iPhone 12 leak reveals big missing feature — and people are pissed

iPhone 12 Pro navy blue
(Image credit: Svetapple)

The iPhone 12 is expected to start at an aggressively low price of $649, which is $50 less than the iPhone 11. In fact, Apple may even release a 4G-only version for $549., based on the latest rumors. And now we have a better idea why Apple may be able to charge cheaper prices. 

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will not be including a fast 20W charger in the box —  or any charger — with the iPhone 12. This is the second time we are hearing this rumor in the course of a week, so it’s looking more likely as we get closer to launch. 

As reported by MacRumors, Kuo’s research note says that Apple will make the 20W power adapter an optional accessory. In addition, he says that the company will end production on both 5W and 18W power adapters.

Apple introduced the 18W charger just last year for the iPhone 11 line, but it was only included in the box for the iPhone 11 Pro models. It seems this time around that you’ll have to pay extra for fast charging no matter which iPhone 12 model you choose.

The new 20W power adapter is reportedly similar to the 18W version in terms of size, and it uses USB-C for fast charging. We are assuming that Apple will at least bundle a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box, but the research note doesn’t specify. 

The internet responds 

As you might imagine, some people are upset with the prospect of not getting a charger in the box, and they're voicing their concern on Twitter and elsewhere. These are just some of the reactions.

One Twitter user said "What next iPhone 13 won't include iPhone in the box."  Another user could live with Apple not including the EarPods but questioned the decision not to include a charger.

One humorous jab at Apple from @UnwrapImulse recapped all the features Apple has taken away with recent iPhones, starting with the headphone jack in the iPhone 7. In this scenario, users would get literally nothing by the time we got to iPhone 16. 

However, others on Twitter defended Apple's decision, saying that not including those accessories could go a long way towards helping the environment. One user @afearisthis said: "This is a good move. Good for the environment and cutting down on waste. Anyone complaining can have one of the dozen or so scattered around my house".

Our sister site iMore.com conducted a few surveys over social media on this topic, and the results varied based on the platform. The question: 'Would you buy an iPhone if it didn't come with a charger or headphones?'

On Facebook,'No' won with 52% of the vote and 'Yes' took 48%. It was a different story on Instagram, as 66% said they would buy an iPhone if it didn't have a charger.

No charger (or Earpods) in the iPhone 12 box

A previous Barclays analyst note last week said that the iPhone 12 would neither ship with a power brick nor a set of EarPods. So it really seems like Apple is trying to cut costs, even if it’s an inconvenience for customers. The 18W power adapter currently costs $29, and the EarPods cost the same. However, we suspect many users will be upgrading to wireless earbuds like the AirPods and AirPods Pro — if they haven’t already. 

The good news is that this move by Apple would likely save the planet from tons of electronic waste, as many users likely have multiple power bricks at home already. And you should get a lot of other compelling features for your money, ranging from a faster A14 Bionic processor and 5G to improved cameras and 120Hz displays for the iPhone 12 Pro phones.

But if you want to be able to fast charge, it looks like you’re going to have to pay extra. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.