Let’s take the case of the HomePod mini. The power cable wrapped in mesh comes fixed to the HomePod mini. Inside the box, there’s just the power cable and the HomePod mini comes with 20W USB charger.Till last week, if you had an 18W charger from Apple, you couldn’t have charged HomePod mini with it. Mercifully Apple fixed the issue with an OS update.
The HomePod comes with an attached plug with the cable, so that charger is reserved exclusive for the more powerful and expensive smart speaker from Apple.
The iPhones — all new iPhones — don’t come with a charger now. The charger you have to buy is a Type-C one. So for instance, you have the widely popular iPhone XR and wanted to upgrade to iPhone 12, your old charger won’t work. Why? Because the cable that ships with the iPhone 12 is Type-C to Lightning cable whereas the iPhone XR had a microUSB charging brick.
Till the iPhone XS Max, Apple never gave fast chargers with iPhones either and it was only with iPhone 11 Pro series that 18W chargers were shipped.
Now, of course, there aren’t any chargers with any iPhone and one has to buy a 20W USB-C charger, which costs Rs 1,900.
The iPads have their own thing going when it comes to chargers. If you buy the entry-level iPad then you get a 20W USB-Type C charger along with Lightning cable. So yes, this will work with an iPhone perfectly. Move to the iPad Air and iPad Pro then neither of those chargers can be used to charge anything but these devices. The iPad Air comes with a 20W USB Type-C charger and a USB-C cable — so iPhone can’t be charged with it. The same goes for the iPad Pro, which comes with an 18W Type-C charger. Now, the Type-C cable can be used to charge a MacBook but please don’t do that as an 18W or 20W charger isn’t sufficient to charge a MacBook — at least not at a reasonable speed.
For a company that is so keen to keep people in their high-walled ecosystem gardens, it is somehow a bit confused on what chargers does it really want people to have.
One size fits all doesn’t work in most cases but when it comes to chargers, it might just. That’s some food for thought maybe for the good folks at Cupertino making these decisions. Having three or four Apple devices means that you will have to carry at least three chargers with you. Can there be a solution to this problem of plenty?