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Even with the advent of MagSafe, there’s no doubt that physically plugging your iPhone into a USB-C power adapter is the fastest way to top it back up, and that may become even more true with this year’s “iPhone 13” models.
Although Apple infamously pulled the charging bricks out of its iPhone boxes last year, you can add your own USB-C power adapter rated at 20W or more to juice up an iPhone 12 at the fastest possible speeds — which, thanks to the inefficiencies of inductive charging, works out to twice as fast as Apple’s 15W MagSafe Charger.
Now, if a recent rumour is true, it looks like Apple may be looking to boost charging speeds even higher with the “iPhone 13” which could support rates of up to 25W.
To be clear, you can charge your iPhone 12 with any higher-wattage USB-C charger, including everything from Apple’s own 20W USB-C Power Adapter for the iPhone to the 60W+ adapters that it bundles with its latest M1 MacBooks. However, no matter what you throw at it, the iPhone 12 will only draw 20W of charging power.
With this year’s iPhone lineup, however, Apple could bump that up to 25W, and possibly even introduce a new 25W USB-C Power Adapter to go along with it.
Such a move wouldn’t be entirely unprecedented, as Apple did the same thing last year when it quietly replaced its 18W USB-C Power Adapters with the current 20W version.
Does 25W Really Matter? Maybe.
The rumour of faster charging speeds comes out of China and should be taken with a grain of salt, as the source doesn’t really have a proven track record. If true, however, it seems like it would be more of a marketing move than anything else.
A mere 25 percent increase in wattage isn’t particularly significant when it comes to charging speeds, and with current fast charging able to take an iPhone 12 Pro Max from a dead battery to 50 percent in under 30 minutes, most would argue that that iPhone 12 already charges quickly enough.
However, most flagship Android smartphones like the Galaxy S21, have begun boasting 25W charging, and even though Apple doesn’t like to make it obvious, keeping up with competitors specs is at least somewhat important to the company.
For instance, Apple’s 15W MagSafe charging system came at least partly in response to Samsung’s own proprietary wireless fast charging technology, even though it’s not always possible to get those speeds — and it’s debatable how many users actually need them in the first place.
The report doesn’t say anything about whether we’ll see MagSafe wireless charging speeds increase. However, wired and wireless charging speeds aren’t directly related, so with all of Apple’s current MagSafe accessories rated at 15W — the current industry norm for high-speed wireless charging — there’s no reason to believe that we’ll see a change on that front.
Lastly, it’s also worth keeping in mind that even if Apple does decide to increase the charging speed of this year’s iPhone and release a 25W USB-C Power Adapter, that won’t break compatibility with any current adapters.
Even today, you can use an 18W USB-C Power Adapter with your iPhone 12 to get rates that are close enough to optimal that it makes very little difference to anybody who isn’t watching their iPhone charge with a stopwatch in hand, and the difference between 20W and 25W won’t be that much more significant either.