Apple survey is latest hint that iPhone 12 might not come with charger

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Does anyone really need another iPhone charger?
Many iPhone users already have multiple wall chargers, some still in the wrapping. The iPhone 12 might not include one.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Adding weight to recent reports that the iPhone 12 will ship without a charger in the box, Apple supposedly sent a survey to someone who recently traded in a handset to ask if he’s still using the wall charger. The responses from him and others could help the company decide whether it should leave out this accessory.

Apple wants to know where your iPhone charger is

Gustavo Alves Reis took to Twitter to say he was asked by Apple to fill out a survey after trading in an iPhone XR. It queried what he did with the charger that came with the old device.

A machine translation of the tweet says “What did you do with the USB charger that came in the box with the iPhone XR that was replaced?” The survey options include:

  • I sold or exchanged it with the iPhone
  • I lost it
  • I gave it to a relative or friend
  • I still use it at home
  • I still use it outside the home (e.g. at work, at school, elsewhere)

No charger for you!

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted last weekend that the 2020 iPhone won‘t come with the standard wall charger. The survey Reis claims to have received could be the company gathering data to back up this plan. If the company can say that a large percentage of users don’t use the standard charger, it’ll justify unveiling the iPhone 12 without one.

The cost savings will supposedly help Apple ask for the same prices for the iPhone 12 as it does for its 2019 handsets. This despite the 2020 models adding 5G, a Lidar scanner and other new features.

Also, the move could be a response to the European Commission’s mandate to create a common charger standard for mobile devices. This could ban in Europe the sale of USB-A chargers like the one that comes with current iPhones. Apple would either have to switch to the charger the EU chooses, or not include one in the box at all.