There has been a major overhaul of iPhones this year. Not only in terms of new design, improved features and the introduction of 5G.
As you have heard, the iPhone 12 no longer has earbuds or a charging socket in the box. Well, we know that applies to all four iPhone 12 models, but what about the other phones that are still for sale?
The removal of earplugs and the charger make the packaging significantly smaller and allow Apple to ship up to 70% more product on a shipping pallet, the company claims. It’s part of Apple’s commitment to reducing electronic waste. That must be a good thing. After all, we all have USB chargers lying around in our homes, right?
The box still contains a charging cable – in fact, it is a USB-C to zipper cable, which is an upgrade from USB-A to zipper cable that comes with every iPhone from iPhone 5 and up to iPhone 11 included.
But there was one detail that Apple neglected to mention in its main note last week: this change is not limited to just the new iPhones. If you bought an iPhone 11, iPhone Xr or iPhone SE last week, you would have had a charging socket, cable and earbuds in the box.
If this is what you are buying now, just get the USB-C to Lightning cable found with the latest phones.
Is that the right thing to do, Apple?
After all, of all the iPhones ever sold, only two, the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, have ever had a USB-C charging connector supplied. So even if you bought a phone every single year, but last year was the iPhone 11, you may not have the right connector for the cable that is now in the box.
In a way, it certainly makes good sense. If Apple says its focus on reducing e-waste takes advantage of the fact that we all have these chargers, then why should it make any difference whether the new iPhone we buy today is 11 or 12?
And every iPhone charging socket and zipper cable works with the iPhones on sale today. Apple has also dropped the price of its USB-C charging socket now, so that’s something.
Instead, I would suggest that we think of it as an extra cable in the box, and by the way, it is a useful one, not least because you can use it to charge your iPhone directly from a portable Mac, says.
And then there are the earplugs. I can not tell you how happy I am not to have these. I almost never take them out of the box – for any smartphone, not just Apple. They can be useful in a pinch if I have my wireless headphones wrong, but I rarely use them. I suppose that’s the case for more people than just me – the white EarPods cables that used to be so ubiquitous are not seen that often, it seems to me, but AirPods are far more common.
In the end, I think Apple has done the right thing by removing the plug and EarPods from the box.
And one thing is for sure, no matter how many other brands say this omission is a scandal, you can bet many of them will follow suit in the coming months.
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