Tech

Apple discounts EarPods and wall adapter after confirming they won't come in the box

Neither comes included with the new iPhones. Apple's chosen an inexpensive middle ground for new customers.

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Following yesterday’s announcement that this year’s new iPhones won’t come with EarPods or a wall power adapter, Apple has slashed the price of both on the company’s online store. Each will now retail for $19 — a significant $10 drop that will make them more affordable for new customers.

The new 20W wall adapter on Apple's website.Apple

Though yesterday’s Apple Event focused for the most part on the iPhone 12 lineup, the new accessory-cutting rule will actually apply for previous generations of iPhones, too. Apple is no longer including a power adapter or EarPods with the iPhone 11, XR, and SE, either.

Given Apple’s inclination toward cost-cutting measures, we were skeptical about how it would affect consumers. This price drop certainly alleviates some of those concerns; it’s a nice middle ground between Apple and its customers.

Go green or go home — It’s 2020, and Apple would be remiss to not recognize at this point its operations’ contributions to climate change. The company pledged this summer to be running an entirely carbon-neutral business by 2030. Getting to that point requires some complex resource-finagling.

As you might expect, Apple’s detailed plans to go carbon-neutral involve innovative technologies like a robot named “Dave” that’s capable of disassembling the iPhone’s Taptic Engine to re-use rare Earth metals and magnets. To complete its goal, though, Apple also needs to cut back on production somewhere — and, if anything’s got to go, the wall adapter is a great place to start.

Wait, which power adapter do I need? — The thing about Apple products is there are so many different adapters. There’s the classic 5W USB wall adapter that’s been included with almost every iPhone; there’s the 18W USB-C adapter that Apple began shipping with the iPhone 11 Pro line and the iPad Pro; there’s a 12W USB adapter that ships with a bunch of other iPads — it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

In most cases, the easiest method by which to choose a wall adapter was to match the one included in your product’s box. Now that there isn’t an adapter included, iPhone buyers might be more than a little confused.

Here’s the good news: most new iPhone models are compatible with every wall adapter. The new 20W USB-C adapter is your best bet to pair with the USB-C cable included with the iPhone 12 lineup, but you can actually plug your iPhone into a Mac or iPad adapter, too. Your battery will be just fine.

Some new iPhone customers will still be upset — understandably so — to find their brand new iPhone can’t be plugged into the wall right out of the box. As a whole, though, the move will cut Apple’s carbon output by an unheard-of 2 million metric tons of carbon. That’s as much as 450,000 cars produce in a years’ time. It’s probably worth having to fork out an extra $20 for the adapter if you need it, given that the planet is actively burning to a crisp.