04/12 Update below. This entry was originally posted on April 9th
iPhone 14 leaks have already revealed some of the new smartphones’ best features and biggest concerns. But now Apple has accidentally leaked a long-awaited upgrade that millions of iPhone and iPad users will want.
Spot by 9to5Mac, Apple accidentally posted a new support document on its website for an upcoming dual USB-C charger that will allow an iPhone or iPad to charge quickly while also charging an optional accessory, such as an Apple Watch .
04/11 Update: The acclaimed analyst and industry insider, Ming-Chi Kuo, added more details to the launch of this new charger. Kuo states that the new charger’s components are “approaching mass production”, and Apple expects to ship up to 3M devices by 2022. Since iPhones will no longer come with chargers, it is a considerable number, and – given that it will not be cheap – suggests , that there will be a compelling reason (faster charging? * cough *) for Apple fans to flock to it in droves.
Kuo teased earlier with the arrival of the charger in March, where he also confirmed that it would use GaN technology. GaN (Gallium nitride) chargers offer higher efficiency and higher power density than traditional chargers. This enables them to offer faster charging in much more compact sizes. Apple has already introduced its first GaN charger, the 120W powerhouse for its new MacBook Pro. So a sea change is on the way and the iPhone seems to be involved.
04/12 Update: pictures of Apple’s new Dual USB-C charger have now been leaked with permission from the accessories specialist ChargerLAB and they show an eye-opening design. As ChargerLAB notes: “It uses foldable legs, and unlike other chargers, two USB-C ports are side by side.”
ChargerLAB is right, as far as I know, this design is first in the industry. Typically, the ports on dual USB-C chargers are oriented vertically, which can make chord management sometimes more cumbersome, especially with thick cables. The charger also has recesses on both sides to make it easier to grab – another rarity in this room. All in all, this is the classic Apple that comes late in the market, but with a unique look.
In addition, the 35W charger looks extremely compact – certainly more than the vast majority of dual USB-C GaN chargers – and potentially even smaller than Anker’s tiny Nano Pro (although it delivers 40W). Compared to Apple’s current 30W monstrosityit is on a whole different level.
All of this will focus attention on Apple’s plans for improved iPhone and iPad fast charging. As described below, rival products now offer charging with 2-5 times higher watts than iPhones. Yes, the iPhone’s battery life has improved markedly in recent years (iPhone 12 was a rare step backwards), but having the ability to add 50% charge to an iPhone in 15-20 minutes (it is currently 30 minutes) would be a great selling point to many users.
Expect this story to run and run, especially as ChargerLAB states, “We’ll be bringing more information about this charger soon.”
“Use the Apple 35W Dual USB-C Port Power Adapter and a USB-C cable (not supplied) to charge your device,” Apple wrote in the support document. Apple also leaked the core specs. The new charger will support four different charging modes: 5VDC / 3A or 9VDC / 3A or 15VDC / 2.33A or 20VDC / 1.75A with a total power of 35W.
This is a massive upgrade over everything Apple is currently offering in this segment. As it stands, the only similar options are bulky 30W and 45W chargers with a single USB-C port. Expect the leaky charger to be significantly smaller too with a hyper-efficient GaN charge that is hot tipped.
Moreover, faster iPhone charging has been tipped for some time without turning into anything. So with Android rivals now hitting up to 120W and delivering a full charge in under 20 minutes, the arrival of this new dual charger may also get Apple off the ground.
I expect we will learn more soon. Apple has confirmed WWDC for June 10, where iOS 16 will be unveiled, and the next generation of iOS beta code has a long history of leaking upcoming Apple devices.
Needless to say, faster charging would not be enough on its own – especially with the iPhone 14’s overwhelming design, split performance and increased prices. But for iPhone 14 Pro buyers, it might just tip the balance along with their new super-sized cameras.
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