Apple forced to ship EarPods to French iPhone buyers

During Apple's iPhone 12 launch event earlier this week, we were told that the company had decided to stop bundling headphones and chargers with its phones, a decision that divided users into two camps. Some were sympathetic to the stated environmental aims, while others felt that it was more about cutting costs while paying lip service to green causes.

But we now learn that this policy will not be applied universally: Apple will continue to bundle EarPods with its iPhones in France, because the country has a law that says mobile manufacturers must include hands-free accessories with their products. The purpose is to protect users under the age of 14 from electromagnetic radiation, reports MacRumors.

Manufacturers who break the law risk a fine of 75,000 euros (about £68,000, or $88,000).

During the event, Apple emphasised that manufacturing and bundling headphones and chargers that aren't used and end up in landfill is bad for the environment. Which is certainly true, although switching from Lightning/USB-A to Lightning/USB-C cables isn't great either, since this means a lot of iPhone buyers won't be able to use their old (USB-A) chargers with the (USB-C) cable that comes with the iPhone 12.

Not including these accessories also means Apple has been able to reduce the size of iPhone packaging. This means 70% more phones fit on each pallet, Apple said, which reduces transportation impact on the environment and, well, costs.

If you miss the EarPods you may like to browse our guide to the best Lightning headphones. There are plenty of better alternatives out there.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden.