Apple Customers in France Will No Longer Get Free EarPods With iPhone

Apple Customers in France Will No Longer Get Free EarPods With iPhone


Following the launch of the iPhone 12, Apple announced that all iPhones will ship without EarPods, citing environmental reasons. However, it made an exception for France owing to the country’s regulations that require all smartphones to be sold with a “handsfree kit.” But that is set to change soon, according to a notice posted by French carrier Fnac.

The notice, as seen by French news site Consomac, went on to state that Apple will stop including EarPods in the box with the ‌iPhone‌ from January 24. The company’s website for France, however, still lists EarPods along with a USB-C to Lightning cable as products included with the iPhone.

Apple has not yet communicated on the subject on its website but the official resellers have been informed. Fnac has thus begun to warn its customers in its stores, we can thus learn that the headphones will be removed “from the week of January 24, 2022”.

(Machine translated from French)

Apple stopped shipping EarPods with iPhones back in 2020. Though the company said that the decision was driven by the need to reduce its carbon footprint, many criticized the move by saying that it just wanted to save some money.

Why the Exception for France?

French regulations state that all smartphones have to be sold with a handsfree kit to prevent exposure to electromagnetic waves, as the risks that they pose to developing brains are still unknown. So even though Apple stopped bundling EarPods with iPhones for the rest of the world, it made an exception for France. The Cupertino-based company even came up with a unique packaging for the country that could accommodate EarPods.

However, a new bill was introduced in November last year that aims to “reduce the environmental footprint of digital technology in France”. This overrides the French law of providing a handsfree kit with every smartphone. As the new policy will come into effect from January 24, you can still grab your free EarPods with an iPhone purchase, if you live in France.

[Via Consomac]
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