Brazil seizes iPhones from stores because of demand for free charger

Brazil’s Justice Ministry ordered the suspension of iPhone sales in the country in September after finding that Apple is harming consumers by not offering the power adapter that comes with the device. Even after multimillion-dollar fines, Apple still fails to comply — which has now led the Federal District-based consumer protection regulator to seize iPhones from stores.

iPhones seized in Brazil because they didn’t come with a charger

As first reported by Technoblog, Procon-DF has seized “hundreds of iPhones in various stores in Brasilia”, the capital of Brazil. In a move dubbed “Operation Discharge,” the regulator wants to force Apple to comply with local laws that require smartphones to be shipped with the charger in the box.

According to the report, the iPhones have been seized from carrier stores and authorized Apple resellers. The regulator has ordered a ban on any iPhone model without a charger in the box. While Apple stopped shipping the accessory for free with iPhone 12, the company has also updated iPhone 11 with a new, more compact box without a charger.

After the iPhones were seized, Apple Brazil requested the government to allow sales of the smartphone in the country until the final decision of the dispute. The company told Technoblog that it continues to sell iPhones in Brazil despite the operation.

As noted by Mac Magazine, Judge Diego Câmara Alves, who allowed the company to continue selling iPhones in Brazil until a final ruling, believes that the company does not violate consumer rights. The judge also states that the Brazilian regulator is “abusing its power” with such a decision. Apple says it is confident it will win the legal dispute and that customers are “aware of the different options for charging and connecting their devices”.

Apple isn’t that confident

Despite what the company says about being confident it will win the dispute, a recent decision by the company shows otherwise. With the recently released next generation Apple TV, which comes with an updated version of the Siri Remote with USB-C instead of Lightning, the company has stopped shipping the product with a charging cable in the box.

Interestingly, in Brazil, the new Apple TV 4K still comes with a USB-C cable in the box. While the company doesn’t cite the reasons why it made this decision, it seems pretty clear that Apple wanted to avoid further fines from the Brazilian regulator amid the iPhone charger controversies.

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