back to article Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

There's no such thing as a free lunch or, indeed, a free power adapter if the latest reports from famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo are correct. A recent investment note from Ming-Chi, who is widely regarded as the most accurate soothsayer of Cupertino's movements, says Apple is expected to remove the bundled headphones and …

  1. heyrick Silver badge

    And, of course, the price will be reduced accordingly, right?

    1. Franco Silver badge

      No, they'll put the price up for the privilege of not having them, a trick they got from BMW who used to charge a fortune for the privilege of not having an ashtray or lighter fitted to your car.

      As much as I hate Apple though, it's a sensible move if everyone does it. I've got loads of headsets and chargers from old phones, and don't even use the charger for the phone I do have because I got a USB desktop charger so I could plugin all the other stuff I have that uses USB as well

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        No, they'll put the price up for the privilege of not having them, a trick they got from BMW who used to charge a fortune for the privilege of not having an ashtray or lighter fitted to your car.

        Indicators however, remain an expensive optional extra on a BMW that is rarely seen fitted.

        1. Franco Silver badge

          I have observed that this is also the case on other car manufacturers from the same country, in fact I'd say Audi drivers are now worse than BMW drivers at least in my area.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            You can take the driver out of the BMW, you can't take the BMW out of the driver...

            Audi drivers are now worse than BMW drivers

            That's because all those who used to drive BMWs got fed up with the snarky remarks, and changed to Audi (pissing of those of us who chose Audi because it wasn't BMW).

          2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            re: I'd say Audi drivers are now worse

            And have been for about 10 years although drivers of those small Mercs are catching up fast.

            Blg black cars are the worst of all. I guess being black, the drivers think that they can't be seen so there is no need to signal... ever.

            As for Apple removing stuff that no one ever uses... Just don't try to sue them when your phone explodes due to it being overcharged and you using a cheapo/knockoff charger.

            1. Unicornpiss

              Re: re: I'd say Audi drivers are now worse

              I live in the USA. While BMW and Audi drivers may be bad, here you have to add the drivers of big pickups to the list. And throw in Prius drivers that are watching their efficiency gauge more than the road and accelerating to the speed limit from a stop in about 4 minutes.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It's a bit of a running joke round here, but:

            - The Audi logo is referred to as "The Olympic Rings Of Twattery",

            - Audi itself is an acronym for "A Useless Driver Inside"

            - BMW actually stands for "Bloody Minded Wanker" (or, as a German-speaking colleague of mine had it, "Bayerische MistWagen")

            (and another wag pointed out that the Porsche Cayenne is proof that Germans do actually have a sense of humour)

            White Audi TTs in particular are filed under "things to run away from very fast" since they always seem to be driven by hairdressers with the spatial awareness of a goldfish and the IQ of a can of soup.

            BMW and Audi do make some very nice cars, but the image is tainted by some of the idiots who drive them. Much the same could be said about Apple products ...

            1. AK565

              I mentioned the Audi Olympic rings to a friend once. He looked at me as one looks at a young child who's rather slow on the uptake, "No, those are 4 cockrings rings and if you'd ever watched any German gay porn you'd know that."

              I'm still not sure what to make of his comment. I have sampled the genre a few times..... I found myself getting distracted by all sorts of ancillary weirdness, shall we say.

              As for Audi drivers, 2 weeks after paying off my car a year early I was on a rain soaked highway one morning when this wanker couldn't decide whether to bear left or right at a split. He then chose to stop in the middle to figure things out. I was just congratulating myself on having avoided this A6 when I was rear-ended (and not in a good way) by van. Meanwhile the Audi wanker made his decision and sped off. I was not amused.

            2. dch0ar

              Further insult

              Drivers of an Audi Q7 have an IQ of 7

          4. macjules Silver badge

            Those are former BMW drivers who got sick of writing off their car every time the timing belt snapped.

            1. Ken Shabby

              I would give both of my testicles for a new AUDI

          5. The Dogs Meevonks

            In my own personal experience driving or being a passenger... some 80% of all dickhead, arseholery on the roads is caused by 3 groups of people. BMW drivers, Audi drivers and people who should never be allowed behind the wheel.

