Apple sued for excluding iPhone chargers in China

Five Chinese university students are suing tech giant Apple for not including a charger with an iPhone 12 Pro Max, media reports said.

EarPods and wall chargers were not being included with iPhones in 2020; only adding a USB-C to Lightning cable in its packaging. A decision taken by Apple to supposedly reduce carbon emissions and preserve raw materials.

The students claimed the included USB-C to Lightning cable was not compatible with other chargers, leaving one student unable to charge the phone as advertised, according to a report by the Shanghai Law Journal. It described the case in detail, noting that one of the students, named Xiaofang, was frustrated that her purchase of the iPhone 12 Pro Max didn’t come with a charger.

Some skepticism can be found as to whether Apple really did this to cut costs, rather than save the environment, as the transition to 5G could make iPhones more expensive to produce.

Xiaofang notes that since the cable included with the device is a USB-C to Lightning, then it’s not compatible with the wall chargers that were previously included with Apple devices.

This means that customers will have to purchase a USB-C-compatible charger or a MagSafe charger if they don’t have one already.

The student also claims that Apple is leaving out wall chargers to promote its MagSafe battery pack, a line of magnetic chargers that powers your phone wirelessly. She claims that Apple’s decision not to include a charger is motivated by profit, and that the telco is merely operating under the guise of saving the environment.

She and her colleagues took Apple to the Beijing Internet Court, asking the company to provide a wall charger, as well as pay $16 for breach of contract and for litigation fees. However, the students pointed out that multiple Chinese companies offer the choice of an adapter in the box, by buying the Xiaomi Mi 11 with or without a power brick.

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, local media reported.

Even if the case prompts change, it may only lead to Apple offering the charger as an option at checkout, it added.

Apple has previously faced legal issues for not providing chargers. Earlier this year, a Brazilian regulator fined Apple $2 million for failing to include chargers with the iPhone 12, alleging that Apple is misleading the customer by selling it without one.