When it comes to chargers, Apple is often criticised for bundling a slow 5W power adapter for the iPhone. Despite fast-charging being supported since the iPhone X and iPhone 8, Apple had only started bundling 18W USB-PD fast chargers out of the box on the latest iPhone 11 Pro series. For the iPhone 12, it appears that Apple could be making a courageous step by not including a charger at all. It is also reported that even the EarPods won’t be included.
The report about the exclusion of the charger and EarPods came from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been known for providing reliable insights on Apple’s upcoming developments. Analysts from Barclays have also shared the same expectations for the new iPhone model.
The move can be easily seen as a cost-cutting measure not just in terms of the accessories but also when it comes to shipping. By removing the charger and headphones, the new iPhone packaging could be smaller which helps to reduce Apple’s freight costs. In addition, it could also help Apple’s sustainability initiatives to cut down unnecessary waste considering most people can still reuse existing chargers that can last for an extended period of time.
It isn’t clear if Apple would still bundle a charging cable but we reckon that a USB-C to lightning cable should still be provided for new iPhones.
Interestingly, it is speculated that Apple will also introduce a new 20W charger that pushes a higher power output than its current bundled 18W charger for the iPhone 11 Pro and iPad Pro 2020. From the image above, the charging brick still supports USB Power Delivery standard with an output of either 5V 3A or 9V 2.22A. This new charger could be indication that the iPhone 12 might support a slightly faster 20W charging.
The move to exclude headphones could be seen as a drive to get consumers to go wireless. However, for those who still prefer wired headphones, they can reuse their existing Apple EarPods or buy a new one from an Apple retailer.
For those who prefer to plug-in their own headphones with a 3.5mm head, do note that Apple has stopped bundling the 3.5mm adapter since the iPhone XS.
Overall, I think the move is a good one to reduce the amount of waste generated by every new product. With more devices shifting to USB-C as standard, the chargers should be getting more common in most households. Some would have better USB-C chargers that can charge multiple devices at the same time or opt for wireless charging.
However, we don’t expect a drastic drop in pricing for Apple products with the exclusion of the accessories.