Brazilian Regulator Confiscates Hundreds of iPhones from Stores Over Lack of Charger

Brazil’s Federal District Consumer Defense Institute (Procon-DF) earlier this month confiscated hundreds of iPhones from retail stores in the nation’s capital of Brasília over the lack of a charger in the box — reports Tecnoblog (via Macworld).

This marks the latest escalation in Apple’s ongoing conflict against Brazil over the tech giant’s removal of chargers from iPhone boxes.

Just last month, the Sao Paulo state court in Brazil ordered Apple to stop selling iPhones without chargers in the country and fined the company the equivalent of about $19 million USD for the practice. This was after a similar order and a $2.3 million fine from the Brazilian government in September.

Apple first pulled charging adapters from the iPhone 12 in 2020 under the guise of reducing e-waste. Even at the time, Brazil forced the company to include wall warts with all units sold in the country.

Cut to November 11, Procon-DF snatched up hundreds of iPhones from local retailers in Brasília as part of “Operation Discharge.” Affected retailers also included authorized Apple resellers.

The regulator’s seizures ranged from iPhone 11 units to Apple’s latest iPhone 14 series. While the iPhone 11 lineup originally launched with a charger in the box, Apple was quick to scrap them once the iPhone 12 came out.

Following the incident, Apple was able to secure future iPhone sales in Brazil through a (possibly temporary) court order. This did not require the company to agree to bundle chargers with all units sold — at least not yet. On Tuesday, Apple told Tecnoblog that sales were proceeding normally.

Three days after the seizures, Apple filed for an order to guarantee uninterrupted iPhone sales in Brazil. The judge who granted the order reportedly argued that Apple violated no consumer rights and that the Brazilian regulator committed an “abuse of power.” He also noted that many consumer electronics are sold without chargers in Brazil, but Apple is being singled out.

With Brazilian authorities determined to take Apple on, the company’s charging adapter woes in the country will likely continue. What do you think of Apple’s decision to pull chargers from iPhone boxes? Let us know in the comments below.