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21st Apr 2022

Apple forced to pay a man more than $1,000 for not including a full charger with his new iPhone

Danny Jones

Apple to pay man $1,000 for not including full charger with iPhone

The judge ruled it as an example of abusive ‘tie-in sale’ practices

Tech giant Apple have been forced to pay over $1,000 to a customer for not giving him a full charger when he bought a new iPhone.

A Brazilian judge ordered the company to pay 5,000 Brazilian reals or $1,081 (approx £827.61) to a consumer because he was not provided with the necessary power adapter when he purchased his new mobile.

While he was given the USB-C Lightning cable, a design exclusive to Apple products, he was not given the power adapter it needs to connects with in order to plug the charger into the mains. Apple’s defence was that these can be purchased from other places.

Judge Vanderlei Caires Pinheiro of a civil court in the city of Goiânia, Goiás, ruled the practice as a “tie” or ‘tie-in sale’ which refers to when a company forces a customer into buying two separate products in order for one of them to work, according to court papers.

The judge went on to say that the Silicon Valley-based company had “obliged the consumer to purchase a second product of its exclusive manufacture,” labelling it an “abusive and illegal commercial practice.”

As Pinheiro rightly pointed out, the cable in question doesn’t work with wall adapters that don’t have a USB-C port and Apple devices are specifically designed to take only this kind of cable.

Apple claimed it stopped providing the power adapter out of concern for the environment and alleged supply shortages but, as the judge quickly highlighted, they are still manufacturing the product and selling them separately.

Power adapters haven’t been included as standard with purchases of iPhones beyond the 12th generation since 2020. This was another step that Brazilian outlet G1 says that the country’s government fined them $2m for back in 2021, arguing that the company failed to demonstrate any “environmental gain” as they continued to manufacture and market via other sellers.

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