As per the law in France, a smartphone brand needs to provide earphones along with the handset to reduce the exposure of the user’s head to radioelectric emissions. So, to comply with local laws, Apple will have to provide EarPods if they want to continue to sell new iPhones in France.
The law, passed in January 2015, states, “any advertising, whatever its means or medium, aimed at promoting the use of a mobile phone without any accessory to limit the exposure of the head to electromagnetic fields emitted by the equipment is prohibited. The offender is liable to a maximum fine of € 75,000.”
Another law clearly mentions, “At the buyer’s request, for the sale of any mobile telephone device, the operator provides an accessory to limit the exposure of the head to radioelectric emissions suitable for children under fourteen years of age.” These laws can be found on the Assemblee-Nationale website.
Interestingly, as per a report by Apple Insider, Apple is shipping the iPhone 12 with the new thin box in France. But this thin box is then inserted inside a larger box that comes with the EarPods. This is because making separate boxes for just one country makes like sense.
Apart from France, all other countries will not get free EarPods along with any of the iPhones they purchase. The only free accessory that you will get with iPhone 12 series phones is a USB-C to Lightning cable for charging and data transfer needs.