Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Charger Nerdery

John Gruber:

So the good news is that if you use Apple’s 18W adapter (which Apple provided with iPhones 11 Pro and iPads Pro, including the iPad Pro updates from March of this year) instead of their new 20W adapter (which Apple includes with the new iPad Air and sells for $19), MagSafe will still draw 13W, which is close to the maximum draw of 15W. But it’s kind of nutty that the MagSafe charger will seemingly draw 15W from one and only one adapter, Apple’s own 20W one.

John Gruber:

So these GaN chargers are much smaller, the same price as Apple’s or cheaper, and more energy efficient. There seemingly is no downside or catch. Until I hear otherwise I’d say there’s no reason anyone should buy Apple’s 20W adapter instead of Anker’s or Aukey’s.

[…]

And while Anker does call out GaN on the product pages for some of its chargers, it does not for the 20W Nano. In their FAQ, regarding how the Nano can be both faster and smaller, Anker more or less just attributes it to secret sauce[…]

John Gruber:

So on the one hand, because the HomePod Mini includes the 20W charger, it was fine that it didn’t work with the old 18W charger. But on the other hand, if you ever toss the 20W charger into a bag or drawer along with an Apple 18W charger, you needed an extraordinary amount of knowledge to know which charger the HomePod Mini required. Not sure how much work Apple had to put into the 14.3 software update to make the HomePod Mini work with the 18W charger too, but I’m glad they did. It’s too confusing otherwise.

[…]

My mistake was using Apple’s slightly older 29W USB-C power adapter, which looks exactly like Apple’s more recent 30W USB-C power adapter. We’ve had that adapter plugged into our kitchen island for years, and it’s never before mattered. But with the Magic Keyboard, it did.

Adam Chandler:

For Tim Cook, who so often measures hardware success in units of “customer sat”, this charging situation has gone completely out of hand. Apple needs to do two things. They either make two chargers, one for iOS devices and another for MacOS devices each with a USB-C port as the termination on the back OR they need to very clearly label in some sort of embossed etching on every charger they make the wattage.

Joe Rossignol:

This supply chain news suggests that Apple is planning GaN versions of its USB-C power adapters, allowing them to be smaller and lighter, more power efficient, and less heat conductive compared to its current chargers, which are based on silicon.

Previously:

1 Comment

What Apple 30W USB‑C Power Adapter adapter is Mr. Gruber exactly referring to? The older model A1882 - not to be confused with the 29W model A1540 he's also referring to - or the current model A2164? All of these models are different.

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