Apple Makes $6 Billion By Dropping Chargers

John Lister's picture

Analysts estimate Apple has made more than $6 billion by no longer including chargers or earphones with new iPhones. It's a healthy bonus for what was sold as an environmentally-driven move.

Apple said its change in policy from 2020 was because many phone owners, particularly those who regularly get a new model, already had compatible chargers. Meanwhile many either already had plug-in earphones, preferred a wireless model, or didn't need earphones at all.

According to the Daily Mail, the environmental impact of reduced production was estimated by Apple as two million tons of carbon dioxide a year, equivalent to the emissions from 500,000 cars. (Source:

Now the newspaper has crunched the numbers on the financial savings given that Apple hasn't reduced the cost of new iPhones. The key is that Apple isn't simply saving the cost of manufacturing the chargers and earphones.

Shipping Costs Slashed

Because chargers are so bulky compared with the phone itself, Apple can get 70 percent more boxes on each shipping pallet. That works out at a 40 percent drop in shipping costs, something that's even more significant since the pandemic led to major supply chain problems.

The newspaper calculates that given Apple's worldwide sales, it is better off by $6.52 billion USD. It's also thought to have made a further $293 million USD from selling chargers and earphones separately as optional accessories.

On the other hand, that arguably proves Apple was correct in its move. Based on those figures, of 190 million people who bought an iPhone, fewer than 12 million bought either the charger or earphones from Apple. While some of those may have sourced one elsewhere, it's clear many didn't need them with the new phone.

No Price Drop

More cynical analysts will point to the fact Apple hasn't explicitly passed any of the cost savings on to customer by dropping the price of the new phones. (Source:

However, it only works out as a couple of percent of the total price, so it's tough to know how it would affect sales. It may well be that Apple customers see iPhones as premium products where the precise price tag doesn't make much difference in their purchasing decision.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you buy Apple's argument that this is primarily an environmental policy? Does it matter that Apple seems to be getting most of the financial benefit? Would you be happy to buy a phone without a bundled charger?

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Average: 5 (3 votes)


imallett_8441's picture

When I upgrade a phone (usually a Galaxy), I sell my old one complete with charger. So I for one would have to buy a new charger. Another reason not to buy an iPhone.

kitekrazy's picture

Stop right there. No facts and when you put together other claims it's not something I believe. Plus they want you to ignore the "slaves labor" and focus on climate change. I'm not part of the climate change or Apple cult. I could not justify the price of phones these days. I can build a PC for a similar price and get more years and use out of them.

dlhamilton_13391's picture

Looks like Verizon and Samsung beat Apple to the punch. I bought a Samsung S21 last October, and all I got was a cheap USB Cable for my almost $1000.00 for a phone.
Just another consumer scam in the cell phone business.

Chief's picture

If they really cared about their customers, they would include a voucher for the charger and ear buds.

No one has to buy an iPhone, but if everyone else follows suit...

ferretsgold's picture

Let's face it, Apple is out to make as much money as possible. All their arguments are just to justify this. It would be nice to see Apple just once put their customers ahead of their bottom line.