Fast charging will soon be the norm for Apple Watch accessories

Two Apple Watch series 7 wearables on a blue surface
(Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

Apple has told third-party accessory makers that they must use the fast-charging Apple Watch module in all future accessories, according to a report from AppleInsider.

Fast charging was introduced with the Apple Watch Series 7 in 2021. It enables the Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch Series 8 to charge quickly, from empty to 80 percent in around 45 minutes. The Apple Watch Ultra also has fast charging, but needs about an hour to go from empty to 80 percent.

Obviously, fast charging is great news for Apple Watch owners. But the problem is that third-party accessory makers have had a hard time getting the module that enables fast charging because Apple has been running low.

Companies had to use older and slower modules instead, and people looking for Apple Watch accessories could find a shiny new one that didn’t boast the latest charging specs inside. All of this is set to change now that Apple is only going to focus on producing the fast charging modules.

Better, faster, stronger

Apple’s MFi program stands for Made For iPhone, iPad, iPhone. It’s a scheme that gives third-party makers access to a range of technologies that can be used in their accessories, so whatever they create will play nicely with Apple devices.

It’s through the MFi program that Apple supplied companies with the older charging modules, but all of that will soon change. According to reports, accessory companies will have until August 31, 2023 to submit plans for accessories with the original Apple Watch charger module – called C162, the non-fast-charging one. Then from September 30, 2023 it will no longer be available via the MFi program.

Instead, accessory makers will need to use the fast-charging module, called C962. Although in the long run this will be a good thing for consumers, manufacturers may have to pay more for the faster charging module than its slower predecessor. 

So the good news is it’ll lead to quicker charging and, ultimately, better accessories. We might even see new fast charging accessories hit the market as Apple addresses its supply issues. But makers may have to raise their prices to compensate for the rising costs, which means these better and faster accessories will also be more expensive, too.

Becca Caddy

Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.