Brazil’s Ministry of Justice has banned the sale of iPhones in the country until Apple starts putting chargers back in the boxes.
The department issued the order yesterday (6 September) alongside a fine for the tech company, which has sold smartphones without a charger since the release of the iPhone 12.
It comes as Apple prepares to launch the iPhone 14 today, but the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP) argued that selling the phones without charges equates to selling an ‘incomplete product’.
In a release shared on its website, the MJSP explained: “The sale of iPhone cell phones unaccompanied by battery chargers has been suspended throughout the national territory.
“The Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP) also imposed a fine on the manufacturer Apple Computer Brasil in the amount of R $12,275,500 (£2m/$2.3m) and ordered the cancellation of the registration with Anatel of the brand’s smartphones from the iPhone12 model.”
The decision to suspend the sale of iPhones comes after the National Consumer Secretariat (Senacon) opened a case in December last year, when Apple was sued for selling phones without the corresponding charger.
“The chargers are tying, selling an incomplete product or lacking essential functionality, refusing to sell a complete product through discrimination against the consumer and transferring responsibility to third parties,” the MJSP explained.
Apple is said to have claimed that the decision not to include chargers was out of ‘environmental concern, to encourage sustainable consumption’, but Senacon said the burden of securing a charger was then transferred to the customer.
The department has sent official letters to the necessary bodies and entities to make them aware of the suspension, and it warned that Apple could be considered a ‘repeat offender’ if it continues to sell the phones without chargers.
If it does continue, the company could face ‘new, even more severe punishments’, the MJSP warned.
Following the announcement, Apple confirmed it would appeal the suspension and would continue to work with Brazilian consumer protection agency Senacon in order to ‘resolve their concerns’ in the meantime, Reuters reports.
“We have already won several court rulings in Brazil on this matter and we are confident that our customers are aware of the various options for charging and connecting their devices,” Apple explained.
The company is expected to unveil a range of new products during a livestreamed event this evening, including the new iPhone 14 and revised Apple Watches.