Apple has made a big change with the packaging of the new iPhone 12… There are 2 things missing.
And it’s likely that Apple will continue this practice on all future iPhones…
Typically, an iPhone comes with a variety of accessories in the box including Apple’s own earbuds (not to be confused with their more expensive AirPods), a charging cable, and a charging brick to plug into a wall outlet in your home.
But it seems that only one of those is going to be making the transition to the new generation this year.
When the iPhone 12 was officially announced, Apple indicated that “in an effort to save the environment” they would NOT be including either the headphones or the charging brick with new models.
The move immediately drew a significant amount of skepticism for a number of reasons that are certainly worth exploring.
What’s in the Box? Breaking Down the iPhone 12
To be totally fair to Apple, the logic behind this move does make a certain amount of sense. There are now one billion active iPhones on the planet, translating to an equal number of charging bricks laying around.
If you’re the type of person who upgrades every year, as a sizable portion of the company’s fan base does, you probably have more chargers in your home than you know what to do with at this point. The same is true of the earbuds, which most people didn’t really use anyway in favor of higher quality third party alternatives.
Having said that, research has indicated that chargers make up a relatively small portion of the global total of electronic waste – meaning that the move isn’t accomplishing nearly as much as Apple would have you believe. When you also consider this means the iPhone 12 will ship in a smaller box – translating to more boxes per palette, likely equating to an easier time keeping up with seasonal demands – it’s easy to see why people are already questioning the eco-friendly explanation behind the decision.
But beyond that, the reason why this may not have been the right move at the right time is simple: every iPhone is someone’s first iPhone. Why should someone who is just hopping on the iPhone bandwagon with the iPhone 12 be penalized and forced to pay separate fees for items that used to come for free? This doesn’t necessarily run the risk of alienating potential iPhone users, it does call into question Apple’s growth prospects for the future.
Clearly, they believe that they can make more money on new users by charging separately for what used to come as a single package. The risk is clearly outweighed by the cost opportunity to that end. When you also remember that Apple is still insisting on shying away from the near industry standard USB-C charging cable in favor of their own Lightning connection, things become all the more problematic.
Still – Apple has proven in the past that they have no problem being the first to make a major move like this, as was the case when they notoriously got rid of the headphone jack on the iPhone a few years ago. Flash forward to today and most of the rest of the industry has followed suit. It remains to be seen if history will repeat itself this time, too.
Sharon Stentz says
Apple is still just saving money for themselves. They should be spending money on what they have taken away and what they have broken from iPhone users that we have now. And yet, they don’t. People love iPhones, but there will come a time when Apple will push rooks to Android phones because of what they are doing to their phones. My suggestion: fix what you have broken. Give back what you have taken away. Stop doing what the left wants you to do. Apple used to have a brain and they used it; but now; they bend to the left. Not a good idea. Trust me.
Gloria Richmond says
You are absolutely Sharon!
For me, personally, I wish the Updates were optional….I love my IPhone but, as an older adult I don’t want/need all the gadgetry! I know you can opt not to update but, from what I have heard/read it IS BEST to update for functionality of what is already on your phone. All of the “improvements” with the IOS14 are things I don’t need or use now! So, I am holding off on the update for now-it just uses up space! Comments and or your insight is welcome
It is super fast and more efficient. Only use what you want to. No one is forcing you to make an App Library. If you bought a new phone today it would have all the updates. You should too.
Mary Rozmarynowski says
I really wish apple would come out with a flip phone, for better carting around for us older people
I totally agree! I don’t like the update. It is not easy to answer the phone when I get a call now….particularly when I’m driving in the car!
I totally agree with you.
Barbara Barry says
I lean left and I agree with you! Maybe the left and right have more in common than we know.
K. Y. Phillips says
If Apple wants to save the environment ) not just make more profit) why not include a coupon for a free charger or to apply to an upgrade of ear plugs ?
Great idea, My 18 yr old grand son worked and paid for his first phone. He was so happy when he got it. First timers should get the whole set up. Coupon that can be used immediately at the store.
So while agree that more things going into landfill is not good, but about saving money? Yah, I don’t think so
My son is a stage hand. We live in the SF Bay Area. Apple was preparing for their next release, might have been iPhone 8. My son was one of the stagehands called in for this job. For a month he had maybe 3 or 4 days off for the entire month. He received regular pay, time and a half for over 8 hours work and then double time after 40 hours. His gross pay for a month’s work was over $11,000 and he was just one person.
All this preparation was for a one day 8 or 9 hour event.
I don’t think Apple is hurting for money.
Sheron R White says
Phil Whiting says
Sharon, I love your comments and agree completely
I recently purchased my 1st iPhone and can not express how dissatisfied I am with it…. Seems all these companies are removing features yet claiming “it’s an upgrade” for mega-bucks more. Sad! I am truly disappointed in mine and plan to leave the “trend” and shop for the better deal. I feel this is the dumbest “smartphone” I’ve ever owned….
Joy Dundich says
It is very disappointing to see this happen. Apple is going to make customers think twice before they buy an iPhone. The phone is one of the most expensive of all phones and they want to take away the charging cable which after so much use they get cracked and no longer charges your phone. Apple better think twice because in these days of uncertainty people will go to other phones. It is definitely a disgrace to its true customers.
That happens a lot. Apple has flimsy cables
I agree. Those blocks and cables don’t last forever! They definitely should continue to include them.
Pretty poor customer service to give you a phone with no way to charge it considering how much they charge for the phone.
sue P says
No earphones? Do they realize how many times customers have to replace them? They aren’t something people use for years or don’t misplace. We pay big bucks for the phone so what they are really doing is jacking the price more. Not sure that is a smart practice. Especially since they get them at wholesale prices.
Agree with you totally!
Gloria Coughenour says
I enjoy your emails. I am contemplating buying a new phone. Have you done a comparison of the iPhone 11 vs. I the iPhone 12? I’m in a quandary.
The earbuds won’t be missed. The charger block needs to be in the box for first time buyers and those that have sold their old phones and included it with the one they sold. I would think this would be a minimal cost for Apple to include.
Corporate profit above customer care disguised as environmental sensitivity. Boo. I will keep upgrading my iOS, but will think long and hard about a new phone…
Lee W says
This does not even consider all those who really want extra charging stations for their bedroom, kitchen, home office, employer’s office. Since the cords can be separated from the power brick, that also includes mobile charging in multiple vehicles. I think you get the picture. THIS is probably why charging bricks are not a major environmental issue.
Sheron R White says
I’ve stopped replacing my iPhone charging blocks and cables with Apple; it’s just too expensive. I’ve replaced mine with better ones from Amazon and Walmart. Their charging cables are covered with woven coverings that keep them from breaking or have cables with angled ends so they won’t bend and break.