            When I see an audi/bmw driver show a sense of consideration towards other road users... I am honestly shocked to the core. It's not just their general refusal to understand how indicators work, it's overtaking several cars at one on minor A/B roads across double white lines, it's pulling out at junctions and blocking the oncoming lane or just pulling out there's too much traffic causing you to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the twat... and when you lay on the horn and give them the appropriate gesture... they then try to blame you for daring to be on the road and having the right of way.

            The bigger the car... the bigger the twat behind the wheel... I've seen considerate driving from people in the little Audi A1... but the A2 upwards... utter arseholes. I uploaded a pic to youparklikeac*nt of one Audi SUV driving tosser who parked across a pedestrian crossing to go shopping in Morrisons... they returned to the vehicle as I was taking the pic and the little pathetic excuse for a man tried to start a fight over it... until he realised I was filiming him and his rants... that video was passed along to the police.

            Then there's the twat who thought it was a good id ea to try and overtake on the inside of me on a roundabout and turn left as I was going straight on... or the drunk, uninsured audi driver who crashed into 3 cars writing of 2 of them and his own... one of them being mine, last year.

            So yeah... that's why people consider them utter wankers who don't deserve to be allowed licences... and should be forced to retake their driving test every year if they ever show an interest in owning one of those brands... In fact let's cover ALL German brands and their subsidiaries... because it's spreading. merc drivers are getting worse, certain VW ones have started to adopt the same attitude... and that's filtering down to Seat too... At the moment Skod seems immune to it... but that's more because no elitist brand worshipping prick would be seen dead in one.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Audi A5 and A6 drivers are just the worst.

            2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              At the moment Skod seems immune to it... but that's more because no elitist brand worshipping prick would be seen dead in one.

              Skoda drivers are just smarter, with Skoda you get more care for less money than any other brand in the VAG.

            3. heyrick Silver badge

              "BMW drivers, Audi drivers and people who should never be allowed behind the wheel."

              So, basically: BMW drivers, Audi drivers, and everybody else?

        2. TheRealRoland

          Those leaky indicator light fluid reservoirs... I wonder when that recall is going to happen. Long overdue!

        3. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

          What may you infer if a BMW's indicator is flashing?

          The bulb is working.

          1. Unicornpiss

            Re: What may you infer if a BMW's indicator is flashing?

            I once had a <insert favorite despised state, area or province here> resident riding with me and put on my indicator to make a turn. He looked at me with confusion and said: "What's that funny clicking noise?"

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What may you infer if a BMW's indicator is flashing?

              I got very worried about a 'clicking' after I used my hearing aids in car. Soon stopped to investigative. Then remembered, from years ago when I bought the car, that it was the noise from indicators. I had over years got used to the visual blink, never thinking it had an audio counterpart.

        4. SuperGeek

          And brakes, it would seem from recent experience I've had of Brainless Moronic Wanker drivers speeding through red lights and roundabouts!

        5. chivo243 Silver badge

          Fitted yes, but connected or used, still a mystery to us all...

        6. DudleyDuoFlush

          Hold on a minute, you're saying my BMW may have indicators? Well I never.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            It might have, but it's reputed that this happens when you use them though, unless you buy the optional extra uprated version that is capable being used as indicators instead of just as hazard lights when parked illegally.

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If you ever try to operate the indicators on a BMW you'll find out why people never do. They are a fucking nightmare. You push the stick down to indicate a lane change to the right, the stick doesn't stay down, it springs back to the rest position. If you manage to give it a Goldilocks press, it will give 3 flashes, but too soft and nothing happens, too hard and it will flash continuously until you go around a corner. There is no way of knowing which mode it is in until the 4th flash, or absence thereof. If it's in 3-flash mode then you can't cancel it, if it is in continuous mode then you can cancel it *but* you have to remember to press it in the same direction that it is flashing, because if you press it the other way, which is the intuitive thing to do, then it starts flashing continuously the other way. Having pressed it one way and failed to cancel it, you naturally try the other way, which doesn't work either and you end up alternately indicating left and right until you want to scream at it. It's just easier not to indicate than to remember all that. Whoever designed it needs a good kicking. What is wrong with a simple conventional indicator stalk like every other car has?

          1. amateriat

            Thus the origin of the bumper sticker: "Turn Signal Broken, Watch For Finger."

          2. Unicornpiss

            BMW engineering

            Well, since BMW decided not to include oil dipsticks on some of their previous models, on engines that tend to use oil, I don't find the non-intuitive turn signals that surprising. To measure the oil level, you must drain the oil and measure how much comes out on these models, then replace it with the correct amount. Really it's the same "we know what is best more than our users" thinking that Apple is guilty of.

