For the first time since the original iPhone was launched in 2007, the device won't come with any headphones in the box. As rumors suggested, it looks like Apple has finally decided to not include the accessory with its new iPhone 12 — following a similar move from September, when the company announced it would ship the latest Apple Watch without the USB power adapter. Apple's framing this as a sustainability effort, citing that many of its customers already have these accessories and don't need them when upgrading to a new iPhone or Watch.
Going green(er) — According to Lisa Jack, Apple's VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives, that the company's goal is to be 100 percent carbon neutral by 2030 — this means making changes everywhere from its manufacturing supply chain to all product life cycles.
"We look for ways to cut waste and use less material," she said, noting that people who are invested in the Apple ecosystem already have over 700 million Lightning headphones between them. "Many customers have moved to a wireless experience, with AirPods, Beats, or other wireless headphones. There are also over 2 billion Apple power adapters out in the world, and that's not counting the billions of third-party adapters."
As a result, Jack said at Apple's iPhone 12 virtual event the company is "removing these items from the iPhone box, which reduces carbon emissions and avoids the mining and use of precious materials." She added that, with the power adapter and EarPods not being included, Apple can make iPhone boxes smaller and lighter. "Taken all together," she said, "the changes we made for iPhone 12 cut over 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually. It's like removing 450,000 cars from the road per year."
Everyone wins? — While there's no doubt Apple's latest green initiative will be great for the planet, let's not forget it'll also benefit its own pockets — since it won't have to spend money manufacturing these accessories. It also means customers who don't have an audio headset or a charger will have to buy one from Apple or a third-party, which isn't particularly the best when most iPhones are already quite expensive for most people.