Apple sued in China for selling the iPhone 12 without a charger

The case increases the pressure on Apple to reverse its policy.

Chris Velazco/Engadget

It's not just Brazil pressuring Apple to include chargers with iPhones. According to Vice and Shanghai Law Journal, university students in China have sued Apple for not including a charger with an iPhone 12 Pro Max. They claimed the included USB-C to Lightning cable wasn't compatible with other chargers, leaving one student unable to charge the phone as advertised.

The plaintiffs also didn't believe Apple's waste reduction claims. Apple was only using this as an excuse to promote MagSafe wireless chargers that waste more energy than their wired counterparts, the students argued. They want Apple to supply the charger as well as pay legal fees and 100 yuan ($16) for breach of contract.

Apple reportedly told the Beijing virtual court it was common for phone brands to sell power adapters separately, and that the government sanctioned this practice. However, the students pointed out that multiple Chinese companies offer the choice of an adapter in the box. You can buy the Xiaomi Mi 11 with or without a power brick, for example.

The case is still ongoing, and there are no guarantees it will lead to either compensation for the students or a shift in Apple's no-charger policy. Even if the case prompts change, it may only lead to Apple offering the charger as an option at checkout. Nonetheless, the lawsuit illustrates the wider backlash to Apple's position. Don't be surprised if you see more lawsuits like this.