Regulators in the Brazilian state of São Paulo slapped Apple with a nearly $2 million fine on Friday for failing to include chargers within iPhone 12 boxes, according to 9to5Mac and a Google translation of a report from Brazilian tech news outlet Tilt.
The consumer protection agency Procon-SP also accused Apple of engaging in misleading advertising, refusing to repair defective devices, and maintaining unfair contract terms with consumers.
Starting with its iPhone 12 series, Apple announced it was scrapping the wall charger and earbuds typically bundled with previous iPhones to cut down on electronic waste, citing environmental concerns. At the time, critics argued Apple’s decision had more to do with slashing shipping costs than saving the planet, and any impact on the environment would likely be minimal.
Procon-SP asked Apple if the iPhone 12's price would be reduced since it wasn’t coming with a charger but the agency said it never received a response, 9to5Mac reports. In addition to the charger debacle, it accused Apple of refusing to repair devices that failed to be as water-resistant as advertised and failing to help customers who experienced “problems with some functions” on their iPhones following iOS updates. Procon-SP also claims that Apple’s contract terms are overly broad and shield Apple from responsibility even when its devices are found to have hidden defects, per the outlet.
“Apple needs to understand that in Brazil there are solid consumer protection laws and institutions. It needs to respect these laws and these institutions,” said the agency’s executive director, Fernando Capez.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, but we’ll be sure to update this blog if they do. It still has the option to appeal this decision through Brazil’s court system. Honestly, though, it’s probably easier for Apple to just fork over the cash and not even bother with it. $2 million dollars is a drop in the bucket when you’re making more than $100 billion, with a b, in revenue as Apple has in the first quarter of 2021 alone.