Apple released its newest iPhone, the iPhone 12, which comes in at a hefty $799.
The iPhone 12 isn’t the only phone Apple announced. Alongside it comes the iPhone 12 Mini, the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max – Apple’s biggest iPhone ever. All four versions of the phone feature 5G capabilities, along with the newly introduced MagSafe feature.
MagSafe is essentially a big magnet inside the phone that allows users to add different types of attachments to their phones. Apple gave an example of a wallet that magnetically locked into place on the back of the phone.
The MagSafe feature, in my opinion, is really interesting. Being able to customize the exterior of the iPhone has been something that could only happen using phone cases. Apple only showcased a wallet to attach to the phone, but this opens up a lot of potential customizations users can add to the new phone.
Apple also announced they would no longer include a wall charger or the standard EarPods inside the box. The only item in the box, other than the phone, will be a USB-C to Lightning cable. Apple stated they made the change in an effort to be more environmentally friendly and reduce their carbon footprint. The decision came with a lot of backlash on Apple’s true intent following the announcement.
“It creates more packaging needed for the now separate accessories most iPhone users see as necessary,” environmental science major Drew Wilson said. “The extra packaging, no matter if it’s recyclable, still adds more to our landfills and recycling depots than need be.”
Not only could this be more detrimental to the environment, but Apple is cutting its own costs to distribute the phone without the two items. Because they aren’t including the charging block and EarPods, Apple is able to make the new iPhone boxes smaller, which allows them to save money on shipping. They are also removing the two items from older iPhones they are currently distributing, such as the 2020 iPhone SE, the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11.
“The iPhone 12 not coming with standard earbuds or a charger is a classic move from Apple to take more money from consumers,” Wilson said.
It is a little difficult to determine Apple’s true intent with their decision to cut the two items out of their packaging. They probably made the move to cut their costs, but also to reduce e-waste overall. Most people have their own charging block from all sorts of electronic items. Apple’s choice to not include the EarPods, however, is one I question.
It is worth noting Apple’s standard EarPods retail for $19 on their website. Maybe Apple could include a voucher to order these headphones or charging blocks on their website free-of-charge for those who want or need them.
Apple also announced the new HomePod mini, a smaller version of the HomePod smart speaker which debuted nearly three years ago.
Like the HomePod, the HomePod mini uses Apple’s A.I. system, Siri, to control a variety of functions, such as playing music, announcing the time of the upcoming Chiefs game, or dimming lights if connected to a smart home system.