Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the environmental footprint of digital devices.
Starting with the iPhone 12 in 2020, Apple stopped including EarPods and the power adapter from the iPhone box, claiming it was doing so in part to reduce its environmental footprint. With both accessories removed, the iPhone box was made drastically thinner. Apple also removed both items from older iPhone models it continued to sell.
Despite Apple's announcement, the company was required to continue shipping iPhones with EarPods in France. Apple's lawful obligation to include the EarPods was based on the precautionary principle, because the risks of exposing developing brains to electromagnetic waves are not clearly known, according to French law.
Now, that's all about to change. According to a new bill passed in the French assembly, smartphone manufacturers will no longer be forced to include headphones in the box. Instead, they just need to ensure that compatible headphones are available separately as an optional accessory. According to a notice posted by French carrier Fnac, iPhones will no longer ship with EarPods in the box starting on January 24. A machine translation of the poster reads:
We would like to inform you that our manufacturers are no longer required to supply headphones/hands-free kits with their smartphones in France. This new law, adopted in late 2021, aims to reduce the environmental footprint in France.
The Xiaomi brand is concerned, for products purchased from the week of January 17, 2022. The same will be true for the Apple brand as of from the week of January 24, 2022
THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING
Apple's regional website for France continues to show EarPods as an item included in the box with the iPhone alongside a USB-C to Lightning cable, although this will likely be updated soon. While it did remove the EarPods from the box, Apple reduced the headphones' price to $19, down from $29, when the iPhone 12 launched in September 2020.
Apple's decision to remove EarPods and the power adapter from the iPhone box was controversial in other countries, too. For example, Apple was fined $2 million in Brazil for not including the power adapter with iPhones.