For environmental reasons, the earphones and chargers will no longer be packed in the iPhone box.
Since the power adapter will no longer be included in the purchase of a mobile phone from Apple - although a USB-C charging cable will be - we'll run through your options so that you can choose the right charging brick to plug your iPhone into.
Does the iPhone 12 come with a charger?
The iPhone 12 comes with a USB-C to Lightning cable, which you could use to plug your iPhone in to charge if you already have a USB-C adapter plug, or a USB-C port on your computer.
However, if the only adapter plugs you have in your house are the older USB standard then you will need to purchase a new adapter.
Apple has confirmed that all four new iPhone 12 models will not come with any charger or headphones. but it's not only the iPhone 12 that will be missing the plug.
According to Bloomberg's reporter Mark Gurman, Apple will also drop the included charger from other models, such as the iPhone SE.
In addition to removing the charging adapter from the newest iPhones today, look for Apple to do the same for the SE and other iPhones it'll keep selling.— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) October 13, 2020
Why is there no charger with iPhone 12?
To some extent Apple's decision makes sense: the majority of customers buying a new iPhone will already own the necessary adapter so they can plug in their iPhone. Similarly, leaving the earpods out makes sense because a lot of people discard the included earbuds in favour of their own headphones, or even Apple's wireless AirPods, which have become increasingly popular.
Apple's Vice President for Environment, Politics and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson justified the move during the Hi, Speed keynote by pointing out that customers already have "over 700 million Lightning headphones".
There are also more than two billion Apple power adapters in the world, not counting the billions of connections from third-party manufacturers.
The removal of the surplice products from the box also leads to smaller boxes, which in turn reduces carbon emissions from Apple's logistics chain, Jackson added.
Apple has also left the power adapter out of the box for the Apple Watch Series 6 and Watch SE. Read: Which plug do I need for my Apple Watch?
However, there is, as you would imagine an outcry from people who feel that they are being cheated by Apple.
The complaints are justified to an extent by the fact that Apple does include a charging cable in the box - but it has lightning at one end and usb-c at the other. Many people own power bricks with an older USB adapter. Therefore it is likely that they will have to make a separate purchase to buy the USB-C adapter.
What power adapter/plug/charger do I need?
You can find the necessary power adapters below. Since Apple is including a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box we have included the compatible USB-C power adapters.
- 30W USB-C Power Adapter £49 in the UK and $49 in the US.
- 20W USB-C Power Adapter (Folding Pins) £19.00 in the UK.
- 20W USB-C Power Adapter $19.00 in the US.
The new 20 watt USB-C Charger replaces the previous 18 watt model which used to cost £29, so it is now £10 cheaper than its slower predecessor.
You can also purchase cheaper USB-C Power Adapters on Amazon. Just beware that you want a USB-C charger, not a cheaper USB charger (unless you have an older USB charging cable you can use).
For example, Anker's 30 watt USB-C Power Adapter is normally £23.99 but was £13.99 at the time of writing.
Anker's 36 watt USB-C two port Power Adapter is £29.99.
How much are the EarPods?
Since the headphones are also left out of the box you might also want to buy a pair.
If you also want to buy a pair of EarPods with Lightning Connector (which used to be in the box) these cost £19 in the UK and $19 in the US. They used to cost £29/$29 so, like the power adapters are now £10/$10 cheaper.
There is also the AirPods range which you can buy from Apple here:
- AirPods with Charging Cable £159/$159
- AirPods with Charging Case £199/$199
- AirPods Pro £249/$249
We also have this round up of the best AirPod deals.
You may also find the following useful: Lightning headphone adapters for iPhone
Read about why MagSafe rather than USB-C is the future of the iPhone here: Why we will never see an iPhone with USB-C
In related news, the EU has voted on a "Right to repair" bill that will avoid unnecessary electronic waste.