Apple fined $2 million in Brazil for selling iPhone 12 without a charger

The country doesn't buy Apple's environmental angle.

Chris Velazco/Engadget

The Brazilian state of São Paulo isn't thrilled with Apple leaving the charger out of the iPhone 12 box. Tilt and MacRumors report that the consumer protection agency Procon-SP has fined Apple nearly R$10.55 million (about $1.92 million US) for removing the power adapter from the iPhone 12 family and newer production runs of older iPhones. Apple's move was a violation of the country's Consumer Defense Code, according to the watchdog.

Procon-SP told Apple about the alleged violation in December. Apple responded by reiterating its environmental angle, arguing that it would reduce CO2 emissions and rare earth mining. It noted that many customers already had spare chargers. The agency clearly wasn't satisfied with that answer, however. In issuing the fine, Procon-SP executive director Fernando Capez told Apple it needed to respect Brazilian law.

The fine also covers allegedly misleading water resistance claims. Apple supposedly declined to repair iPhones that had suffered water damage under warranty despite touting the devices' ability to survive immersion for extended periods.

We've asked Apple for comment. The company can appeal the fine if it continues to object to the decision.

The fine is comparatively tiny and won't dent Apple's finances. However, Apple might not have much choice but to offer a concession if it wants to keep selling iPhones in Brazil. Other companies have bowed to pressure as well. Samsung struck a deal with Procon-SP to bundle a "gift" charger with Galaxy S21 pre-orders, for example. Brazil is one of the world's larger phone markets, and companies that defy the country's rules risk losing out on many sales if they're not careful.

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