The recently launched iPhone 12 range with a refreshed design, 5G and a more durable screen. What it doesn’t come with is a charger in the box. Apple decided to separately sell the AC adapter as an accessory for $ 19.
The company is under fire from fans, with memes lighting up the internet, but there’s another side to the story as well. Here we will talk in detail about the separately sold iPhone 12 charger, and what it means for Apple and for you.
The threat of electronic waste from the charger
If you buy the new iPhone 12 series, the box will only include the iPhone, a USB Type-C to Lightning cable, a SIM tool, and minimal paperwork. The box itself is smaller, and Apple says its small size allows it to ship 70% more devices on a single pellet.
Apple says the decision is to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and that it aims to become carbon neutral by 2030. Before we begin on what mistake it is on Apple’s account to exclude chargers, let’s look at some facts. According to a 2014 European Parliament Report, smartphone chargers are responsible for 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year. While this number may be different now, it does give us an idea of where we are heading.
Another report suggests that 350,000 phones are thrown around the world every day, which translates to up to 152 million phones per year. Do all of these phones come with chargers? Probably yes. So are all those chargers rubbish now? Yes again. If I look around I can find working chargers from phones as old as my first Nokia 6600. It’s common for people to throw away devices while the chargers are lying around.
Apple’s own estimates have 2 billion iPhone chargers on the planet, but there are several catches to this statement. There might be 2 billion iPhone chargers out there, but we have no idea how many of them support fast charging, a feature that is complimentary to the new iPhone. Apple is also silent on the number of power adapters with a USB-C port. So the 2 billion chargers also include older and slower chargers.
Removing the charger from the iPhone 12: good timing!
It is clear that we have several chargers, or let me put it better, several unnecessary chargers among us. Apple’s decision to remove a charger from the box is good, but untimely. The cable that came with the iPhone 12 is a Type C to Lightning cable, but only iPhone 11 Pro users would have an Apple Type-C adapter.
There’s also no word on the waste Apple will create by separately packaging the chargers. Unless Apple ships chargers without packaging, there is no way they can save the additional materials that will be used in the manufacture, packaging and shipping of all new chargers.
Well, you can use any other Type C adapter, but the majority of wall adapters that come with Android, as well as iOS devices, are USB type A. In summary, most users will need to purchase a new charger. for the iPhone 12. Period. Apple has stepped up the game again here, offering the MagSafe alternative.
What could be bad timing for users is a marketing opportunity for Apple. The company knows you’ll need a Type-C power adapter, and they know you’ll need the 20-watt adapter. It also knows that you will be opting for a third-party adapter. So what Apple has done is make this exact product and MagSafe to go with it.
Apple and MagSafe Trends
There is one thing we can definitely say about Apple. It sets trends. Apple was the first to come up with the idea of removing the headphone jack, adding a notch to the screen, and now removing the charger. In terms of software, too, Apple has offered facial recognition.
When you talk about those features which are now trending in the industry, charger removal seems like a move that companies may be following in the near future. In fact, there are already reports that Samsung may be ditching the charger in its upcoming S-series flagship.
Coming to MagSafe, this is the latest trend that Apple has come up with. While the company has introduced a MagSafe charger, cases, and a wallet that sticks to the back of the iPhone 12, third-party manufacturers can do a lot more than that. This is Apple’s last gig, but there are a few things you need to watch out for.
First off, you will need to purchase a MagSafe leather wallet if you want to carry credit cards in the same pocket as your iPhone. This is so because your cards are protected from the iPhone’s magnets when it is in the wallet. Second, if we are talking about environmental sustainability, wireless chargers waste a lot of energy. A recent report said wireless charging consumes up to 47% more power.
It’s quite clear that Apple can only get you to buy MagSafe if traditional chargers are out of the equation. So the company did just that, but gave users some choice by including a charging cable in the box. So you can choose the traditional AC adapter or choose MagSafe.
True and false
Before you think it’s unethical, it’s totally okay to do what Apple has done, but the company is walking on thin ice. Removing a charger makes sense for a larger picture, though. However, Apple is showing signs of introducing a fully wireless iPhone line.
The company first introduced AirPods with a wireless case and then got rid of the Apple Watch charging port. Finally, removing the wall adapter from the iPhone 12 packaging sends a clear message from Apple. Wireless charging is still far from perfect and it may be a while before Apple moves to a fully cable-free ecosystem, but the company is banking on a wireless future.
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