04/12 Update below. This article 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 that millions of iPhone and iPad users will want.
Spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple has accidentally posted a new support document on its website for an upcoming dual USB-C charger that will allow an iPhone or iPad to charge quickly while charging an additional accessory, such as a Apple Watch.
Update 4/11: Acclaimed analyst and industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo has added more details to the launch of this new charger. Kuo States that the new charger components are “moving closer to mass production” and Apple expects to ship up to 3 million units in 2022. Since iPhones no longer ship with chargers, that’s a number considerable and – given that it won’t come cheap – suggests there will be a compelling reason (faster charging? *cough*) for Apple fans to flock in droves.
Kuo previously teased the Charger’s arrival in March, where he also confirmed that he will use GaN technology. GaN (gallium nitride) chargers offer higher efficiency and power density than traditional chargers. This allows 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 seems ready to get involved.
Update 04/12: Images of Apple’s new Dual USB-C charger have now been leaked courtesy of an accessories specialist ChargerLAB and they show a revealing design. As ChargerLAB notes: “It adopts bendable pins, and unlike other chargers, two USB-C ports are side by side.”
ChargerLAB is right, as far as I can tell, this design is an industry first. Typically, dual USB-C charger ports are oriented vertically, which can sometimes make dealing with deals trickier, especially with thick cables. The magazine also has dimples on both sides for easier gripping – another rarity in this space. Overall, it’s classic Apple, late to market but with a unique take.
What’s more, 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 one. NanoPro (although this delivers 40W). Compared to Apple’s current Monstrosity 30Wit’s on a whole other level.
All of this will squarely draw attention to Apple’s plans to improve fast charging for the iPhone and iPad. As detailed below, competing products now offer charging at 2-5 times the power of iPhones. Yes, iPhone battery life has improved dramatically over the past few years (iPhone 12 was a rare step backward), but having the ability to add 50% charge to an iPhone in 15 20 minutes (it’s currently 30 minutes) would be a big selling point to a lot of users.
Expect this story to unfold again and again, especially as ChargerLAB states that “We will be bringing 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,” Apple wrote in the support document. Apple also leaked the base specs. 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 over everything 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 leaky charger to be much smaller too with hyper-efficient GaN hot charging.
Also, faster iPhone charging has been advertised for a while without materializing. So, with Android’s rivals now reaching 120W and delivering a full charge in under 20 minutes, the arrival of this new dual charger could also see Apple up its game.
I hope 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 leaks on upcoming Apple devices.
Needless to say, faster charging alone wouldn’t be enough, especially in conjunction with the iPhone 14’s disappointing design, divisive performance, and higher price. But for iPhone 14 Pro buyers, it could tip the balance, along with their oversized new cameras.
Follow Gordon on Facebook
Learn more about Forbes