Apple ordered to pay compensation to Brazilian for not providing a iPhone charger

Apple iPhone with a charging cable plugged in
The company said the lack of chargers brought benefits for the environment. Photo credit: Getty Images

New Zealanders buying premium phones from top brands like Samsung and Apple have been forced to become accustomed to a lack of charger in the box - now one man in Brazil is getting payback.

Both tech giants claim they no longer supply chargers with brand new devices for "environmental reasons", but it's going to cost the Cupertino-based company in at least one case.

Apple has been ordered to pay the Brazilian man the equivalent of NZ$1600 in compensation by Judge Vanderlei Caires Pinheiro of the 6th Civil Court of Goiânia in the South American country.

The country's consumer code prohibits what it calls "tie sales", which is the requirement to purchase a separate product to ensure another one functions as it should.

In 2021, Apple said it would save 861,000 metric tons of copper, tin, and zinc ore by not including chargers in the box.

Because of the smaller footprint of the packaging, it means 70 percent more boxes could be put on shipping pallets, reducing transport emissions too.

However it's not the first time the company has fallen foul of Brazil's laws. In March 2021 it was fined just under NZ$3 million for the same practice.

Brazil's consumer protection foundation Procon-SP said Apple was disrespecting its customers in the country. It also accused the company of misleading the public and selling defective products, among other charges.

Apple hasn't indicated whether it will challenge the new ruling, but given the large fine last year didn't ensure a charger in every box it seems unlikely its practice will change. 

Not all smartphone manufacturers are removing chargers, however.

Oppo, the third most popular brand in New Zealand, continues to provide chargers with its devices, including a 80W fast charger with its latest flagship phone.