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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Brazil fines Apple $1.9M for selling the iPhone without a charger

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Brazilian consumer protection regulator Procon-SP has fined Apple for selling the iPhone 12 in Brazil without the charger, months after the organization forced Apple to provide chargers sold in Sao Paolo. 

In December, Procon-SP declared Apple had to provide a charger to anyone who bought the iPhone 12 and requested it. On March 19, the regulator continued to attack Apple, fining the company for failing to adequately explain the charger’s exclusion.

Apple needs to understand that in brazil there are solid consumer protection laws and institutions. It needs to respect these laws and these institutions.

The fine of 10,546,442.48 real ($1.9 million) was accompanied by accusations that Apple misled in its advertising, and sold devices with factory defects. The report says that Apple also allegedly failed to maintain fair terms of contract with consumers, and for not repairing devices under warranty. 

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“Apple needs to understand that in Brazil there are solid consumer protection laws and institutions,” said Procon-SP executive director Fernando Capez. “It needs to respect these laws and these institutions.” 

In December, Apple told the agency the charger’s removal was due to environmental concerns, in that there are too many charging bricks in the world. The removal was also believed to cut down on carbon emissions, but the agency at the time wasn’t satisfied by the explanation. Apple was also asked to explain why it had decided to remove the charger from the box of the iPhone in October, but appears not to have been satisfied with the response that it was part of Apple’s commitment to the environment. Samsung has followed suit with its Galaxy S21 lineup but offered pre-order customers a free charger to keep authorities happy.

The regulator decided to apply the fine due to Apple apparently failing to convince the regulator. Apple has the opportunity to ask Procon-SP to reevaluate its decision, or it could move to the court system for a more favorable result, other than paying the fine and changing its practices in Brazil. 

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The other complaints, which are included in the fine, include accusations the iPhone’s water resistance isn’t enough for consumers. The regulator received complaints from consumers, where their Phones stopped working properly after entering the water, but were also denied a repair due to water damage. 

Issues following system updates and refusing to repair products bought abroad within 30 days were also mentioned.

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