Apple’s new iPhones won’t ship with earbuds or chargers

Apple’s new iPhone 12 lineup ships without a charger or pair of Lightning earbuds in the box to reduce their environmental impact, the company announced today. Instead, they’ll come with just a USB-C to Lightning cable.

Apple says it’s not including a charger or earbuds with the iPhone 12 series on environmental grounds, and similarly didn’t include a charging brick with this year’s Apple Watch models. It says the move means it has to consume less raw materials for each iPhone sold. It also allows for a smaller retail box, which means more units can fit on a single shipping pallet and reduce carbon emissions.

Earlier reports of the change have been met with outrage online, with some suggesting that it has more to do with increasing Apple’s margins and decreasing its shipping costs rather than protecting the environment. Regardless of Apple’s motives, however, the move is likely to decrease e-waste either way.

As part of its announcement, Apple said there are already 700 million Lightning headphones out in the world, as well as 2 billion Apple power adapters, suggesting most people will already have both accessories.

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