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        I always assumed Mercedes charged a premium to give you the opportunity of browsing through their accessories catalogue.

      3. vtcodger Silver badge

        BMW minimalism

        I believe that BMW has also joined many other manufacturers in removing that silly,obtrusive spare tire from your trunk/boot. I wouldn't know from personal experience. The chances of my ever owning a BMW are roughly the same as those of my acquiring a pet anaconda.

        1. The Dogs Meevonks

          Re: BMW minimalism

          Honda did that on my old 2005 Accord Tourer EX... under the floor I had all this lovely extra space... a can of tyre foam and 12v pump.

          Which is all well and good until some C8nt in a Cayenne hurtles around the corner of a narrow country lane in the middle of the road causing you to have to swerve to avoid them... hitting the cobblestone curb and ripping a 3" gash in the sidewall of your tire.

          I could have popped the emergency spare on and drove the 5 miles from the middle of the country side to a garage to get a new tire... Instead I had to wait 80 mins before some poor guy turns up just as a massive thunderstorm hits... and put an emergency tire on the car and then follows me to said garage so he can get his tire back.

          When I replaced that car with another Honda Accord EX... I made sure that I had an emergency spare in the boot.

        2. John Miles

          Re: spare tire from your trunk/boot

          I thought they were one of the first, they switched to run flat tyres for most cars so you could usually drive to somewhere when the warning comes up (though personally I'd avoid run flats as they are rather hard on ride)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: spare tire from your trunk/boot

            Runflats are OK when you've got a small puncture, they aren't any use when they've been sliced open.

            1. John Miles

              Re: spare tire from your trunk/boot

              A spare isn't much good if you can't change the wheel, which is probably most drivers now. If I get a puncture, to be honest with the size and weight of the wheels on my car, I am probably going to call the breakdown service to change it anyway

          2. hoola Silver badge

            Re: spare tire from your trunk/boot

            VW UP!, we bought it to replace a much older one that had a real (full size) spare wheel & jack. Previous runabouts had all had one as well, It never occurred to me that the place for the spare wheel would be filled with a sodding speaker! WTF.

            Son is learning to drive and he managed to clip a curb and with some real bad luck, the tyre had a cut that failed spectacularly the following morning a mile from home. Pissing with rain, I go to take the other car to rescue my wife can get to work and then am left to sort this out. If it had a spare then it could have been fixed in minutes. No amount of tyre sealant was going to make it usable.

    2. Dave K Silver badge

      There is no price...

      The thing is, this is for a new model of phone. Hence there is no existing price for the phone with the accessories, so Apple can strip the accessories and we cannot tell if they've adjusted the price or not.

      In all honesty, the move does make sense actually and some other phone companies should do the same. I've got dozens of USB chargers and several pairs of headphones kicking around as they often outlive their original device. Hence if a new phone came without these, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest. Similar to when I was office based, we had boxes full of spare chargers and headphones...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: There is no price...

        "I've got dozens of USB chargers"

        So does everyone. The funny thing is you can never find one when you want one, at least not one with the USB variant you were looking for and certainly not the high current one you know you have somewhere.

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

          Re: There is no price...

          "The funny thing is you can never find one when you want one ... "

          The USB charger is the larval stage of the odd sock.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: There is no price...

            I thought it was the larval stage of the wire coat-hanger.

            1. hplasm

              Re: There is no price...

              "...larval stage of the wire coat-hanger."

              Which is the pupal stage of the shopping trolley.

              1. DiViDeD Silver badge

                Re: pupal stage of the shopping trolley.

                Hold on - I thought the pupal stage of the shopping trolley was the snowglobe?

                RIP Sir pTerry

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: There is no price...

        You’re right of course. It does make sense. It’s great for the environment, and I dislike waste. But only if the bastards use the fucking standards! I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve put a phone or tablet on charge, for a message to pop up saying that it doesn’t like the cable or plug, and will thus charge at half speed. This despite the fact that it’s a higher than USB spec set of kit that other gadgets are happy to use at full power.

        I’ve currently only got one USB C device, so don’t know if this improves things. Here’s hoping.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi

          Re: There is no price...

          An HP laptop I presume?

        2. Unicornpiss

          Re: There is no price...

