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iPhone 14 might support faster charging speeds, leak suggests

Updated Mar 11th, 2022 12:02PM EST
iPhone 13 Pro Display
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The iPhone 14 series will introduce a few notable changes when it launches this September, including a brand new design that will give the iPhone a new visual identity. But if a leaker’s latest claim is accurate, the iPhone 14 might also offer buyers faster battery charging speeds than what is currently possible.

That’s the kind of battery upgrade that Apple has rarely attempted in the past, even as rival flagships running on Android continue to feature impressive battery charging speeds. The reason for ignoring this particular upgrade concerns battery health. Faster charging speeds can degrade the battery faster, and that’s not something Apple wants to risk.

iPhone 14 battery upgrades

Oppo is one of the Chinese smartphone vendors that has been at the forefront of battery charging tech. A few days ago, Oppo unveiled the new 150W SuperVooc tech. It’s a feature not many smartphones can support. And not all of Oppo’s handsets will even recharge at that maximum speed.

But the phones that will support 150W chargers will need just 5 minutes to get to a 50% charge. After 15 minutes, they will be able to reach a full charge.

The iPhone 14 will not charge that quickly. Instead, we expect Apple to improve the efficiency of the components. And the company can increase the iPhone 14 battery size by saving precious additional space inside the phone.

Every millimeter counts when it comes to battery capacity. And the larger the battery pack, the less critical the charging speed is. As a reminder, iPhone 13 models are 0.25mm thicker than their predecessors. That was enough for Apple to increase the battery capacities of all four iPhone 13 models.

As a result, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has the best possible battery life right now, outlasting even the brand new Galaxy S22 Ultra in such tests. If the phone can last all day long without issues, the battery charging speed doesn’t matter as much. And the iPhone 13 series has a maximum battery charging speed of 20W.

An iPhone with the screen turned off about to be recharged
An iPhone with the screen turned off about to be recharged. Image source: Choat/Adobe

The new 30W GaN charging speed

But we’ll remind you that iPhone 13 battery charging speed tests last September showed that the iPhone 13 Pro Max could reach 27W charging speeds with various USB-C chargers. That’s faster than Apple’s advertised speeds and faster than Apple’s 20W charger.

At the time, we told you that you could take advantage of the higher charging speeds by using laptop chargers that support higher wattage.

This brings us to Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest tweet that claims Apple plans to launch a new 30W GaN charger this year. The well-connected leaker makes no mention of the iPhone 14 in the tweet. But that’s the device whose charging speeds you’ll think of when reading the tweet below.

The iPhone remains Apple’s most important product. If Apple is making a new GaN charger, then the iPhone might be the primary beneficiary of such a product. Therefore It makes sense to assume that a brand new 30W charger would serve the iPhone 14 series.

We’ll also remind you that the iPhone doesn’t ship with a charger in the box. You’ll need to buy your own if you don’t have one. Therefore, this 30W charger will require a separate purchase. Apple would only be making the device if there was demand for it. And the iPhone 14 is the kind of product that can lead to such demand. Many buyers would want to take advantage of the fastest charging speeds.

The iPad and the MacBook

Apple can also increase the battery charging speeds of iPads, of course. But the iPhone 14 makes the most sense considering what’s happening in the industry. Oppo is going to 150W, but Samsung’s Galaxy S22 phones support charging speeds of up to 45W. Apple might want to compete with those lower speeds, assuming the increased power doesn’t degrade the iPhone battery faster than before.

Separately, Apple makes a 30W USB-C charger it ships with the 13-inch MacBook Air. When it comes to GaN technology, Apple has only one such charger, the 140W brick it made for the 2021 MacBook Pro models. Apple might be redesigning its smallest MacBook charger. But even in such a case, the charger could also work with iPhones, regardless of whether Apple raises iPhone charging speeds to 30W or not.

That’s all speculation at this time. The leaker doesn’t offer any details about the 30W charger. And the iPhone 14 launch is more than six months away. We have plenty of time to see what sort of battery upgrades the iPhone 14 will deliver.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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