There was a major review of iPhones this year. Not only in terms of new design, enhanced features and the introduction of 5G.
As you may have heard, the iPhone 12 no longer has earbuds or a charging plug in the box. So, we know that applies to all four iPhone 12 models, but what about the other phones still on sale?
Removing earbuds and chargers makes the packaging smaller, and allows Apple to ship up to 70% more products to one shipment, the company claims. This is part of Apple’s decision to reduce electronic waste. That should be a good thing. After all, we all have USB chargers lying around our homes, right?
The box still includes a charging cable – in fact it is a USB-C to Lightning cable, which is an upgrade from USB-A to the Lightning cable included with every iPhone from iPhone 5 to iPhone 11 included.
But there is one detail that Apple neglected to mention in its keynote last week: this change is not limited to new iPhones only. If you purchased an iPhone 11, iPhone Xr or iPhone SE last week, you will have a billing plug, cable and earbuds in the box.
If that’s what you’re buying now, you can just get the USB-C to Lightning cable found on the latest phones.
Is this the right thing to do, Apple?
After all, of all the iPhones sold, only two, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max already have a USB-C charging plug provided. So, even if you buy a phone every single year but last year was the iPhone 11, you may not have the right plug for the cable in the box now.
In a way, it certainly makes sense. If Apple says its focus on reducing electronic waste is using the fact that we all have these chargers, then why should it make any difference if the new iPhone we are buying now is the 11 or 12?
And any iPhone charging plug and Lightning cable will work on iPhones for sale today. Apple has dropped the price of its USB-C charging plug right now, so that’s one thing.
Instead, I suggest we have to think of it as an excess cable in the box, and, by the way, it is a useful one, at least because you can use it to charge your iPhone directly from a Mac laptop, say.
And then there are the earbuds. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I am not in them. I can hardly get them out of the box – for any smartphone, not just Apple. They can be useful in a pinch, if I mislaid my wireless headphones, but I rarely use them. I suspect that is the case for more people than just me – EarPods white cables that were once ubiquitous are less visible, it seems to me, but AirPods are more common.
Ultimately, I believe Apple did the right thing by removing the plug and EarPods from the box.
And one thing is for sure, but many other brands are saying that this shortcoming is an insult, you can bet many of them will follow in the coming months.
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