When Apple took the bold step to ditch accessories including chargers starting with the iPhone 12, it was a legal requirement in France to include in-ear headphones with new phones. This is due to a health concern that phones emit radio-frequency energy that could be harmful to the brain. As a result, Apple has to come out with a different iPhone packaging for France which seems to create more waste than they originally intended.
Now it appears that the old law has been overturned and manufacturers can now ship phones with fewer accessories in the name of sustainability. This means, no more free EarPods on upcoming batches of new iPhone units
The move to remove the mandatory wired headphones was decided in November last year. The bill was amended as part of the government’s initiative to reduce the environmental footprint of digital technology in France. It was said that wired headphones supplied with smartphones constitute a major source of waste and the health argument cannot justify this source of waste. A French senator said international experts including the World Health Organisation (WHO) have so far refuted the existence of a cause and effect link established between the exposure of electromagnetic waves produced by phones and chronic pathologies.
However, it was clarified that smartphones brands are still allowed to include headphones if they wish. In some price segments, a hands-free kit is seen as a significant selling point for consumers. Moving forward, it looks like consumers in France will finally be able to see new smartphones being sold in slimmer packaging.
At the time of writing, Apple’s France website is still listing the EarPods with Lightning connector for its current range of iPhone models. Similarly, Samsung France is still including USB-C headphones with its current Galaxy S21 series smartphones. Power adapters are not included but you still get a USB-C cable in the box just like in Malaysia.
With the slow demise of the headphone jack and the increased popularity of wireless earbuds, wired headphones are slowly becoming irrelevant now among smartphone users. Even Samsung is slowly ditching the good old 3.5mm headphone jack from its new mid-range devices.
For audio enthusiasts, most would often get their own preferred pair of headphones since the free headphones in the box are typically quite mediocre. Consumers these days are spoilt by the heaps of wireless earbuds offered in the market and sometimes the brands do offer free earbuds during their pre-order or sales promo.
[ SOURCE, IMAGE SOURCE ]