On Wednesday evening, Apple announces the release of its iPhone 14. For the first time, India will start producing certain models one or two months after the release of the phone, it is much less than previously. Objective for Apple and its supplier: to distance itself from China.
Since 2017, China is no longer the only country where Apple has its phones manufactured. The Taiwanese subcontractor Foxconn, known for being responsible for assembling iPhones and iPads, is also mobilizing its factories in India for the production of phones from the Apple brand. But with the new generation of iPhone, which is to be unveiled this Wednesday evening by Apple CEO Tim Cook, the brand intends to go further: for several months, the company has launched an “action plan” to diversify the manufacture of its new devices.
An “action plan” to produce elsewhere than in China
Ming-Chi Kuo, a financial analyst known for his solid information and predictions on Apple, explained last April on Twitter: “Apple’s sites for the launch of new products are almost all based in China” – the other factories take over the manufacture of the products, but only in a second stage.
If trade tensions between China and the United States have long been pushing Apple to think about alternatives, it is the recent health situation that seems to have served as a trigger: “Two years ago, at the start of the epidemic, Apple considered the possibility of setting up launch sites outside China, but this remained proposal status. However, after recent lockdowns in China, building these sites elsewhere is no longer a proposal but a plan of action,” according to Ming-Chi Kuo.
Towards earlier production in India?
Does this mean that buyers who rush to buy the iPhone 14 (and probably the iPhone Pro, iPhone Plus and iPhone Pro Plus) will have a chance to have a model assembled elsewhere? in China ? Well: still not.
In particular, a weaker capacity, on the Indian side, to avoid leaks of information on new models. The transport of Chinese spare parts to India, and therefore the passage of customs, increases the risk of leaks, which Apple, follower of the culture of secrecy around its new products, wants to avoid as much as possible.
There will still be a clear evolution with these iPhone 14 models: until now, the lag between the start of production in China and that in India was six to nine months. This time around, India is expected to start producing iPhones as early as late October or early November.which is a clear acceleration of the production chain.
“Unworthy” working conditions in India
On the other hand, if it is a question of distancing itself from China for health and commercial questions, it is not yet a question for Apple to take into account the social aspect of its production: the Foxconn factory in Sriperumbudur in India, one of those where iPhones are produced, closed last December after a strike by employees denouncing unworthy working conditions – it has only partially reopened since.
Apple bans selling iPhone 12 and 13 without charger in Brazil
In Brazil, Apple is now prohibited from selling the iPhone 12 and 13 if there is no charger included in the box. Apple was also fined more than 2 million euros for the sale of incomplete devices.
In a process of environmental protection for achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, Apple has removed chargers from all its iPhone boxes since 2020. The Cupertino company would thus save hundreds of thousands of tons of metal. It also benefits from improved transport efficiency. His reasoning behind this decision was that users already have an array of home chargers. However, Brazil disagrees.
The Brazilian government has just imposed a fine of approximately 2.36 million euros to Apple for shipping incomplete devices. Brazil now also prohibits Apple from selling iPhones without a charger included in the box. This therefore directly concerns the iPhone 12 and 13 which are currently sold without a charger.
Selling iPhones without chargers is a ‘discriminatory practice’, says Brazilian government
After launching the iPhone 12 in 2020 which was shipped without a charger, Apple also removed the adapter from the boxes of the iPhone 11, SE (2020) and XR the same year. According to the Brazilian government, the absence of a charger is a “deliberate discriminatory practice against consumers”. Since the charger is an essential part of the iPhone, Brazil believes that Apple sells incomplete products.
Brazilian authorities say there is no evidence that selling iPhones without a charger offers any environmental protection. Apple obviously intends to appeal and find common ground with Brazil. The firm will work with the Brazilian consumer protection agency (SENACON) to “resolve their concerns”. According to her, “we have already won several court decisions in Brazil on this subject and we are convinced that our customers know the different options for charging and connecting their devices”.
The ban on the sale of the iPhone 12 and 13 without a charger in Brazil will also affect the iPhone 14 if the Brazilian government does not change its mind by its launch. As a reminder, the iPhone 14 will be presented later today and we have prepared a summary of everything we know so far.
BRAZIL PROHIBITS APPLE FROM SELLING ITS IPHONES WITHOUT CHARGER
Citing a “discriminatory” practice, the state imposed a fine on Apple and prohibited it from marketing its phones if they are not accompanied by the charger.
Brazil on Tuesday (September 6th) banned Apple from selling its iPhones without offering chargers, accusing it of selling incomplete products to its consumers, reports Reuters.
Brazil’s Justice Ministry fined the group around 2.3 million euros, ordered it to stop selling iPhone 12 and later models, in addition to suspending sales of any iPhones not being accompanied by a charger.
This is, according to the authorities, a “deliberately discriminatory practice against consumers”. Apple’s argument that the removal of the charger was intended to limit greenhouse gas emissions was dismissed.
No more charger since 2020
Since October 2020, Apple has stopped providing chargers in the boxes of its iPhones, in order to reduce the ecological footprint, especially during transport. Only the charging cable is now provided, and no longer the adapter. However, iPhones are the only smartphones to use Lightning technology, an Apple-specific connection, used since 2012.
At the same time, there is a good chance that these Lightning ports will soon be history: Apple seems to have plans to bring its iPhones into line with the rest of electronic devices, now using the USB-C system. This is the case for other smartphones and tablets, but also Macbooks, since 2015.
Apple ordered to stop selling iPhones without chargers in Brazil
maybe having the option to buy phones with or without an included wall charger would be a good compromise. Some consumers might prefer a bundled first-party charger that supports the phone’s maximum charging speed, as most brands opt for proprietary fast-charging technologies over USB-PD. Other people might think they have enough chargers filling their drawers and might choose to save a few bucks by buying one without a charger, thus helping the environment.
The Brazilian government has ordered Apple to stop selling iPhones in the country without a charger included in the box, saying the company was delivering an incomplete product to consumers. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security also imposed a fine of R$12,275,500 (approximately US$2.34 million) on the Cupertino company.
Apple started shipping phones without chargers two years ago, starting with the iPhone 12. Nowadays, all the phones still on sale on its site only include a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box. box (no power adapter), including the iPhone 13 series, the latest iPhone SE, and even the older iPhone 11 line.
The company has defended the practice, citing environmental concerns, saying it dramatically reduces the amount of e-waste. The National Consumer Affairs Secretariat (Senacon) was unconvinced by the argument, saying Apple could take other steps to reduce environmental impact, such as replacing the proprietary Lightning port in iPhones with USB-C.
Apple has already run into problems in Brazil due to its lack of included wall chargers. Last year, the local consumer protection agency in Sao Paulo fined the company 10.5 million reais ($1.9 million at the time). Meanwhile, in April, a civil court judge ruled that the company should compensate a Brazilian customer more than $1,000 for not including the accessory in the box. The country also announced a proposal to make USB-C mandatory for all new phones from July 1, 2024.
It should be noted that Apple is not the only phone maker to engage in this practice. A few years ago, Samsung stopped bundling chargers with some of its phones, including flagships like the S22 Ultra or the Z Fold 4.