This year’s iPhone 12 and 12 Pro will be the first new iPhones not to come with EarPods or a charger in the box.
During Apple’s October keynote it said that removing these components lets it reduce carbon emissions from shipping by packing way more boxes onto shipping pallets. Now, thanks to a comparison posted by Apple analyst Neil Cybart, we have an idea what that means in terms of the overall box footprint.
Why Apple is doing this
iPhone 11 Pro Max box vs. iPhone 12 Pro box
Removing the USB-C power adapter and EarPods results in a surprisingly compact box. It’s basically half the size. pic.twitter.com/IKbsm8Svw1
— Neil Cybart (@neilcybart) October 20, 2020
The big question, of course, is whether this benefits customers. From the macro perspective of “we should all do more to look after our planet,” then it falls under the same category as, say, removing plastic carrier bags from supermarkets: a minor inconvenience that is easily offset by the good it does environmentally.
This is the angle Apple understandably focused on in during its iPhone 12 keynote. Due to the quantity of iPhones Apple produces and ships, the company said making this change is equivalent to removing 450,000 cars from the road every year. Apple has previously discussed its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030.
There’s also a good argument to be made that, by reducing the shipping costs and cost of components in the box, Apple gets to reduce the overall costs of making its new handsets. It means getting upgraded components with fancy premium features without Apple having to jack up the price to offset its losses.
For Apple, the decision also has obvious strategic advantages. Apple wants to sell more AirPods and other accessories, such as its new wireless chargers. By not putting them in the box, it nudges people to make a purchase they might otherwise not make. (Especially since Apple is also extending this new box design to previous iPhones as well.)
Does this decision bother you?
Speaking personally, it doesn’t bother me all that much. I use AirPods instead of EarPods. If I wanted EarPods, I’ve got probably a half dozen lying about from previous iPhones. The same is true of chargers. For newer customers? I can understand the annoyance, but it’s tough not to think Apple’s made the right call here. No-one’s not going to buy a new iPhone because of this. And, while rivals like Samsung, might jump on the opportunity to poke fun at them, you can bet that it’ll be copying Apple months from now.
What do you think of the change? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.