iPhone 12 might not come with earbuds or charger in the box

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You may need to buy your own charger for the iPhone 12.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone 12 reportedly will ship without packaged earbuds, but according to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, it might also lack another standard piece of kit in its box: a charger.

In a new note to clients sent over the weekend, TF International Securities analyst Kuo confirms as legitimate a recent photo of a 20-watt power charger for the new iPhone. However, he says it won’t come with the next-generation iPhone 12.

He thinks Apple will discontinue its current 5-watt and 18-watt chargers. This would make way for the new 20-watt model.

According to Kuo, by removing in-box accessories, Apple will be able to sell the iPhone 12 for about the same as the iPhone 11. That is despite the fact that the 5G networking components make it pricier to produce. As 9to5Mac points out, it also will likely make the iPhone 12 cheaper to ship due to the reduced weight. That would save on air freight.

Kuo also thinks upcoming iPads — including a new 10.8-inch iPad later in 2020 and an 8.5-inch iPad mini in the first half of 2021 — will continue to ship with power adapters.

iPhone 12: Next-gen components, last-gen price?

When Kuo originally suggested that Apple would not package earbuds with the iPhone 12, many noted that this would help increase AirPods sales. It is likely that removing the charger from the iPhone 12 box also will boost sales of standalone chargers. That’s going to be good for Apple’s bottom line — even if customers are unlikely to be too happy with the move immediately.

Front Page Tech analyst Jon Prosser previously suggested that pricing for the iPhone 12 base models will be as follows:

  • 5.4-inch iPhone 12: $649
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 12: $749
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro: $999
  • 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max: $1,099

If true, this would fall broadly in line with iPhone 11 prices. That’s despite upgrades like OLED screens on every model, upgraded internals and a LiDAR Scanner on the top-end handsets. Unless the price of components dropped radically in the last year, Apple must offset the extra cost of those new features in some way. It seems that sacrificing in-box accessories could be the answer Cupertino came up with.