          "I’ve currently only got one USB C device, so don’t know if this improves things. Here’s hoping."

          It might help until you break the flimsy USB-C connector.

          Not that it applies to phones or tablets so much, but Dell docks for laptops are the worst---flimsy USB-C connector with a large handle that if bumped, gives great leverage to bend or break the connector in a second. The plastic handle is of poor quality too, so when you bend it, the metal part acts as a wedge and likes to split the the plastic apart. Just a ridiculously poor design. The firmware on the docks tends to match the quality of the connector too.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: There is no price...

            Just a ridiculously poor design. The firmware on the docks tends to match the quality of the connector too.

            Are you assuming that the design goal was to produce something of high quality that would last a long time?

            If you build something that breaks often then you sell lots of them.

      3. Nick Pettefar

        Re: There is no price...

        They could include a voucher to get a discount on EarPods... Nah, too intelligent!

      4. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: There is no price...

        "I've got dozens of USB chargers and several pairs of headphones kicking around as they often outlive their original device."

        Me too. So instead of wondering where chargers and such are, I have one in the bedroom, one by the computer, one in the living room...

        It's worth noting, however, that only two of them are capable of stepping up to 9V for fast charge, and only three of them are up to charging the tablet.

        That being said, can I find the right USB cable? Can I heck. I went on Amazon and got this brilliant cable that has lightning, USB C, and micro USB all together. Got a couple of those that stay with the charger so whatever needs a charge can get it without the "dammit this one is USB C" problem.

        As for earphones, I'm currently using proper Bluetooth headphones as ear lugs sound rubbish, often fall out, and don't last very long at all. Plus, I now have a lovely noise cancelling pair that is brilliant for using when mowing (context: it's a ride-on and a full mow takes a little under three hours).

    3. Unicornpiss

      Already cheaping out..

      Apple already changed some time back from the nice, reusable plastic case included with new phones to winding them on a crappy cardboard spool like you'd get with a bit of twine. And the charging cables seem to disintegrate much faster than aftermarket solutions. Unless they found a way to make the headphones themselves out of cardboard, this is the next logical step.

  2. Lazlo Woodbine

    To be fair...

    ...who actually uses the bundled earphones anymore?

    Same with the charger, bundled chargers are weedy, best to buy a decent 2amp multiport model to charge multiple devices from the same socket

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: To be fair...

      I never use headphones for anything, I hate the damn things whether buds or the old fashioned cans.

      I have three or four pairs in a drawer somewhere, waiting to visit the landfill.

      Charging systems should have been standardised years ago, as it is I have two C to USB cables and either use my desktop or a two port car charger for everything except my cameras.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: To be fair...

      > bundled chargers are weedy, best to buy a decent 2amp multiport

      Depends if your phone shipped with a charger that supports one of the flavours of fast charging. Samsung use one type of fast charging, OnePlus use another - though they both default to 5v 2.1 A if they don't get a handshake from a compatible phone.

      1. Piro Silver badge

        Re: To be fair...

        To be fair, those extremely high charging rates are just going to ruin your battery in the long term anyway. I certainly wouldn't want a fast charger beside my bed, in my opinion you want a slow trickle charge overnight.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: To be fair...

          To be fair, it would be nice if Samsung implemented a feature once found on Sony phones: stops the charging once the battery reaches a user-specified level, eg. 85%.

          Apparently no app can add this feature to Samsung phones without rooting. I have considered adding a shut-off timer in-line to a usb cable, but that's more so I don't deplete power banks when camping etc.

          Sony, Apple and Toshiba laptops, and likely some others, also stop short of charging to 100% but the option is presented and managed differently. Certainly I've known MacBooks that still have a usuable battery after years of being left plugged in, in contrast to my budget Dell laptop.

    3. DemeterLast

      Re: To be fair...

      I do. The wired Apple headphones are pretty good for hands-free, and acceptable for music. I don't mind having a couple of them hanging around as I inevitably ruin them by snagging the cable on something. I just use the pair I have until I break it, then head to the Drawer of Holding to grab another pair.

      I hate wireless mice, keyboards and headphones. I'm not replacing batteries in my computer peripherals, and I don't want what is, technically, a tiny potential bomb crammed into my ear.

      If the supply of Apple headphones dries up, I'll go shopping for an aftermarket pair. I won't be paying Apple prices for them.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: To be fair...

        I use my bundled Apple headphones a little. I don’t like earbuds, so prefer the bulkier cans I buy, but they’re no use if I’m wearing a sun hat. They won’t go over the brim. I tend to wear cricket hats, because I burn so fast I make gingers look like Morgan Freeman...

        Smiley face because the sun has recently had his hat on.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          burn so fast I make gingers look like Morgan Freeman...

          If there's a vote for the comment soundbite of the year, can I nominate this?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love Apple.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Go on, let us in on the secret - this is a poll isn't it....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > "I love Apple."


      I prefer blackberry. Or at least used to.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gets my vote...

    I've too many chargers and cables to count (not just from Apple, and never the right cable when you need one).

    USB C is the right connector to force as a common standard (until some new super feature comes along that needs something different).

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Gets my vote...

      During the mid 2000s, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Samsung seemed to never twice use the same proprietary connector - even across models in the same year! - and more often than not built the cable into the charger. Nor would they commonly use 3.5mm for headsets. Grr.

      1. vir

        Re: Gets my vote...

        And let's not forget the horror of plugs hard-wired into weird voltage power supplies either. No luck pairing a cable with any old USB port, the charger was at 9.6 volts!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gets my vote...

        I had a raft of Sony Ericssons from the K750i to the W995i (5 or 6 from circa 2004 to 2010) and they all used the same propriety push/snap multi-pin connector for power, car kits and even external photo flash modules, And the batteries where the same for 2 or 3 models in a row too.

        It was one of the reasons I stayed with SE phones all that time.

        (Oh, and they all used MemoryStick too, Which turned out to be useful at the time if you had a Vaio.)

    2. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: Gets my vote...

      I remember the ballache when Nokia switched from their 3.5mm pin charger to 2mm. For the under 30s reading, *everyone* had a Nokia charger back in the late 90s/early 00s, so you never needed to carry one anywhere. Then they changed it so your new phone lost access to the ubiquitous charging network you once had. Bad times.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Re: Gets my vote...

        I remember buying some Christmas gifts from back then and receiving a free gift, which was a keyring version of the Nokia charger you could attach a 9V battery to in case you ran out of charge. A very early version of the powerbanks that everyone seems to have now.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Gets my vote...

      "USB C is the right connector to force as a common standard (until some new super feature comes along that needs something different)."

      I am happy to go along with that when we force a common standard on USB-C. This means no display-only cables, no everything-but-display cables, no Thunderbolt-only cables, and while we're at it, no power-only cables and every cable at least capable of delivering 5V 1A. I already have functional but very annoying power-only micro USB cables which tend to turn up every time I really want to move some data to a device with a micro USB port; I don't want to repeat the experience with even more options for a not working cable. When every USB-C cable either carries all types of data or is broken, we can force its adoption. Until then, I don't think we should force something on people that is unwilling to adopt a standard itself.

  5. Gonzo wizard

    Yes please

    Any charger will do, and I've never been a fan of the headphones. They leak noise. Less waste all round.

    Just... don't expect to be able to tell the difference in the price. After all, combined these two things together probably only cost a couple of quid at the volume Apple makes them...

    1. really_adf

      Re: Yes please

      Just... don't expect to be able to tell the difference in the price. After all, combined these two things together probably only cost a couple of quid at the volume Apple makes them...

      Possibly more saving from reduced packaging and transporting more boxed phones per unit volume than the cost of the electronics.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Yes please

      I'm not a fan of the Apple ear buds since they fall out if my left ear due to the shape of my ear, and I don't like the noise they leak when worn by teenagers on trains.

      However, they don't block external noise in the way that in-ear buds do - which is a feature if you're walking along a road and need to be aware of your surroundings, or a bug if you're sat at your desk trying to concentrate on your work and not the noisy office around you.

      Apparently the Apple In Ear Monitors were considered good value for Balanced Armature Drivers. But that was before 'Chi Fi' (high quality components assembled into a product with variable build quality as prices so low you can afford to take a lucky dip) became a thing.

  6. drand

    Fast charging

    Reasonable idea on the grounds of cutting waste, in the established markets at least. But we really need to settle on a family of backwards/forwards compatible fast-charging standards between chip manufacturers too. I'd be happy to have the charger unbundled and buy one with #ports/power output to suit my needs, IF I had some confidence it would fast-charge all my kit. It doesn't need to be as difficult as it is - looking at you, Planet Gemini. Oh and headphones, they go straight in the electronics recycling. I've never had a pair that came with a phone that weren't terribly uncomfortable.

    1. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: Fast charging

      Does anyone now of any independent assessment of fast charging.. How much battery lifespan do we trade for fast charging?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fast charging

        I've been led to believe that fast charging will shorten battery life more than regular charging, but I don't have any metrics.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fast charging

          I wonder how many people really *need* fast charging. My iPhone needs charging every 2/3 days - and then goes on the wireless pad on my bedside table overnight - fast charging is of no use to me. Even if my phone needed daily charging, it would still be best done overnight, when fast is no benefit.

          And by replacing a few power sockets around the house, plenty of USB-A charging points.

          Without hunting for wall warts...

        2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: Fast charging

          I think it varies by device and charger. Fast charging will heat up the battery, and excessive heat will shorten its life. That said -- my understanding is that the specific fast charging method, battery controller, ambient temperature while charging, and thermal design of the device itself can all influence the amount of actual harm to the battery.

  7. Lee D Silver badge

    I bought a new phone recently and one of the reasons for that was that I'm moving everything from microUSB to USB-C.

    So far I have two battery packs (including torch) with both USB-C and microUSB charging, and a USB and USB-C output, a USB-C phone, adaptors from USB->USB-C and vice versa, a USB-C -> HDMI/VGA/Ethernet/Audio/4xUSB/SDcard adaptor, a USB-C fast charger (20V) and more.

    The bits have cost me about £30 in total. And provide back and forward compatibility for my old and new devices.

    I don't keep Lightning connectors - who the hell uses some mysterious third-party junk that adds nothing? But I have a small bag, about the size of a school exercise book, which has adaptors and cables for just about everything that goes with me if I go on holiday or visit friends. People are always asking for a cable and I can cobble them together almost anything (Sorry, it's an Apple? Yeah, you're on your own).

    Let's just say that USB is the standard now. Stop faffing about. Low-voltage DC is just USB now. I'm eyeing up a new laptop - all USB-C charging and USB-C ports. Chromebooks, same.

    Less waste, but we also need people to stop being stupid and still bundling "adaptors" rather than just putting a compliant USB-C port on things. That's where the whole Apple thing falls down and they get away with it year after year.

    As such, yes, it's good to remove the charger because eventually everyone will have them in their wall-sockets and extension leads anyway. Eventually they'll all be the auto-negotiating 20V fast-charge things too. But let's not pretend that Apple are doing this out of the love of the environment - it'll save them money, and they'll make more back in Lightning patents.

    I'm not changing anything again until USB-C is literally obsolete and there are serious advantages to moving to USB-Whatever. Judging by standard USB/microUSB, that's - what... 10-20 years away?

    1. Dave559 Silver badge

      Low-voltage DC is just USB now

      "Low-voltage DC is just USB now."

      Hell, yeah!

      How many home electronics gadgets (apart from, perhaps, TVs, and I wouldn't be surprised if you could even power LCD TVs over USB-C) actually need a mains voltage supply these days?

      I bought a small desk fan recently that runs off a USB-A socket rather than mains directly (so I could even run it off my computer, if I wanted). With the extra power that you can get from USB-C, it should really now be the universal power supply for everything that it can handle. I'm sure we all have assorted gadgets, from shavers and electric toothbrushes, to clock radios and bedside lights, etc, all of which would probably work fine from USB-C supplies. And we wouldn't need to festoon our rooms with huge and ugly multi-way mains plug cables (yes, UK plugs, I am especially looking at you), you could fit about a dozen USB-C ports into the space of one or two mains plug sockets on the extension cable, and then only need the one mains plug to actually plug into the wall.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

        USB-C can deliver 100W.

        A lot of modern gaming laptops use USB-C as their only power source.

        More than enough for a LCD TV and most other things you mention. USB shavers and toothbrushes already exist. My clock radio actually is a USB charger too. Lights, especially LED lights, are way within USB range.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

          One complaint that I have with USB-powered laptops that many refuse to charge at all unless you have a full power charger. I've never had that problem with USB-powered phones, even with some very low power (<1A) charging ports.

          There have been a couple of times when my Dell Latitude died on me and my 24W car charger was worthless since the laptop ignores anything under 65W.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

            There's a reason for that - 24W is barely enough to turn those kinds of things on, let alone operate-and-charge at the same time. Even my old laptop would fail to charge on certain 19v chargers - it would accept them, but if you did anything vaguely interesting, the battery charge would fall WHILE it was running on mains... you just need more oomph.

            Now, granted, it should warn about that scenario, but there's no way on earth you're ever going to power a laptop in any fashion from an ordinary 500ma/1A/2A USB cable. The voltage is only 5v, for a start, which is not enough to charge a 17/18v battery at all, no matter the current - the physics just isn't there. There's a reason we have 19v chargers and why USB-C's high-power mode is 20v. You'd actually be better off with a PoE charger... at least that can hit 47v!

            Phones generally only have a 3.7v or thereabouts battery. That's why they can trickle-charge from just about anything. Hell, you could arrange three AA's and it would charge.

            Without voltage transformers (which cause even more loss of power), there's no way "ordinary" USB can charge something like a laptop, especially not if it's running at the same time.

            You need the "full" charger, as you say, which is one that provides the 20v negotiation. Not all chargers, cables or devices are capable of utilising it - it was a much later standard and required complete hardware redesign and extra chippery to manage it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

              Sounds like the sticking point is the lack of voltage step-up circuitry in the laptop. My car charger peaks at only 12V on the output.

              Looking at newer chargers hitting the market, I see a number of sub-60W models that include 20V output, so I wonder if the situation will change. Even if the drain exceeds the draw, it would be useful to have the ability to use lower current chargers in the event of an emergency.

            2. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

              If this was a 24W charger, it was already using USB-PD. 5V on USB tops out at 15W. Given this, the laptop should at least be able to charge slowly from that power source. While it wouldn't be able to run and charge because the power is too low, it should be able to charge for use later. If Dell has decided it shouldn't, I entirely understand the irritation.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

        I have four Euro plug sockets with piggy backed USB chargers built into them ready for when I rewire the house later in the year. They were about €15 each from Brico Depot ( B&Q in Spain).

        One for the kitchen, one for the salon and one for each bedroom.

        I see them going into every refurb here in Spain.

        1. IGotOut Silver badge

          Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

          "I have four Euro plug sockets with piggy backed USB chargers built into them...."

          Check the power rating, they are usually utter shit.

          2.1 amp? Yeah across both. Plug in two devices and watch you charge rate plummet.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

            Not to mention that they're expensive, especially for the newer ones that support 18W charging USB PD or QC. I can purchase a 20-pack of standard mains receptacles for the price of one of those. They also tend to be a tight fit in many electrical boxes. And as you point out, the advertised power rating is usually for the unit in total, not per port.

            They might be nice for hotels or guest rooms, but I wouldn't want them elsewhere.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

          I've binned all the bundled chargers and gone for multi-port mains-cabled chargers instead.

          e.g. Anker or Aukey:

          (If you have a USB C PD laptop you can even delete your laptop supply,)

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

        "How many home electronics gadgets ...actually need a mains voltage supply these days?"

        USB chargers.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      And I have started buying extension cables with built-in USB ports, which means even fewer chargers required.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      > I don't keep Lightning connectors - who the hell uses some mysterious third-party junk that adds nothing?

      When Lightening came out it, it was clearly superior in some ways to any standard alternative. That was before USB C, however. The advantages of Lightening over USB C are more debatable.

      > bundling "adaptors" rather than just putting a compliant USB-C port on things. That's where the whole Apple thing falls down and they get away with it year after year.

      Apple just were never the big offenders here - see my above comment about Samsung et al back in the day (and that didn't even mention the following phases of mini usb, micro usb and eventually USB C). If reducing cable waste is your objective, I'm not sure how rendering an iPhone owner's existing collection of Lightening cables as e-waste helps. In terms of reducing e-waste, Apple at least sell phones that are supported for updates for several years

      - Sent from my Samsung Galaxy

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Normally , it's more for less but here we have a simple case of less for more.

    Lots of people won't have a standard set of headphones (or they might from their old phone). Not everyone wants airpods either. With or without headphones I can probably live without.

    The charger one - as long as it's on USB-C, I have a few of them about and slow chargers in the wall sockets. Again, I could probably use the fast charger that came with my old phone.

    I personally think everything needed to operate the phone should be in the package - headphones are extra but powering the thing - the charger should come as standard. Also - would Apple refuse to repair as you used a charger ordered off Wish/Amazon?

