The Apple charging ecosystem is a complicated puzzle with a simple answer. For instance, the iPhone charging speed is capped at 20W, and the MacBook chargers go all the way up to 97W. Then there is the iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods, with their own set of cables. So what is the single Apple charger that rules them all, including the Watch and AirPods?
One must look for an MFi certification when buying an iPhone charger. Many people prefer to buy an original Apple charger, and devices like the MacBook include a charging brick in the box, at least for now. The iPhone ships with a Type-C to Lightning cable, MacBook with a Type-C to MagSafe cable, and Apple Watch with a Type-C to Magnetic fast charger. Notice something in common? All of these products include a cable that has a Type-C end.
In a nutshell, the answer is yes, one Apple charger can charge all your Apple devices. However, users will need a higher-watt charger for devices like the MacBook. While a 20W adapter can charge them all, it can be excruciatingly slow to charge a MacBook, especially in the Pro lineup.
Which Apple charger can charge all Apple devices?
Technically, any Apple Type-C adapter can charge all Apple devices. However, it’s better to buy a higher output adapter to quickly charge more powerful devices like a MacBook. The 35W dual Apple USB-C adapter seems to be the most value-for-money Apple brick. Primarily because it can fast charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, as well as AirPods. It is also the best charger for M1 MacBook Air owners, as it can charge the laptop at full speed.
For buyers who want a higher-wattage charger, the deal gets sweeter if you add more money. And more powerful chargers are also bulkier and less travel-friendly. MacBook Pro users can charge their devices with a 67W charger. New MacBooks ship with the same charging brick, which is a good thing, as users won’t have to carry more than one adapter if they pack this one.
Apple also has a more expensive 96W and 140W charging bricks, which are especially useful for 16-inch MacBook Pro owners. However, all higher-wattage Apple chargers come with a single USB-C port. So users can only charge one device at a time. Meanwhile, the dual USB-C charger trumps its more powerful cousin by charging two devices through its dual ports.
The only drawback to the 35W adapter is that it divides power when both ports are in use. For example, if a MacBook and an iPhone are charged at the same time, neither would charge at full speed. It may take longer than usual to charge two devices simultaneously, but charging a watch or AirPods along with an iPhone should be no trouble.
The mess of Apple chargers
All said and done, we’ve established that the 35W dual USB-C adapter is the most value-for-money Apple charger. It’s only so because the dual port brick can charge two devices at the same time. A dual port 67W or 96W charger would be better for the consumers, but sadly Apple isn’t onboard. So, for now, the 35W charger should suffice for most Apple gadgets, including the entry-level MacBook Air.
While one end of all Apple chargers is USB-C, there’s still room for improvement. Apple still uses the Lightning cable and a magnetic puck for the iPhone and Apple Watch, respectively. Most people wouldn’t have to carry more than one cable if Apple gave a USB-C port for all its devices. This might change with the upcoming EU mandate that requires all devices to have a USB-C charging port. Until then, users may need to carry multiple cables, but if anyone is reading this, hopefully, only one adapter for all their charging needs.