The iPhone 15 Could Boost Charging Speeds

iPhone Charging with Charging Cable Credit: Camilo Concha / Shutterstock
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Along with a more powerful USB-C port, at least some models in this year’s iPhone 15 lineup may support faster 35W charging.

Although Apple doesn’t publish specific wired charging rates for the iPhone, it has been sneaking the charging performance up slowly over the years, particularly for its largest iPhone Pro Max models, and now it may be doing so again this time around.

Shortly after the iPhone 13 lineup debuted in 2021, testing showed that the iPhone 13 Pro Max could draw up to 27 watts when charging. While its smaller 6.1-inch non-max counterpart remained capped at around 23 watts, that was still a slight improvement over the 20W charging that was the norm across the board in the 2020 iPhone 12 lineup.

Now, the folks at 9to5Mac have heard from industry sources that “at least some” of this year’s upcoming iPhone 15 models will support up to 35 watts of charging power. This would theoretically improve charging speeds by around 30 percent over the iPhone 14 Pro Max and potentially even more for other models, assuming they also get support for the higher wattage.

However, several other factors determine how long it takes to charge an iPhone, so this may not translate into an actual reduction in charging time. The 35W charging may be necessary simply to avoid longer charging times.

A report last month revealed that this Year’s iPhone 15 models might get significantly larger batteries, with increases in capacity ranging from 12.24% on the iPhone 15 Pro Max to 18.24% on the 6.1-inch iPhone 15. Higher-capacity batteries take longer to charge, so Apple is likely boosting charging power mostly to balance things out.

That’s likely why Apple moved to 27W charging with the iPhone 13 Pro Max in the first place. In 2021, the iPhone 13 Pro Max jumped significantly ahead of the pack with an 18% increase in battery capacity, while its smaller sibling gained just under 10%. That put the capacity spread between the two iPhone 13 Pro models at an unprecedented 40%, so the larger model needed faster 27W charging just to keep up.

That gap narrowed to 35% last year when the iPhone 14 Pro got a 3.4% battery increase over its predecessor, while the battery in the iPhone 14 Pro Max remained essentially the same as the one found in the iPhone 13 Pro Max (technically, it was 0.67% smaller, but that’s a negligible drop).

If last month’s report on iPhone 15 battery capacities is accurate, this difference will shrink even further, with the iPhone 15 Pro Max battery offering 33% more capacity than the iPhone 15 Pro.

Nevertheless, 35W charging would represent a more significant increase in charging power than what we’re expecting to see in battery capacity, so it’s likely that we will indeed see an increase in wired charging speeds. It remains an open question as to which iPhone 15 models will get 35W charging. There’s also a possibility that Apple may require that you use an MFi-certified adapter to get the fastest charging speeds.

It’s probably not a coincidence that Apple offers a 35W Dual USB-C charger that can deliver those charging speeds — as long as you don’t plug anything else into it at the same time, of course.

While many folks have moved on to wireless charging, even an Apple-certified 15W MagSafe charger won’t deliver the kind of charging speeds you need for a quick top-up when you’re in a hurry. It may seem strange at first glance, but Apple’s basic 20W wired charger powers up your iPhone twice as fast as a 15W MagSafe charger due to the inefficiencies of wireless charging.

We’ve seen no indications that the iPhone 15 lineup will offer faster wireless charging. However, the good news is that Apple may open up its MagSafe 15W wireless charging, allowing more third-party accessories to deliver the maximum wireless power that an iPhone can support. Today’s iPhone models will only draw 7.5 watts from non-MagSafe-certified chargers.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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