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Nice: Judge says Apple must pay man $1,000 for not including charger with iPhone

The question is whether or not this sets a legal precedent to force all companies to include chargers in this country.
By
April 20, 2022
Apple iPhone 12 Mini Apple stock photo 16
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • 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?

In 2020, Apple made headlines for making a bold move: it stopped including chargers with new iPhones. The company claimed that stopping the practice would be better for the environment since most people already own chargers. However, rumors circulate that the move saved Apple literally billions of dollars. Since then, other companies — including Samsung — have followed suit.

Brazil, however, is very unhappy with the lack of an iPhone charger in the box. The country previously fined Apple $2 million over the change. Now, the Cupertino company must pay one specific man $5,000 Brazilian real (~$1,082). This news comes thanks to a judge ruling in favor of the man’s lawsuit against Apple (via MacRumors).

Here’s what the judge had to say:

According to article 39 of the Consumer Code (CDC), “tie sale” is an abusive and prohibited practice in Brazil, so it is not allowed to sell cell phone and charger separately. Therefore, Apple is being sentenced after selling an iPhone model and charger separately to a consumer in the city of Goiânia.
According to the result issued by Judge Vanderlei Caires Pinheiro, of the 6th Civil Court of Goiânia, Apple must compensate the consumer R$ 5 thousand for carrying out the “tie sale” of the company’s devices.

“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.

No iPhone charger in box: Legal precedent now?

The big question looming over this case is how it could change smartphone launches in Brazil going forward. The country has already fined Apple for not including chargers with iPhones. Now, this case appears to set a precedent that any iPhone owner can sue Apple directly for compensation.

See also: How to pick the right 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.