The iPhone 16 Pro May (Finally) Get Faster Charging

MagSafe Wireless Battery Charging 2 Credit: Apple
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While today’s iPhones offer reasonably fast charging, they’re still frequently left in the dust by their Android rivals, and that’s especially true at the higher end of the spectrum. However, that might finally change this year if a rumor that’s resurfaced in Apple’s Chinese supply chain is accurate.

A new report from IT Home shared by MacRumors suggests that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max could make the leap this year to 40W wired charging and 20W wireless charging over MagSafe and Qi2.

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This would almost double the wired charging speeds, although the jump from 15W to 20W on the MagSafe side wouldn’t be as significant. However, it would help Apple close the gap with rivals on the wired side and actually leap ahead when it comes to wireless charging.

For instance, Samsung’s entry-level Galaxy S24 still supports only 25W wired charging and 15W wireless. That’s ahead of Apple’s iPhone 15 but about on par with the iPhone 15 Pro (Apple doesn’t release specs on its wired charging speeds, but multiple independent tests have confirmed that the standard iPhones charge at around 20W while the Pro models operate a little above the 25W mark).

However, the iPhone 15 Pro’s main competitor, the Galaxy S24 Ultra, supports much faster 45W charging. Boutique brands like OnePlus take that even further: the OnePlus 12 can charge at speeds of up to 100W, letting it go from zero to full in about 26 minutes (although it’s capped at 80W for models sold in the US).

The most well-known charging laggard in the Android world is Google, whose Pixel phones remain in the sub-30W crowd. However, those phones have another trick up their sleeve: They offer 23W wireless charging if you opt for the proprietary Google Pixel Stand.

So, upping the iPhone 16 Pro to 40W wireless charging would be mostly table stakes in 2024. However, pushing the envelope to 20W wireless charging could set the iPhone apart from the competition, most of which still only do 15W over standard Qi chargers (there are some outliers, like OnePlus 50W wireless charging, but like Google’s Pixel, these also require proprietary chargers).

In practical terms, that could allow the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max to charge much faster, although it’s unclear where on the curve this would sit. Right now, both models will hit 50% in 30 minutes with a 20W adapter and then take well over an hour to get the rest of the way to the top. However, the change might be for another reason that won’t show any meaningful increase in charging times.

Faster Charging for Larger Batteries

How long it takes to charge a battery isn’t only about how much wattage your charger pumps out. It’s also a matter of how big the battery is. After all, a battery is essentially just a tank for electrons, much like your car’s gas tank. It takes twice as long to fill a 30-gallon tank as it does to fill a 15-gallon one unless you’re using a faster pump, and it takes more time to fill a larger battery with the same charger.

This is where faster charging may become necessary. We’ve already heard several rumors that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max may get substantially larger batteries thanks to higher-density stacked battery technology. If those are true, then even the fastest charging speeds of today’s iPhones won’t cut it.

This is basically where the rumors about faster charging are coming from. The reports out of China aren’t saying that Apple is doing this to make your iPhone 16 Pro charge faster but rather to “balance and improve the problem of increasing charging time caused by the increase in battery capacity.”

This would also explain the 20W MagSafe/Qi2 charging. A 33% increase isn’t particularly significant when you factor in the poorer efficiency of wireless charging, but it could be necessary to accommodate larger batteries and prevent the charging times from creeping up too much.

It’s not the first time these types of rumors have made the rounds. Last August, a similar report said the iPhone 15 Pro would get 35W charging with the switch to USB-C, but that never materialized. Another report last summer hinting at faster iPhone 15 charging turned out to be for the iPhone 16 Pro, citing the same 40W/20W numbers that have begun popping up again this week. Like any reports, it’s best to take these with a grain of salt, but with the iPhone 16 lineup about two months away, the timing is interesting.

[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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