers with its phones when sold in Brazil, even though it doesn’t do so in other countries.
Additionally, Apple does include chargers and even earbuds with new iPhones sold in France. This is because French law prohibits the sale of smartphones without those two items. It’s possible Apple could adopt a similar strategy in Brazil to avoid all these legal issues.
Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S21 did not come with a charger in the box because, per the company, doing so saves the environment. Realme became the latest brand to remove the charger from the box of one of its latest phones. It cited the same reason, but also said that it will continue to offer chargers on a majority of its smartphones in the future.
As reported by Tecmundo, the judge has ruled that Apple selling the iPhone without a charger in the box violates the country’s consumer law and, therefore, the company must pay $1,075 as compensation to the impacted customer.
“Tie sale” refers to the practice of forcing a consumer to buy two products in order to make one of them fully work. In this case, the judge considers the necessity of buying a charger after buying a new iPhone to be a tie sale. Of course, Apple argued that most people have chargers already, but that didn’t sway the judge.
According to the country's Consumer Code (CDC) devices such as a smartphone must include a charger and can be sold separately, but the separate sale must not be mandatory to allow the device to function fully.
"The CDC aims to protect the weakest part of the contractual relationship, ensuring it against abusive practices and clauses in the supply of products and services."
Hon ’Judge Pinheiro, however, maintained that it is not possible to use the iPhone's provided charging cable with other chargers, so therefore customers are required to buy Apple's product.
Apple has been ordered to compensate, the user with 5,000 Brazilian reais ($1,064).
It's not clear what model iPhone the buyer had, but for comparison, a base-level iPhone 13 costs 6,374 Brazilian reais. A USB-C charger costs 343 Brazilian reais.