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Apple's new 35W dual-port USB-C chargers use smarts to adjust power based on what you plug in

Iphone 12 Lightning Port
Iphone 12 Lightning Port (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • Apple has shared more information on how its new 35W dual-port USB-C chargers will work.
  • The new chargers will split the 35W across the two ports depending on which devices are connected.
  • Apple Watches and AirPods will be supplied their required 7.5W, and no more, allowing the second port to use more power.

Apple's new 35W Dual USB-C Port Power Adapters are now available for order, priced at $59 apiece. Your money gets you two USB-C ports and a maximum combined output of 35W, with Apple now confirming how things will go down when you plug two things in at once.

A new support document published on Apple's website (opens in new tab) details exactly how much power those two USB-C ports can output when two devices are plugged in. According to that document, the chargers will automatically detect what is plugged in and then offer up the required power. If you plug an Apple Watch Series 7 in, the charger will know and offer up 7.5W. AirPods are the same, while plugging in an iPhone 13 will see the charger react differently.

To charge two devices, connect your devices to either port on your power adapter. When you connect two devices, power is automatically distributed between them based on their power requirements. For most devices, power is shared evenly when you have two devices charging at the same time.

Apple Dual Port 35 watt Chargers

Apple Dual Port 35 watt Chargers (Image credit: Apple)

Apple then offers some examples:

  • If you connect a Mac notebook and an iPhone or iPad, each device receives up to 17.5W.
  • If you connect an iPhone and an iPad, each device receives up to 17.5W.
  • If you connect a Mac notebook or iPhone and an Apple Watch or AirPods, the Mac notebook or iPhone receives up to 27.5W and the Apple Watch or AirPods receive up to 7.5W.

Both of the two chargers are functionally identical, with the "Compact Power Adapter" featuring a smaller footprint and a set of foldable pins — perfect for throwing into a bag, for example. That alone could make this the best Apple Watch and iPhone charger for travel purposes.

Those looking to order the 35W Dual USB-C Port Power Adapter can do so for $59 direct from Apple (opens in new tab) while the 35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter is also available at the same price (opens in new tab) — both will be with you in just a business day if you order soon, although that delivery window could well stretch out depending on popularity following a release just last week.

Oliver Haslam
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.

1 Comment
  • Just like every other multi-port USB C charger on the market. On all of them the stated output is what you get on one port, if that is all you plug into.