A Brazilian judge on Thursday fined Apple $20 million for selling iPhones without chargers, calling it an “abuse” that forces customers to buy an additional product.
The appealable decision comes after Brazil’s Justice Ministry fined Apple nearly $2.5 million in September for the same issue and banned the US tech giant from selling its iPhone 12 and 13 models without chargers.
A civil court judge in So Paulo imposed a new fine of 100 million reals as damages in a lawsuit filed by the Brazilian Consumer Union.
Apple stopped including wall chargers in new iPhones in October 2020 because it wanted to help reduce electronic waste.
But the move “forces consumers to buy a second product for the first to work,” wrote judge Caramuru Afonso Francisco in his ruling.
He ordered the California company to provide chargers to all Brazilian consumers who bought iPhone models 12 or 13 in the past two years and to start including them with all new purchases.
The European Parliament passed a law last week requiring all smartphones, tablets, and cameras to use USB-C ports as a single charging standard from the end of 2020, forcing Apple to change its phone model.
Apple stopped connecting its iPhone devices to power sources in 2020 after the release of the iPhone 12.
The company cited environmental concerns for removing chargers when buying each unit and claimed that the decision saved 861,000 tons of copper, zinc, and tin.
The Ministry of Justice of Brazil was shocked by this rationale and told Apple that it could help the environment in other ways, such as by giving its devices USB-C support. In Europe, Apple has a few years to do just that after the European Parliament voted to make USB-C the EU’s universal charging standard. Mobile phones sold in the region, such as the iPhone, must offer USB-C charging points by the end of 2024.