We’ve heard multiple times that Apple’s 2018 iPhones will employ faster charging out of the box, most likely relying on a higher wattage adapter and USB Type-C cable to reach speeds similar to those of the latest Android phones. Thanks to images published on Macotakara, we may have just gotten our first peek at what that new charger looks like.
The photos on the Japanese blog show the adapter from multiple angles, as well as its USB-C port where current iPhone power bricks currently employ USB-A. The design has that classic rounded rectangle look to it, with both flat ends painted gray. According to the report, it’s rated at 18 watts.
It’s important to point out that all rumors to date point to the 2018 iPhones retaining their Lightning ports. In other words, the shift to USB-C doesn’t portend Apple dropping its proprietary connector. The end of the cable that connects to the device will in all likelihood still be Lightning, while the other side that interfaces with the power brick will be USB-C.
While we’re pretty certain Apple is planning on tossing in a fast charging system with every new iPhone — a welcome departure from forcing iPhone users to shell out for a separate fast-charge accessory — it’s also quite possible that’s not what we’re looking at here. Earlier sketches of the brick presented a much sleeker, compact design, as 9to5Mac points out. This leak is inconsistent with that more oval-like plug.
What’s more, the text on the pronged side of the adapter has been rendered in a font Apple does not use. This is probably the biggest giveaway that what we’re looking at here isn’t an official product, but rather a third-party knockoff.
Although we may not be looking at the very same charger Apple’s next iPhones are expected to ship with, the fast charging question remains an important one. Among our biggest gripes with the iPhone X was its lack of the technology out of the box. Customers have to pay roughly $68 to buy all the gear from Apple they need to enable that speed, which is absurd for a device that already starts at $999.
The difference in charging times between the two systems is a significant one, too. Last year we tested charging speed across a range of phones, and found that the iPhone X recharged more than twice as quickly using the faster setup. Our iPhone X reached 50 percent in 30 minutes hooked up to the fast charger, compared to 17 percent for the packed-in one. Whatever new system Apple is planning should at least be that quick — something future iPhone owners will surely appreciate.