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Apple got slapped with a $1,000 fine in Brazil over power adapters

How’s that environmental reasoning working out for you, Apple?

A judge in Brazil has ruled that Apple must pay 5,000 Brazilian reals ($1,081) to an iPhone owner. The reason? Apple’s decision to no longer include a power adapter in the box.

Apple broke a piece of Brazilian law that prohibits what’s known as a “tie sale.” In Brazil, products must be sold to work completely without needing to buy a second device. That’s an “abusive and illegal commercial practice,” in the words of the judge.

While trying to argue its case, Apple said it acted “out of concern for the environment, and because of a supply shortage of the accessory.” Apple tried using that argument when it first announced that the iPhone 12 and all successive iPhones wouldn’t come with a charger brick.

“It is not appropriate that such a measure seeks to reduce environmental impacts, since, in all evidence, the defendant continues to manufacture such an essential accessory, but now sells it separately,” Judge Vanderlei Caires Pinheiro said.

But the judge wasn’t impressed with Apple’s arguments. Accessory sales of the power adapter prove that no such shortage is evident.

That secondary sale also undermines the environmental argument, as Apple is still creating more power adapters for sale.

Oh, and the 5,000 reals judgment? That’s the price of the customer’s iPhone. Yes, Apple had to pay him back for his device because it tried to cut costs by not including a power adapter.

Last year, the Brazilian consumer protection agency fined Apple $2 million for the same reason. That’s unlikely to stop Apple. To date, it has saved nearly $6.5 billion by removing power adapters and EarPods from new iPhone boxes.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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