iPhone 12 just killed these accessories — but there’s good news

iPhone 12 Apple Event
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 12 was finally revealed to the world yesterday, but among the new features, Apple also told us that the phone won't ship with EarPods or a charging adaptor. This sounds like a confusing and bad decision, but it may not be as bad as you think.

MacRumors first spotted that Apple's USB-C 20W power adaptor now costs $19/£19, down from the old 18W adaptor's $29/£29. The site later posted that a pair of wired EarPods with Lightning connector also costs $19/£19, instead of $29/$29.

You'll no longer get a charger bundled in with your new iPhone. But for a small extra fee you can buy the best charger Apple offers, rather than sticking with the sluggish 5W that Apple used to toss in for free.

You can still find the 20W charger in the iPad Air's box, but all iPhone 12 models won't ship with one. The older iPhone models that Apple still stocks will also be losing their chargers, those being the iPhone 11, iPhone XR and iPhone SE.

All iPhone 12 models will come with USB-C to Lightning cables, previously only found with the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, or if you bought an 18W charger separately. That means that the majority of existing iPhone users will still have to use an old cable with the iPhone 12, since Apple's other chargers use USB-A connectors instead. Unless you own a different charger with a USB-C port, either Apple-made or third-party, the inclusion of the cable in the iPhone 12 box is kind of pointless.

The decision to remove the charging brick and EarPods from the iPhone box was to reduce waste and environmental impact according to Apple's presentation. It also makes the phone's box much slimmer, meaning it's easier to ship more at once, cutting down on vehicle emissions.

However other rumors suggest it was a cost-saving measure to make up for the expense of including 5G capabilities in the A14 Bionic chipset. Plus the cynical among you may find the fact that you need to buy your chargers separately from now on a move that also helps Apple's bottom line.

The iPhone 12 line is going on sale in two phases. The basic iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro, both 6.1 inches across, will be available to pre-order from October 23. The iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, measuring 5.4 and 6.7 inches respectively, go on sale on November 13 instead. 

All four models use Ceramic Shield OLED displays, 5G-ready chipsets and are compatible with MagSafe wireless charging, but the two Pro models also introduce a new LiDAR depth sensor to improve their special photography effects.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.