It’s no surprise that technology giant Apple makes big money. The iPhone producer previously tipped the net worth scales at over $2 trillion, however, a new report has revealed that some clever cuts may have helped bolster the bottom line. The Daily Mail is claiming that Apple made an additional £5 billion (AUD$9 billion), by simply removing accessories such as chargers and earphones from its latest iPhone purchases.
When it was announced back in 2020, Apple’s decision to cull the accessories was met with some contention. Users were frustrated that the add-ons were no longer included, however, the tech company claimed that it had the best intentions at heart. The update was originally designed to cut annual carbon emissions by two million tonnes, with Apple also revealing plans to bring its entire carbon footprint to net zero 20 years sooner than IPCC targets.
“Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO said at the time. “The innovations powering our environmental journey are not only good for the planet — they’ve helped us make our products more energy efficient and bring new sources of clean energy online around the world. With our commitment to carbon neutrality, we hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change.”
While Apple received widespread praise from environmentalists regarding the move, consumers were quick to point out that the reduction inside the box didn’t translate to a reduction in the price. At present, a pair of Apple headphones is priced at AUD$29, available to purchase individually. According to The Daily Mail report, if Apple had passed on the full savings, including an “estimated 40 per cent reduction in shipping costs”, iPhone prices would be more affordable.
Price points aside, the consumer appeal of Apple has continued to swell. Since the 2020 announcement, the company is thought to have sold 190 million iPhones worldwide, with the latest report suggesting that removing the chargers and earphones, whilst also reducing shipping costs could have earned Apple as much as £5 billion (AUD$9 billion).
Truth be told, there is no definitive way to quantify the amount of money that Apple has earned from the removal of iPhone accessories. As the company outlined at the time, advancements in technology and development have increased the quality of the handheld devices, with additions such as the new A15 Bionic chip certainly adding to the product’s bottom line. You could argue that the reduction in shipping costs allowed for greater investment in new technology, however, there is simply no methodology for quantifying the results.
What can be said, however, is that reducing the number of unused and unneeded adapters and chargers in circulation is just part of Apple’s ongoing emissions-reduction strategy. In October last year, Apple reaffirmed its stance on carbon-neutrality, adding nine gigawatts of clean power and doubling supplier commitments. The company also went on to add 10 additional projects for its Power for Impact initiative, which it claims will bring clean energy solutions to communities around the world.
“For too long, the communities most impacted by climate change haven’t had a seat at the table. That has to change, and we’re committed to being part of that change,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives said recently. “The new projects we’re sharing will help communities by developing new local renewable projects, creating a healthier and more equitable world while advancing the fight against climate change.”
For Apple fans, it’s unlikely that chargers and adapters will ever make their way back into the new iPhone box, and while that may elicit some controversy, Apple is making headway on its emissions reduction plans.