Apple will no longer include a pair of wired headphones or a power adapter with new iPhones, the company announced Tuesday as it unveiled the iPhone 12, in an effort to cut down on packaging and reduce emissions.
- The iPhone 12 will only come with a USB-C to Lightning cable for charging.
- You’ll have to buy a $19 USB-C charging brick separately if you want to use the cable in the box, though you can still charge your phone with any old iPhone charger with a Lightning connector.
- Earpods will cost another $19 if you don’t already have a pair or use wireless Airpods.
- Apple says the move is part of the company’s effort to become 100% carbon neutral by 2030.
- Removing accessories, Apple says, will use fewer raw materials and thinner packaging, which allows Apple to put 70% more units on a single shipping pallet to reduce carbon emissions.
- Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president for environment policy and social initiatives, suggested Tuesday that many customers already have Apple’s wired headphones and charging bricks, saying 700 million Earpods and 2 billion power adapters have already been sold.
Some criticized Apple for using the environment as an excuse to increase margins and lower shipping costs, especially because Apple isn’t also lowering prices. CNET noted the move may be a way to offset the costs of including ultrawide 5G support, which usually pushes up phone prices even higher. But many assailed Apple for forcing customers to buy yet another accessory. “Apple has found yet another way to force you to buy an expensive dongle/adapter for its expensive gadgets in order to make said gadgets work,” Jason Koebler of Vice wrote.
"Taken altogether the changes we have made for iPhone 12 cut over 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually. It's like removing 450,000 cars from the road per year,” Jackson said.