As was the case with the iPhone 12 last year, Apple is selling the iPhone 13 with EarPods in France. While Apple stopped including EarPods with the iPhone starting with the iPhone 12, a legal requirement related to radio-frequency energy requires headphones to be included in the box with smartphones.
This situation centers around potential harm caused to the brain when absorbing radio-frequency energy. You can debate the legitimacy or impact of this, but many countries have set a legal limit on the radio-frequency power output. In Apple’s case, the iPhone taps into the proximity sensor to detect when you are holding your phone against your head, and therefore reduce the RF output.
But in France, regulators have taken things a step further with a law that says users should be actively encouraged to avoid holding their phone to the side of their heads. Instead, the country recommends that headphones be used when on the phone. The specific goal of France’s legislation is to protect children age 14 and younger from RF.
For this reason, France requires smartphones to be sold with headphones: ‘an accessory making it possible to limit the exposure of the head to radioelectric emissions during communications.’ You can find a full summary of the law right here.
First shared by a user on the MacRumors forums, Apple is including wired EarPods in the box with the iPhone 13, just like it did with the iPhone 12. Apple has also maintained its clever “box inside of a box” solution. You simply open the exterior box, then you’ll find the iPhone 13 box, then remove that and you’ll find the EarPods hidden below.
This allows Apple to use the same iPhone 13 box and packing process for all iPhones, and then include the EarPods separately to streamline shipping and operations.
Read more about the iPhone 13: