Apple is gearing up to launch the iPhone 15 later this year, including the ecosystem of accessories that come with the new handsets. One of the most important of these is the official 20W USB-C charger. An analyst has claimed that Apple is anticipating a surge in demand because the iPhone 15 cannot fast charge without it.
Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the most widely read Apple analysts, posted a short article to Medium today discussing Apple’s expected transition from Lightning to USB-C ports on its smartphones by late 2023, and the effect on the sales of accessories. Apple, he says, is “optimistic about strong replacement demand for 20W USB-C chargers following the switch to USB-C for the iPhone 15 series.”
As usual, Kuo focuses on the supply chain and identifies the LY iTech company as the main beneficiary of the move, but there are numerous implications for consumers. The reason Kuo expects Apple to make and sell a lot more 20W chargers is a potential annoyance to those buying the phones: “I believe Apple will optimize the fast charging performance of MFi-certified chargers for the iPhone 15,” he writes. he euphemistically. The “optimization” he talks about means that Apple is locking down this important feature of the new iPhone so that it only works properly when connected to an officially approved charging accessory with MFi certification (or Made For iPhone).
As annoying as it would be, this wouldn’t be entirely unexpected. The MFi program is a small but reliable source of passive income for Apple, and it happily drives customers toward officially approved accessories. Chargers without MFi certification are likely to be cheaper than the official versions, but Apple would like us to believe that they are less reliable and efficient, and even dangerous to use; in this case it seems that this will be true.
It’s worth noting that the 20W power adapter isn’t a new product: Apple is now selling it for $19 in the US and £19 in the UK for charging both Lightning and USB-C devices. (It doesn’t come with a cable, so just supply the right one for your device.) Those who already own one of these will be all set when they buy an iPhone 15, which probably doesn’t come with a bundled power adapter, but many more iPhone owners have settled for lower wattage or unofficial chargers and will have to upgrade to take advantage of the new phone’s fast charging feature.
For all the latest news and rumors about Apple’s upcoming phones, check out our regularly updated iPhone 15 super guide.