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No headphones, no power adapter (cable only). Apple “optimized” the iPhone package



As part of today’s presentation of the iPhone 12, Apple also announced an update to the standard delivery set of its phones – the power adapter and EarPods with Lightning connector were removed from it. We left only the charging cable with Lightning and USB-C. Apple said it decided to take this step out of environmental considerations (to reduce e-waste) and conserve resources.

In announcing the iPhone shipment change, Apple said it has 700 million Lightning EarPods worldwide, as well as 2 billion power adapters, suggesting that most people already have both.

The exclusion of the adapter and headphones from the iPhone was not a big surprise. Earlier, Apple removed the power adapter from the standard package of the new Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE (as well as Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch Nike of new lots), leaving only the cable. An exception was made only for the more expensive Watch Edition and Watch Hermès, which questioned the company’s good environmental intentions. In addition, long before the presentation, various analysts and insiders reported this change.

In the case of the iPhone, there is no selective approach – on the contrary, changes have affected not only the newest iPhone 12, but also older models that remain on sale (iPhone Xr, iPhone 11 and iPhone SE 2020).

No headphones, no power adapter (cable only). Apple
IPhone 12 Package Contents

The way Apple presented these changes deserves special attention – a considerable part of the presentation (moment from 38:24) was devoted to stories about how the corporation protects nature and uses recycled materials. Apple estimates that eliminating the adapter and headphones will cut carbon emissions by 2 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of removing 450,000 vehicles from the road.

Even at the stage of rumors, Apple’s decision to abandon headphones and a power adapter as standard in smartphones caused heated discussions and criticism. It has been repeatedly suggested that Apple did not do it out of the best environmental motives, but financial ones. In other words, to save money. In fact, the authoritative analyst Min-Chi Kuo wrote about this. But, as you know, it was not possible to completely do without raising prices for new generation models.

Whatever Apple’s real motivation is, it’s safe to say that this move will lead to less e-waste anyway. In addition, by eliminating the adapter and earbuds, the new iPhone packaging has become noticeably smaller – now, 70% more iPhone boxes can fit on one pallet, which will improve logistics and facilitate transportation.

Apple said it hopes other manufacturers will follow suit. And here we can involuntarily recall recent rumors that Samsung may exclude charging from the delivery of some smartphones in 2021.

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