Poll: Do You Believe Apple Removed the Charger and EarPods from iPhone 12 for Environmental Reasons?

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 18 Oct 2020

iPhone 12 mini charging

When Apple announced the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro series last week, the company announced that it would no longer be bundling power adapters or EarPods with its iPhones going forward for environmental reasons. Apple also updated the packaging of its iPhone 11, iPhone SE, and iPhone XR lineup to remove the charger and EarPods from their box.

Apple justified its move by saying that there are already billions of power adapters out there, with iPhone users having easy access to them. The move has also allowed Apple to reduce the retail packaging size of the iPhone 12, iPhone 11, and iPhone XR by a big margin. Apple noted that such measures will allow it as well as its vendors to reduce their environmental impact in a big way.

What the company did not say in its presentation is how much money it is going to save with this move. No charger, no EarPods, and a smaller retail box. Combined, Apple must be easily saving $30-$40 on every iPhone sold with this move. On top of that, the move has also allowed the company to cut down on its transportation cost saving it millions of dollars per quarter easily.

iPhone 12

However, Apple’s entire saving the environment claim falls apart when one realizes that the company now ships a USB-C to Lightning cable with its iPhones now. In itself, this is a good move as USB-C is the future and iPhone 8 and newer can fast charge using this cable. The problem is that the billions of chargers that Apple justified for the removal of the power adapter from its iPhones have a USB-A port and not a USB-C port. In fact, only certain flagship Android smartphones ship with a USB-C adapter. Apple itself started bundling an 18W USB-C adapter with its iPhone 11 lineup from last year.

If anything, the launch of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro series is only going to lead to a rise in the sale of USB-C chargers at least for the foreseeable future. That is going to have an impact on the environment as there is going to be a lot of charger packaging that’s going to be discarded. Perhaps Apple is just interested in reducing its impact on the environment and it’s fine if the move leads to an increase in environmental waste from any other aspect.

Do you agree with Apple’s justification for the removal of the power adapter and the EarPods from iPhones? Or is it clear to you that the company has taken this step to increase its profit margin which has come under pressure with the addition of 5G on the iPhone 12 lineup?  Take part in our poll below and let us know your thoughts by dropping in a comment below.