When it comes to stripping beloved features from its products, Apple has form. Perhaps most infamously, the company removed the headphone port from the iPhone 7 (at the same time, coincidentally, as it launched its first wireless AirPods), in a decision it said took "courage".
Apple's latest display of 'bravery' has seen it remove both the charger and earbuds from the box of all four iPhone 12 models, instead shipping them with just a cable. The company has claimed a few reasons for the omission, but it seems pretty much the whole of the internet is unimpressed. We've no doubt the phones will be great, but what use is one of the best camera phones if you can't charge it?
Apple claims (opens in new tab) that removing the charger and earbuds is a purely environmental move. Not only will it allow for a smaller iPhone box (and for more iPhones to therefore fit in shipping containers), but it also "reduces carbon emissions and avoids the mining and use of precious materials." Apple says these changes will "cut over 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually, equivalent to removing nearly 450,000 cars from the road per year". The company also claims that millions of its power adapters are already in people's homes.
Taken on its own, this seems like an admirable decision on Apple's part. But as many users have pointed out, there are a couple of problems. Firstly, in the very same launch presentation (opens in new tab), Apple made a big deal of the fact that its iPhone pricing is "the same as last year". Indeed, the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max cost the same $999/$1099 respectively as the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro Max. But the latter came with earbuds and a power adaptor. According to The Next Web (opens in new tab), bought separately, these will cost the user an extra $38.
And that's not all. Sure, lots of users probably have at least one old power adapter hanging around. But Apple has also made the truly galling decision to swap the included USB cable for a USB-C version. Most people won't have a spare USB-C power adapter, since the only iPhone ever to ship with one was last year's iPhone 11 Pro. It's almost as though Apple wants you to buy a new one.
Needless to say, Apple's antics haven't gone unnoticed on Twitter (below), with many users taking particular umbrage with the company's claim that there are already millions of its chargers in the wild.
Apple: "We're not including charging bricks in the iphone 12 box to save the environment"Also Apple: "Lighting to USB C cables in the box. Oh you don't have USB C charging bricks? Well here's a link to buy that from our store."October 13, 2020
So,There's millions of USB-A power bricks out in the world right nowSo Apple won't include one w/ iPhoneB/c you likely have a USB-A power adapterSo it's "for the environment"But now they ship iPhone with lightning to USB-C cableWhich doesn't plug into those old bricksOctober 13, 2020
Apple: We’re not going to include a USB charger this year. Just use one of your many existing chargers.Also Apple: But we’re switching the included cable to USB-C.#AppleEvent #iPhone12 #iPhone12mini pic.twitter.com/o0n6y4V0GROctober 13, 2020
Apple: we’re getting rid of the power brick “for the environment“ because everyone has themPublic: Nice. Environmental decisions I likeApple: Our new iPhone is USB-C to lightning 👀Public: So how do we charge it with no brick?Apple: 🤑🤑🤑October 13, 2020
2016 iPhone 7: No headphone jack.2017 iPhone X: No home button.2020 iPhone 12: No headphones, no charger in the box.2021: no iPhone in the box.#Apple #AppleEvent #iPhone12Pro #iPhone12mini #iphone12 #5G pic.twitter.com/6ca0CLByGvOctober 13, 2020
Had Apple knocked $38 off the cost of its new iPhones, it might be easier to swallow its 'environmental' explanation. But with both the unchanged price and the switch to USB-C, it's all starting to look a little suspect.
Still, that doesn't mean we aren't excited about the new devices – from the iPhone 12 Pro Max's unbelievable camera to the iPhone 12 Mini's delightful form factor, the entire new lineup sounds pretty tantalising. But if you're looking for an iPhone you can charge out of the box, you might want to take a look at today's best iPhone 11 deals below.