By Chand Bellur
July 7, 2020 at 3:11 p.m. PT
- Since the first iPhone in 2007, Apple’s iconic smartphone shipped with a charger and wired earbuds (EarPods).
- Most Apple customers already have chargers and EarPods from past iPhone purchases.
- Eliminating the charger and EarPods reduces the cost and price of the iPhone and allows Apple to use even smaller packaging.
Apple Eliminates Chargers and EarPods from iPhone Packaging
Apple makes bold moves that seem to upset their detractors rather than actual customers. According to reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Cupertino company will no longer supply chargers and EarPods with the iconic smartphone. Apple haters are in an uproar over this; however, many customers are pleased with the decision.
I’ve purchased two iPhones in my entire life. I’m not an iPhone fan. My favorite Apple product is the Mac. I also bought two iPads, which came with chargers, but no headphones. Previous Apple product purchases, such as the iPod Classic and iPod Shuffle, came with wired earbuds. This leaves me, someone who rarely purchases an iPhone, with four pairs of earbuds and four chargers.
Last week, I was cleaning up my condo, getting it ready for sale. I found my iPhone 6 box, and it still had brand new EarPods inside, which I never used at all. If someone who rarely buys an iPhone has more chargers and EarPods than he can handle, imagine the stockpile a yearly upgrader has!
Suffice it to say, Apple is well aware that the vast majority of users don’t need a charger or EarPods. In fact, these accessories have become a nuisance. Most people don’t want to throw them out, so they end up in some drawer or box full of cables. Beyond personal anecdotes, Apple engages in rigorous market research. It’s well known that the iPhone’s default accessories have become a nuisance.
Apple to Discontinue 5W and 18W Power Adapters
The decision to stop shipping chargers and EarPods is part of a larger change with accessories. According to Kuo, Apple will phase out its five and eighteen-watt chargers in favor of a universal twenty-watt charger. The change should increase economies of scale effects, making the chargers less expensive.
Going forward, Apple will sell their twenty-watt charger directly to customers. Anyone in need of a charger can purchase one from Apple or other vendors. In a world where USB ports are ubiquitous, most consumers have a household full of chargers. Apple improved the power ICs in iPhones years ago, supporting various wattages. Apple consumers can plug a USB to Lightning cable into virtually any powered USB port to charge their device.
Accessories Dropped to Reduce Costs of 5G Networking Components
Upcoming iPhone models will support 5G networking. Components such as cellular modems are more expensive, as this technology is relatively new. Eliminating the charger and headphones as free accessories offsets costs of new 5G components, allowing the iPhone 12 to sell for a similar price as the iPhone 11.
While this is good news for Apple customers, the blogosphere has already turned this into another Apple “gate”. Websites, desperate for clickbait and user engagement through divisive tactics, have already lambasted Apple’s move. As usual, the people most upset about the change don’t appear to own Apple products. Most Apple customers own plenty of EarPods and chargers, and many use AirPods or Beats’ wireless acoustic offerings.
Apple’s move won’t upset customers. In fact, by eliminating the charger and EarPods, Apple will contain costs and offer the iPhone 12 at a reasonable price. Those who need a power adapter or headphones can purchase them from Apple or a variety of retailers. Overall, most Apple customers will probably be indifferent to the change.