The iPhone is the crown jewel of Apple’s product lines. With every new iteration, the iPhone continues to make gradual but steady strides forward to push the envelope. And, while a lot of people may dismiss the iPhone as something that’s way too expensive for what it offers, the fact that Apple has somewhat listened to its customers and reverted back to including more affordable options in its lineup has to be appreciated.
Having said that, things are never all fine and dandy when it comes to phone reveals with Apple. The iPhone 12 lineup is, without any doubt, Apple’s finest work over the past few years. The company finally has a defined plan with different options suiting different people. But, Apple is gonna Apple and thus, there were bound to be disappointments hidden within the fine print.
After the iPhone 12 event, Apple revealed that the iPhone 12 lineup of phones will not come with a Power Adapter. According to Apple, this move was done to be environment-friendly as the company wouldn’t have to manufacture additional power bricks when most users already have one at their disposal. This also reduced the footprint of the official retail box, which is now much slimmer than previous variants.
Getting rid of the iPhone 12 power brick doesn’t mean anything
In this day and age, focusing on being carbon-neutral is absolutely necessary. Climate change has been running wild, especially during the last couple of years with anomalous temperatures and wildfires across the globe. So, a company trying to subvert the effects of Climate Change is a good thing, right? Yes, but it actually needs to do something that’s effective.
Apple’s approach to being environment-friendly is deeply flawed here. Firstly, the iPhone 12 comes with a USB-C to a Lightning power cable, which Apple says that you should use with your old adapter. The problem here, though, is that the older iPhone power bricks didn’t come with USB-C outputs. Instead, their outputs were USB-A.
So, if you have your old iPhone power brick and want to charge your iPhone 12, you’ll either have to buy a new cable or a new power brick that accepts a USB-C cable. As you can see, this defeats the entire purpose of ‘for the environment’ messaging.
One does have to wonder though that if removing a charger from the box doesn’t really effectively reduce much carbon footprint, then why would Apple do it? One plausible theory that came out of this debacle is that Apple has removed the power brick from the iPhone 12 box just for cost-saving.
The iPhone 12 is $100 more expensive as compared to the iPhone 11 from last year. We can attribute the additional price hike to things like a better display and 5G functionality. However, the top of the line iPhone 12 Pro models still cost the same, and removing a charging brick from the box would have set off the additional costs incurred to manufacture the smartphone.
In addition to that, Apple would also make more money by just selling the power bricks separately, which we presume a lot of people are going to buy since they’d need one for the new cables. Let’s look at some numbers though. Assuming that Apple sells the same number of iPhones as it did last year, it would save almost $120 Million USD ($3/power brick) during the year.
Furthermore, if only 5% of the people who buy the new iPhone grab a new power adapter for their new phone, then Apple would rake in an additional $60 Million USD from just selling extra accessories. You may call this a genius business move (which it arguably is) but it is the opposite of being consumer-friendly.
Other brands trying to throw shade at Apple aren’t that different either
On the other hand, we saw many competitors like Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi take a swipe at Apple by stating that they do include a power brick within their boxes.
Don't worry, we didn't leave anything out of the box with the #Mi10TPro. pic.twitter.com/ToqIjfVEQX
— Xiaomi (@Xiaomi) October 14, 2020
Now, this is all fun and games but, knowing the smartphone industry, it’d be a safe bet to say that the same companies that are bragging about having a power brick will remove those from their boxes later down the road as well.
Nevertheless, this is hopefully a step towards an all USB-C future for Apple as the lightning connector is the only thing that’s standing in the way of progress for iPhone charging technology. However, whether Apple would be compelled to switch over to USB-C when proprietary lightning cables are cash cows for the company is another question.
Do you think that Apple’s decision to remove the power adapter from its iPhone 12 boxes is a consumer-friendly decision? Let us know down in the comments below!