Apple’s iPhone 12 can now charge wirelessly at 15W with non-MagSafe chargers

With the launch of the iPhone 12 Apple doubled wireless charging power to 15 watts, but there was a catch: only Apple-branded MagSafe chargers operated at full power. Now, users are getting a surprise update. The latest iOS 17.4 release now allows third-party Qi2 chargers to charge at the maximum rated 15 watts of power as well, MacWorld reported.

Apple introduced Qi2 15 watt wireless charging support for the iPhone 13 and 14 with iOS 17.2, and the iPhone 15 supported the standard from the get-go. In fact, it’s based on Apple’s MagSafe technology, with Apple being a “steering member” and chair of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) board of directors.

When the iPhone 12 came along in October 2020, however, Qi2 didn’t exist and the WPC’s original Qi standard was limited to 7.5 watts. Since the iPhone 12 used MagSafe, it was apparently able to support Qi2 and its higher max charging capability.

Apple has yet to officially comment on this change. However, Macworld tested the iPhone 12 with Qi2 devices and found that they match the charging speeds of official MagSafe chargers.

Charger manufacturer Belkin also stated that its Qi2 chargers “are fully certified to deliver up to 15 watts of fast wireless charging to Qi2-enalbed devices,” while referring any other questions to Apple. With the change, all MagSafe iPhones now support Qi2 charging.

Apple’s move to support Qi2 with its iPhone lineup was a bit of a surprise, considering it tends to favor in-house proprietary solutions. It may have been done to fend off regulators, as the EU had already forced it to switch to USB-C charging to avoid wasteful multiple standards.

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