iPhone 12 Ships Without Charger: For the Environment or to Make a Profit
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iPhone 12 Ships Without Charger: For the Environment or to Make a Profit

profileMing Feng
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Apple Removing Earpods and Charger from iPhone 12

The recent removal of earpods and charger from their iPhone 12 is getting mixed reaction from the public.

But before we take a swipe at this decision, let’s check out some iPhone 12 memes that were sparked by the Apple iPhone 12 launch.

Laughter is the best medicine!

iPhone 12 no charger meme
Source: World Today News

 

Apple iPhone 12 tweets
Source: Twitter | Nathalie Granda

And of course, Samsung will have something to say about that.

Samsung mocks apple meme
Source: 9to5Mac

Even Xiaomi jumped on the bandwagon.

Xiaomi mocks apple meme
Source: Twitter | Xiaomi

Jokes aside.

Apple seems to be on the right approach towards “saving the environment”, creating an “ideal situation” where consumers only purchase what they truly need. This should then, reduce wastage.

Yet, the way that this was done by Apple seems questionable. The whole move of removing the charger from the package “reeks” of the dollar sign, and we will tell you why.


Apple’s Lightning to USB Cable

The iPhone 12 comes with a USB-C to lightning cable.

USB C to Lightning cable
Source: Apple

This means that with the sole exception of consumers who purchased the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone Pro Max, the cable in the box is pretty useless unless you have a laptop with USB-C port or a USB-C charger.

In short, if you did not purchase an iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone Pro Max, nor own a USB-C charger, you need to purchase a USB-C Power adapter at $29.


Apple Owns 13.6% of the Smartphone Market Worldwide

iPhone 12 ships without charger

Ever wondered how many of the phones worldwide is an iPhone?

CompanyMarket Share
(in Q2 2020)
Number of Smartphones Shipped
(in Q2 2020)
Huawei20.2%55.8 million
Samsung19.5%54.3 million
Apple13.6%39.9 million
Xiaomi10.3%28.9 million
OPPO8.7%22.5 million
Vivo8.0%22.1 million
Lenovo Group3.0%7.5 million
Others16.7%100.7 million
Total100%331.7 million

Source: idc.com

As of Q2 2020, 13.6% of smartphones worldwide is an iPhone.

Breaking this down further, we look at the popular smartphones of these brands and the type of cable required to charge their smartphones.

CompanyPopular ModelCharging cable
HuaweiNova 7USB-C
SamsungGalaxy A51USB-C
AppleiPhone 11Lightning
XiaomiRedmi Note 8USB-C
OPPOReno 4USB-C

Most of the smartphones worldwide are already compatible with USB-C. This means that it is actually possible for a Samsung phone user to be sharing charger with a Huawei, Xiaomi or OPPO user.

The funny thing is that even Apple’s MacBook and iPad Pro devices are on USB-C charging.

iphone lonely
Source: giphy

If you are really keen to have a positive impact on the environment, wouldn’t it make sense to take a look at what type of cable most smartphone users around the world already have, in an attempt to reduce wastage?

Doesn’t it make more sense to produce a cable that can be used interchangeable across multiple products instead of just Apple’s iPhone and certain model of iPad?

This halfway house makes little sense until we look at the possible revenue.

Assuming,

  • Apple ships out the same amount of iPhone in Q4 and 80% of which are iPhone 12s
  • Assuming of all the iPhone 12 buyers, 50% requires a power adapter.

That will be 15.96 million chargers sold. The total revenue will be $462.84 million.

It also allows the iPhone to market its price separately and appear slightly more affordable.


Smaller Boxes

iPhone 12 box
Source: Wccftech

With a reduction in the size of the box, less material is required for the phone packaging.

More phones can be shipped with every shipment, making it more efficient in terms of shipping, and also, reducing environmental impact.

On the flip side, Apple can now ship more phones in one shipment, and hence, reducing transport and logistic costs.


Apple Seems to be Moving in the Right Direction

But yet, Apple looks kinda sus…

Emergency Meeting Among Us meme
Source: stayhipp.com

No doubt, there is a need for every smartphone manufacturing to be more environmentally friendly.

Removing earphone and power adapter, selling them separately is a move in the right direction. It will only be a matter of time that all smartphone manufacturers follow suit.

By using environmental concerns to justify the removal of those accessories is brilliant. But the decision to maintain the iconic Apple lightning charging cable allows the public to poke holes in what could be a good initiative.

Then again, Apple should be aware of its competitors and what kind of charger their phones are on.

On top of that European lawmakers are trying to standardise the charging of all smartphones, but Apple defended their lightning cable.

Unsure of the actual objective, the launch of iPhone 12 does bring awareness on the environment and how our smartphone is actually harming it.

As consumers, we can reduce wastage by always looking for ways to recycle our phones and accessories as much as possible.

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About Ming Feng
A stint in Bloomberg gifted me with a beer belly, which only grew larger when I moved on to become a Professional Trader. Now I turn caffeine into digestible finance-related content.
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