For example, if you were to look at Apple’s iPhone SE order page, under the “What’s in the box” page, the company states that it will just come with a USB-C to Lightning cable, the phone, and that’s pretty much it. It also mentions, “As part of our efforts to reach our environmental goals, iPhone SE no longer includes a power adapter or EarPods. Please use your existing Apple power adapter and headphones or buy these accessories separately.”
During the iPhone 12 presentation, Apple’s head of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson mentioned that by not bundling accessories with the iPhone, they could reduce the size of the packaging. This means that less materials are used to create the packaging, and at the same time it allowed Apple to fit more iPhones on a single pallet, thus reducing the amount shipping that Apple would have to make.
Overall, this is designed to reduce Apple’s carbon footprint as far as their operations are concerned. While it is a good thing, unsurprisingly many aren’t too thrilled as the prices of the iPhones are still pretty expensive, despite offering “less”.