Your new iPhone 15's USB-C port can charge your AirPods and Apple Watch

iPhone 15 and AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Apple)
iPHONE 15: What you need to know

When Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro families of devices during the Wonderlust event yesterday they came with the USB-C port that we all expected. But while that port can of course be used for charging and transferring data, it appears that it has a special superpower as well.

As if to compensate for people having to ditch their Lightning accessories and buy USB-C ones, Apple says that the USB-C iPhone can not only charge via its new port but also charge other things, too.

Apple specifically called out the Apple Watch and new USB-C AirPods Pro 2, with charging as simple as connecting them to the iPhone using a USB-C cable.

Charge all the things

Apple confirmed the reverse charging situation in a press release detailing the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, although the feature will of course work with the best iPhones as well.

"The iPhone 15 lineup offers convenient new ways to charge, find friends in busy places, and stay connected while traveling," Apple begins. "Both models use a USB‑C connector, a universally accepted standard for charging and transferring data, allowing the same cable to charge iPhone, Mac, iPad, and the updated AirPods Pro (2nd generation). Users can also charge AirPods or Apple Watch directly from iPhone with the USB‑C connector."

While Apple calls out to devices in particular, we expect that other AirPods will also charge just fine so long as you have a USB-C to Lightning cable handy. There seems to be little reason why that wouldn't work, but those hoping to wirelessly charge a MacBook Pro will probably wind up disappointed given the likely low-power output of the iPhones.

We're covering all the Apple iPhone 15 event news and reactions now that Wonderlust is over. Don't miss all our iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, iOS 17and watchOS 10 coverage so far.

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.

  • Wotchered
    Just imagine ! we’ve just spent years trying to charge our phones quickly and as completely as possible. Now some genius has found us a way to discharge them ! Surely there must be room in those ridiculous backpacks for a recharging battery !