In 2020, with the iPhone 12 series release, Apple announced that every iPhone would come without a charger from now on. This announcement created a lot of mixed reactions from iPhone users. Many phone manufacturers, including Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, mocked Apple for its decision not to include a charger with the iPhone.
Apple provided environmental reasons for their decision. But is the decision entirely for environmental reasons? In this article, we will present you with the official explanation and our take on this.
Officials explanation, Save the Environment:
We all need to do everything in our power to have a minimal environmental impact on our world. According to Apple’s explanation, an iPhone box without a charger is significantly smaller. As a result, Apple can ship 70% more iPhones in the same pallet. Thus, it decreases pollution related to shipping. Moreover, as each box is smaller, we have less waste on the consumer end. It’s all valid and praiseworthy reasons, and we applaud Apple for doing it.
But do we believe that environment is the sole reason Apple decided not to provide a charger in the box? No. We don’t believe Apple’s official explanation.
If Apple can ship 70% more iPhones because of smaller boxes, then why not pass the savings to consumers. Why did Apple decide to pocket the profit instead of investing the money for environmental causes?
Save Money, Increase Profit:
Eliminating chargers does help the environment. Most of us have chargers brick in our home. But we believe that it’s not the real reason for not including a charger with the iPhone. Saving money and increasing profitability is the primary reason.
Even though Apple does not include chargers, they still sell various chargers, including Magsafe, at high prices in their stores. Let’s do quick math to find out how much money Apple can make by not providing a charger in the iPhone box.
In 2019, Apple sold more than 195 million iPhones. We expect Apple will sell a similar number of iPhones in 2021 too.
As we said earlier, Apple’s profitability, not the environment, is the main reason. If a charger costs $8 on wholesale, Apple can now save 195 million x $8 = 1,560 million dollars (1.5 billion dollars) without a charger in the box.
Not everyone has an extra charger in their home. Many new iPhone buyers who switch from Android devices don’t have lightning chargers. We know that Apple provides a USB C to lightning cable in the box, but not everyone has a USB C charger brick in their home. It’s a new type of charger that came to market. So, these new buyers have to buy chargers separately.
Many people would buy headphones and chargers from the Apple website. This way, Apple would make more revenue. If 10% of new buyers (20 million) purchase a MagSafe charger, which costs $39, Apple will generate 20 million x $39 = 780 million dollar extra revenue. Furthermore, you need to purchase a USB-C power adapter for the MagSafe charger because it does not come with a power adapter. This adapter costs $19. This means 20 million x $19 = $380 million dollar more revenue for Apple. In short, Apple saves $1,560 million and generates extra $780 million + $380 million = $1,160 million in revenue.
One more thing, when people order their MagSafe charger, Power Adapter, and headphones, these come with individual packaging. Thus, the environmental impact of small iPhone packages is not mitigated at all.
Xiaomi and OnePlus also have decided not to provide chargers with select few devices. However, they have a different approach. A new phone buyer can order a phone without a charger or with a charger. If the buyer wants a charger, they don’t have to pay anything extra, unlike Apple.
So, the question is, if Apple’s sole purpose of not providing a charger was environmental, and the decision was not based on monetary reasons, then why not give an option to new buyers an opportunity similar to Xiaomi or OnePlus?
Samsung also Following Apple’s Lead:
Samsung is a unique company and does peculiar advertising. They always criticize Apple in their ads for various iPhone functionality.
From the start, the iPhone has a sealed battery and no SD card support. Samsung always criticized the iPhone and mocked its users for purchasing an iPhone. But now, no Samsung flagship phones have removable batteries nor an expandable sd card slot.
Few days after Apple’s removal of the 3.5mm headphone port, Samsung released ads making fun of the iPhone. But soon, Samsung also followed Apple’s footsteps, and they removed the headphone jack from their Galaxy S series.
When Apple announced that it would no longer ship chargers with iPhone, Samsung quickly released ads mocking Apple. However, several months later, Samsung started to quietly pull down all those ads from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other media. Then Samsung started releasing phones without chargers and headphones. It’s now normal for phone manufacturers to not provide chargers or earbuds with phones.
After Removal of Charger, What’s Next?
Apple is moving towards making an iPhone without any ports. Wireless earbuds, wireless charger, Magsafe, is the testament of that.
Apple is all about tight integration, security, and control. They don’t like that people jailbreak iPhones to sideload apps or unlock iPhones without users’ authorization. A portless iPhone will eliminate many of these issues. Moreover, making an iPhone waterproof and dustproof is easier without a physical lighting port.
If you recently purchased an iPhone or considering buying one and don’t have chargers, we highly suggest you purchase wireless chargers. It’s because, as we mentioned previously, Apple would soon remove the lighting port altogether. Therefore, to be future proof, don’t purchase a wired charger.
There’s another killer benefit of wireless chargers. These are universal chargers. We can charge almost every phone with a wireless charger regardless of whether it is an iPhone, a Samsung phone, or a Chinese Xiaomi phone.
Many people say that those who can afford a thousand dollars phone can afford a 20 dollar charger. Yes, they are correct. However, Every company follows Apple’s footsteps. What Apple does, other companies will do the same. We don’t support that Apple decided not to lower iPhone prices even though they do not give us a charger.
Furthermore, now only the flagship phones come without a charger, but several years later, the mid-priced phone would come without a charger. After that, a low priced phone would also come without a charger. We think Apple started terrible precedence.
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