Samsung is facing legal action for removing chargers from its smartphone retail boxes. Several consumer groups in Brazil are reportedly mulling suing the company over the matter. A similar complaint could be filed against Apple as well.
Citing information from the Ministry of Justice in Brazil, Telecompaper reports that over 900 Procon groups have teamed up to take legal actions against Samsung and Apple for not providing a charging adapter with new smartphones (via). The consumer groups may file a formal lawsuit if the companies do not agree to settle the matter outside court.
Procon is a Brazilian state institution responsible for guiding citizens about their consumer rights. All state capitals in the country have at least one Procon group.
According to the new report, a Procon group in Fortaleza, the capital of the Brazilian state of Ceará, has already fined Apple and Samsung over the matter. The report says the companies received a fine of BRL 26 million (roughly $5.22 billion). But it’s unclear whether the amount is a combined total paid by the two tech giants or if each of them received that much fine. Apple has reportedly paid a fine of BRL 10.5 million (~$2.11 million) to the Procon of Sao Paulo.
Samsung is treating Brazil differently when it comes to in-box chargers
Apple made headlines when it decided to not include a wall charger with the iPhone 12 series in 2020. The company cited environmental reasons for its decision. But Samsung took the opportunity and mocked it. However, a few months later, the Korean firm shipped its Galaxy S21 series sans an in-box charger too. Unsurprisingly, it gave the same explanation: environmental protection.
Of course, many customers are unhappy, but Samsung has continued to exclude the charging brick from all flagship phones since 2021. The company hasn’t passed on any monetary benefit to customers, thus forcing them to shell out a few extra bucks if they don’t already have a spare charger lying in their drawer.
This year, Samsung also stopped shipping a charger with its premium mid-range phones. The Galaxy A53 5G, for instance, comes without one but not in Brazil. The retail box for the phone in the country does include the power brick. Perhaps, this is a thoughtful decision to avoid these kinds of legal actions from Procon groups. But, the likes of Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 flagships shipped without a charger in Brazil, and the decision could now have legal consequences.