Analyst Kuo also says we shouldn't expect a charger to ship with iPhone 12

Chargers (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple's iPhone 12 won't come with a charger.
  • We shouldn't expect to see earphones in the box, either.
  • Is Apple's courage about to strike again?

Rumors of Apple selling iPhones without a charger have been knocking around for weeks and in some quarters, months. But it's a rumor that's picking up pace of late and now analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has weighed in, saying that Apple will indeed nix the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro's charger completely. You won't get one in the box, leaving you to fend for yourself. The same goes for earphones, too.

According to a 9to5Mac report, Kuo believes that Apple's removal of a charger will allow it to offset the price of the 5G kit going into this year's iPhones. Plus, it'll help the environment by reducing the size of the packaging.

Kuo says that Apple wants to keep selling the iPhone 12 at a similar price to the iPhone 11 and removing in-box accessories will offset the cost of the 5G networking components. This will presumably reduce the size of the iPhone packaging considerably, helping lower Apple's freight costs and be better for the environment.

Apple is also rumored to have a new 20W charger ready to go, complete with USB-C port. I'll come back to that in a second.

At this point, it's difficult to know whether we will see a cable included with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro handsets, but it's hard to believe that we won't. And if it does, what kind of cable will it be? My money is on USB-C to Lightning if Apple wants to sell the new 20W chargers that it's building, and that has its own problems.

Those who believe the removal of the charger isn't an issue point to the fact everyone has at least 47 of them knocking around the house already. Which might even be true. Might. But USB-C chargers?

I have more USB-C chargers than your average bear and even I don't have many. My parents? None. What would the use to charge their new iPhone come September or October? Even if the phone ships with a standard USB cable, it won't charge quickly. We've been calling Apple out for giving people 5W chargers for years and now we're willing to customers deal with whatever plug they've got in the back of a drawer?

Apple might claim it's courageous to ditch the charger and, honestly, it might even be able to make a case for it. But unless it comes with a $50 gift card so everyone can kit themselves out with a charging brick it'll be a mistake. USB-C or not.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.