Brazil is strangling Apple. The company was fined and banned from selling the iPhone
Apple fans around the world are looking forward to the release of new iPhones. But the day before the presentation, Brazil announced that it would ban the sale of devices from the American manufacturer. The authorities do not like the policies of the Cupertino giant.
On the website of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security of Brazil, information appeared that the sale of the iPhone without a charger in the kit was suspended in the country. De facto, this means that it is impossible to sell the iPhone at all, since Apple does not currently include a power supply in the box with all models on sale.
Moreover, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security imposed a fine of BRL 12,275,500 (equivalent to ~$2.34 million) on the manufacturer and ordered the deregistration of Apple smartphones, starting with the iPhone 12 series, from the Anatel National Telecommunications Agency.
These are the consequences of a lawsuit filed by the National Consumer Secretariat (Senacon) in December 2021. According to the plaintiff, the manufacturer sells incomplete goods and refuses to change the policy, explaining this by the desire to protect the environment, which discriminates against the consumer and shifts responsibility to third parties.
Senacon says Apple may take other steps to protect the environment, such as replacing the Lightining connector with USB-C and using industry standard chargers. However, the Cupertino giant is extremely stubborn, because, despite the litigation, Apple still has not changed its policy.
The Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security has announced that Apple can still appeal the decision, which the company will certainly do, but at the same time, if the manufacturer does not return the chargers to the smart phone, it could be considered a repeat offender, and this will entail even more severe penalties.
Brazil is not the first country in Latin America to ban the sale of iPhones – Colombia did the same, where Apple lost a patent dispute to Ericsson, forcing it to withdraw 5G-enabled devices from sale. And this is not only the iPhone, but also the iPad. Moreover, the court banned the import of Apple devices into Colombia and their advertising in principle.
Interestingly, Apple is not eager to sell banned iPhone and iPad models in Colombia again – instead, the company filed a lawsuit against the country in a US court. A successful lawsuit in the US doesn’t necessarily mean a lifting of the ban, it’s more about restoring reputation for Apple, and Colombians aren’t such a large part of the users of an ecosystem worth fighting for.