Apple’s Big iPhone 12 Mistake
Last night, Apple announced their brand new range of iPhones in their third all-digital keynote of the year. We saw the announcement of Apple Silicon and all of the new operating system updates in June, followed by the new Apple Watch and iPad models last month; while yesterday’s keynote introduced the new iPhone 12 models and the new HomePod Mini. However, there was one big mistake with the iPhone models that Apple may have overlooked.
Yesterday’s announcement revealed exactly what the online leaks had predicted — four new iPhone models that were all of different sizes. These models are now officially called ‘iPhone 12’, ‘iPhone 12 Mini’, ‘iPhone 12 Pro’ and ‘iPhone 12 Pro Max’. All of the 2020 iPhones are inspired by the shape of the iPhone 5, being a thick, boxy design that matches with the latest iPad Pro model.
One of the talking points during the build up to the Keynote was the rumour of Apple removing the charging adapter and the wired ‘EarPod’ earphones that came in the box. Apple confirmed this rumour when showing that the iPhone box does indeed miss out on these accessories, which results in lower carbon emissions, as well as increasing the number of iPhones that can fit into a storage unit or a truck.
Apple’s mission to become environmentally friendly has done nothing but impress me over the recent years, especially when I learned that some of Apple’s products are made from 100% recycled materials. Apple’s trade-in scheme means that components from your old phone can become the components in your brand new phone — a big step in the right direction.
Apple claims that the changes that they have made with the recycled materials, smaller boxes and the removal of accessories will reduce 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year. The American tech-giant states that this is equivalent to removing 450,000 cars from the road a year.
These changes will apply to all iPhones that are sold from this day forward — including the older versions that are still being sold in store, the iPhone 11, the iPhone XR and the iPhone SE. There is still one accessory, though, that will remain in the box with the iPhone, and this is the charging cable. This is where the issue starts.
All new iPhones will now have a Lightning to USB-C cable included in the box — which is great, as only the iPhone 11 Pro included this cable last year, resulting in the ability for all phones to be fast-charged. However, Apple are removing the power adapter from the boxes, meaning only users that owned an iPhone 11 Pro last year will be able to charge their phones with their adapters.
Apple’s reasoning behind removing these adapters is because the majority of people already own at least one in their house (whether it’s an Apple-branded, or a third-party adapter doesn’t matter); but they fail to realise that the vast majority of them are USB-A compatible, not USB-C.
All iPhones until the 11 Pro model featured a Lightning to USB-A cable in the box, with a USB-A adapter to match it. Assuming someone that purchased an iPhone 11 last year decided to update to the iPhone 12 this year; they wouldn’t be able to charge their phone in the optimal way as their power adapter will not support the new power cables, meaning they have to buy the new power adapter separately.
Sure, you can charge your phone with your existing USB-A cable and USB-A adapter that you had in your previous phone; but for Apple to introduce a faster cable that you can’t use out of the box unless you add another product to your cart doesn’t seem right to me…
Was this an intentional, or an unintentional decision from Apple?
Removing the power adapter and earphones from the iPhone box, theoretically, should lower the price of the new model of phone. However, this year’s iPhones are a lot more expensive than last year’s iPhone 11.
The iPhone 11 would set you back £729 in the UK for the lowest model last year, and this would give you a device that has a 6.1-inch screen. This year’s iPhone 12 Mini will cost £699 for a 5.4-inch display, while the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 will cost £799. While this is not a good look in terms of value, the new iPhone 12’s OLED screens explain the rise in price, though it means that new iPhone users will be paying even more on top to buy that brand new USB-C charging adapter.
I find that this completely contradicts Apple’s goal of reducing carbon emissions, as the majority of users will be forced into purchasing a new charging adapter, which puts Apple right back where they started. This system is essentially the same system that Apple had in place before, but the user now has to pay more money for a product that was once included in the box, and not saving the environment at all.
To me, this was an oversight, more than it was a conscious decision. I can tell you with certainty that I do not personally own a USB-C power adapter (other than the one for my MacBook, which I don’t count as it is massive); meaning I would be one of many users that would need to purchase a power adapter if I were to upgrade to an iPhone 12.
As a money-making strategy, this is a stroke of genius from Apple. However, if the American company want to continue their work on protecting the environment, then I believe this is an awful oversight. I’m curious about how many people actually own a USB-C charging adapter (especially iPhone users), so please let me know in the comments if you do own one of these adapters.
The iPhone 12 looks to be the best iPhone yet, with its new camera system, MagSafe and more; but I do feel like the concept of removing the power adapter in 2020 was a mistake. Apple should have made the switch to USB-C in their phones and adapters a long time ago, meaning this is an issue that never should have happened in the first place…
Thank you for reading!