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Apple’s no charger in the box: An environmental move or a smart business tactic? – Biodiversity Nepal
Biodiversity Nepal
For the Future Generation

Apple’s no charger in the box: An environmental move or a smart business tactic?

An insight into the effectiveness of Apple’s new no-charger and no-earbuds plan


On October 23, 2020, Apple finally released its long-awaited iPhone 12 series and shocked the world after it announced the arrival of the new iPhone boxes without a charger or earbuds. Instead, users will now have to purchase these accessories separately if necessary.

Apple explains this controversial step as the company’s commitment towards the environment and its promising plans to go Carbon Neutral by 2030

On the contrary, many tech experts regard this measure from Apple as a smart business move.  In fact,  the trillion-dollar company is notorious for applying sneaky business tactics to hoard extra bucks from the users. For instance, Apple’s infamous case of secretly forcing its users into buying new iPhones by purposely slowing its previous iPhones still lies fresh among the users.

So, what is Apple’s actual motive this time? 

The new iPhone 12 boxes will arrive without charger and earbuds (Source: Youtube/ Marques Brownlee)

Apple’s Climate RoadMap

For the upcoming 10 years, Apple has prepared a solid plan to lower its carbon emission. With an array of innovative actions, it plans to maximize its use of recycled materials and find engineering solutions for sustainable product designs. According to the company, Apple’s “no-charger” and “no-earbuds” are part of the same picture.  

During its presentation, Apple alleged that 2 billion of its power adapters are already present in the world along with “billions” of other third-party chargers. By cutting the supply of unnecessary chargers, Apple may reduce the strain of 53.6 Million ton of e-waste that is generated annually.

Too Good to be True? 

However, there is a catch! Although Apple claims billions of chargers out there, most of the chargers are incompatible with the newly released iPhone 12. So, if you are planning to buy a new iPhone in the future, you will eventually have to discard your previous charger and buy a new one. 

This hinders the whole environmental purpose of the no-charger-in-the-box idea. Furthermore, buying separate chargers and earbuds means extra packaging, extra delivery which will eventually cost you an extra carbon footprint. 

Apple’s other criticism includes manufacturing fragile and weak lighting cables.  Many Apple users have previously complained about the easily breakable nature of these cables and the necessity to change them after a certain time. Had Apple focused on manufacturing more durable chargers instead, it would have had a greater effect on the environment.   

So, many business pundits argue that no-charger-plan is a  money-making idea sold in the disguise of environmentalism. 

Easily breakable Apple’s charger (Source: Tronsmart)

Better Solutions?

Though Apple is the first smartphone company to make this controversial move, other giant tech companies are planning to follow the same route. For an instance, SAMSUNG may not be adding chargers in some of its 2021 smartphones for environmental reasons.

Yet these “environmentally-conscious” plans raise eyebrows among critics as each company continues to narrow its device compatibility and form a closed tech ecosystem. This means you are still unable to charge your android phone via an iPhone cable.

If the companies selflessly wanted to contribute to environmental solutions, designing a universal charger would have been a better solution. However, as a business empire, making significant profit still remains their number 1 focus. 

This is not the end…

Though it’s too early to predict, Apple’s “no-charger-in-the-box” looks promising in the long-run. Furthermore, its success may also set a benchmark for other companies to design similar climate-friendly products. 

Only time will tell if this will have a significant environmental impact or will turn out to be another extra stipend from your pockets.  

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