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Has Apple’s iPhone cost-cutting gone too far?

I’ve been observing a discussion point for the past few years concerning Apple saving money on the iPhone by cutting costs. Some of the cost-cutting is done in the name of the environment, others with the hope that the customers don’t notice.

But has this trend gone too far?

For example, today I noticed a report that a Brazilian judge ordered Apple to pay a customer $1,000 in damages for selling an iPhone without a charger.

This follows a $2.2 million fine imposed on Apple in March by a São Paulo consumer protection agency for not supplying chargers with the iPhone. 

Apple announced back in 2020 that it would cease including a charger and headphones with the iPhone as a move to save on waste.

Here is a YouTube video by a UK barrister speculating that Apple’s no charger policy might be in breach of the laws in England and Wales.

Also, the downgraded SIM eject tool shipped with the new iPhone SE has been causing some raised eyebrows.

Now, I get the environmental concern. If you ship millions of anything, even small steps to reduce waste can have a huge impact. Reducing the packaging and anything that can end up as recycling (or trash) makes sense.

It also makes sense for Apple to shave costs. A penny here and there adds up when you multiply those over tens of millions of iPhones. The saving on changing that SIM eject tool is probably negligible for a single device, but again, across millions of devices, it will start to add up.

It’s also possible that the changes made to the SIM eject tool were made for environmental reasons. Perhaps this is something people use once and throw in the trash, so Apple has streamlined it from the best cost/eco benefit.

Do you think Apple has gone too far stripping back on the iPhone’s accessories?

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