As was the case with iPhone 12, Apple’s new iPhone 13 lineup ships in France inside a larger plain white box with — gasp! — Apple’s Lightning EarPods.
Apple stopped including a charging brick and wired earbuds in the box with new iPhone purchases starting last year with the iPhone 12 series. And while Apple shipped the new 2021 iPhone units sans charger and earbuds, there is one country where the Cupertino company has had to include the wired earbuds in the box over the last two years to stay within the letter of the law: France.
Apple’s website in France (via MacRumors) confirms the inclusion of EarPods with a Lightning connector with all iPhone 13 models sold in the country due to laws in the country designed to protect children younger than 14 from potential electromagnetic radiation.
Many countries have imposed regulatory limits on RF power output as it could potentially be harmful to health. While the iPhone is designed in such a way that the proximity sensor detects when the phone is close to the head and therefore reduces signal strength, it’s not enough for French regulations.
France urges its citizens not to keep their phones close to their heads. Instead, the government recommends using headphones, which can help avoid exposure to high frequencies. Thus, the inclusion of the EarPods.
Apple’s iPhone 12 was the first iPhone not to ship with a charger or Lightning EarPods, a move that proved controversial for some but allows the company to make massive savings when it comes to shipping costs and emissions as well as packaging.
Apple says that its decision to remove the charger and headphones from its iPhone boxes will save 2 million metric tons of carbon each year, the equivalent of taking 450,000 cars off the road. Apple has promised to carbon neutral by 2030, and this represents a pretty big chunk of its 25 million metric ton carbon footprint.