With the iPhone 12 lineup, Apple removed the charging brick and Lightning EarPods from the box to “reduce carbon emissions and avoid the mining and use of precious materials”. It results in much more elegant thinner box and allows Apple to ship more phones at once.
However, France is the only country in the world that requires mobile phones to come with some sort of “hands-free kit” by law. This obligation is in place to protect children under 14 from risks of electromagnetic radio waves and means that Apple has to continue providing EarPods in the box of all models of iPhone – including the iPhone SE, XR and 11 that also had their box contents reduced.
A video unboxing from TheiCollection shows that Apple has kept the retail packaging the same across the board, meaning all boxes are consistent. However, to make room for the included EarPods, the iPhone retail box is placed in a larger outer box. This stores the EarPods underneath.
Apple encourages customers to use their own charger and purchase separate EarPods or AirPods. The company recently reduced the price of EarPods from $29 to $19.