iPhone

Apple Accidentally Leaks Massive Upgrade For iPads, iPhones

04/12 Update below. This post was originally published on April 9

iPhone 14 leaks have already revealed some of the new smartphones’ best features and biggest concerns. But now Apple has accidentally leaked a long-awaited upgrade millions of iPhone and iPad users are going to want.

Spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple accidentally published a new support document on its website for an upcoming dual USB-C charger that will enable an iPhone or iPad to fast charge while also charging an additional accessory, such as an Apple Watch.

04/11 Update: acclaimed analyst and industry insider, Ming-Chi Kuo added more detail to the launch of this new charger. Kuo states that the new charger’s components are “nearing mass production” and Apple expects to ship up to 3M units in 2022. Given iPhones no longer come with chargers, that is a sizable number and — considering it won’t come cheap — suggests there will be a compelling reason (faster charging? *cough*) for Apple fans to flock to it in droves.

Kuo previously teased the charger’s arrival in March, where he also confirmed it would use GaN technology. GaN (Gallium nitride) chargers offer higher efficiency and higher power density than traditional chargers. This enables them to offer faster charging in much more compact sizes. Apple has already introduced its first GaN charger, the 120W powerhouse for its new MacBook Pro. So a sea change is coming, and the iPhone looks set to be involved.

04/12 Update: images of Apple’s new Dual USB-C charger have now leaked courtesy of accessory specialist ChargerLAB and they show an eye-opening design. As ChargerLAB notes: “It adopts foldable prongs, and unlike other chargers, two USB-C ports are side by side.”

ChargerLAB is right, as far as I am aware, this design is an industry first. Typically the ports on dual USB-C chargers are orientated vertically which can make chord management more fiddly at times, especially with thick cables. The charger also has dimples on both sides to make it easier to grip — another rarity in this space. All-in-all, this is classic Apple, coming late to the market but with a unique take.

Furthermore, the 35W charger looks extremely compact — certainly more so than the vast majority of dual USB-C GaN chargers — and potentially even smaller than Anker’s tiny Nano Pro (though that delivers 40W). Compared to Apple’s current 30W monstrosity, it is on a whole different level.

All of which will squarely focus attention on Apple’s plans for improved iPhone and iPad fast charging. As detailed below, rival products now offer charging at 2-5x higher wattage than iPhones. Yes, iPhone battery life has improved significantly in in recent years (the iPhone 12 was a rare step backwards), but having the ability to add 50% charge to an iPhone in 15-20 minutes (it is currently 30 minutes) would be a big selling point to a lot of users.

Expect this story to run and run, especially as ChargerLAB states that “We’ll bring more information about this charger soon.”

“Use the Apple 35W Dual USB-C Port Power Adapter and a USB-C cable (not included) to charge your device,” wrote Apple in the support document. Apple also leaked the core specifications. The new charger will support four different charging modes: 5VDC/3A or 9VDC/3A or 15VDC/2.33A or 20VDC/1.75A with a total output of 35W.

This is a massive upgrade on anything Apple currently offers in this segment. As it stands, the only similar options are bulky 30W and 45W chargers with a single USB-C port. Expect the leaked charger to be substantially smaller too with hyper-efficient GaN charging hotly tipped.

Furthermore, faster iPhone charging has been tipped for some time without materializing. So with Android rivals now hitting up to 120W and delivering a full charge in under 20 minutes, the arrival of this new dual charger may see Apple finally up its game as well.

I expect we will learn more soon. Apple has confirmed WWDC for June 10 where iOS 16 will be unveiled, and next-gen iOS beta code has a long history of leaking upcoming Apple devices.

Needless to say, faster charging wouldn’t be enough on its own — especially in conjunction with the iPhone 14’s underwhelming design, split performance and increased prices. But for iPhone 14 Pro buyers it might just tip the balance, along with their supersized new cameras.

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