    1. vtcodger Silver badge


      Of course, conceptually, they could offer the user the option of a phone with no charger or headset, or, for a bit more, the "Executive Package" that includes both. But that might strain the mental limits of some of their customers -- who are, after all, a cross section of humanity -- more than a bit.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Or

        Well, if some did buy an iPhone without a charger, and they had no existing charger (wow, in 2020?!), they would have to... go to the nearest petrol station or supermarket. I don't know of a single such outlet that doesn't sell chargers or iPhone cables.

        Sheeit, as a Samsung owner, I notice that Lightening cables are easier and cheaper to find than USB C cables on the high street.

        Such items are also the kind of thing that Amazon will deliver within a few hours, if you live in a bigger city.

        Or borrow one from a friend or neighbor.

  9. Dave Pickles

    So are Apple guaranteeing that they will use the same charging connector/method and audio interface for the next five generations of their phones?

    Thought not.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple survey

    Interestingly, I bought an iPhone SE 2020 recently, and Apple later sent me a follow up survey. It included questions about whether I use or find useful the included power plug and headphones (I said no, respectively, because: Apple (UK) plugs aren't very ergonomically recessed at the sides and so are a literal pain to pull out of plug sockets when you need to, and also, like many of us, I have several gadgets needing charged, and so use a 4-way USB charging plug instead; and, for the headphones, I find the supplied Apple headphones a bit crap and quite uncomfortable in the ears (do many people actually use them, other than the iconic characters in the iDevice adverts, I wonder?))

    The survey also asked, among other things, whether Touch ID was a big influence on my choice of phone (yes, yes, yes), and what I thought of the size (I wouldn't mind a slightly larger phone with a slightly larger screen, but too much bigger and it would be uncomfortable for my hands/fingers, which aren't the largest).

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Apple survey

      That TouchID question is interesting, I imagine they are re-evaluating things in light of the pandemic induced mask wearing and may bring back Touch ID (under the screen) to work alongside Face ID in the future. Though I wonder if there isn't a way using something other than IR to see "through" masks to the face underneath...

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Apple survey

        "Though I wonder if there isn't a way using something other than IR to see "through" masks to the face underneath..."

        For some reason that immediately triggered a mental image of a long flexible tentacle reaching out of the phone, lifting the mask aside momentarily, then tucking the mask back into place and retracting into the phone. Too much bad Fantasy/SciFi TV I suppose.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Apple survey

          Of course the Touch ID doesn't necessarily work if the user is wearing gloves. I'm sure it's technically possible to design a fingerprint sensor that does work with, at least, latex or nitrile inspection gloves, though possibly not optically, or as fast. Doing it ultrasonically would benefit from a liquid medium between gloves digit and sensor, e.g hand sanitiser gel.

  11. Stevie Silver badge


    "Trying to reduce waste or funnelling punters into investing in AirPods?"

    Ooh! Ooh! I know the answer to this one!

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Bah!

      Don’t put your hand up too fast, or you’ll knock one AirPod out of your ear, and it’ll be lost down a drain somewhere. Also, why are you listening to music in class!

      1. MrBanana Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        My wife was considering these devices for her next headphone choice - convenient but, but... she was at an airport, and someone was running for a closing gate... earbud thingy fell out of their ear... she unintentionally kicked it across the concourse... would you reverse and scrabble to find it, or keep running to get to your plane? She's now opted for the wired/wireless type that you drape around your neck

  12. 45RPM Silver badge

    Chargers? Waste of money. The bundled chargers tend to be anemic, and most people have better chargers coming out of their ears or even USB sockets on their wall sockets in the house and also in the car. I’d like to keep having a charge cable bundled - and especially if Apple insists on retaining a non-standard port rather than USB-C.

    Headphones? Double waste of money. Bundled headphones are nearly always crap. I’ve got a drawer full of the things. I don’t need more e-waste to get rid of. Headphones are a very personal thing - what sounds great to you might sound like crap to me. It would be better to include a voucher in the box redeemable against your headphones of choice. Unless you’re exceedingly undiscerning, the voucher wouldn’t cover the full cost - but it would be a start.

    Other things that I’d replace with vouchers include saddles on bicycles. It’s the first thing that I replace since no two people have the same bottom, and so it makes no sense to include a one size fits all saddle on a bike.

    So, El Reg, stop grumbling. This is a good thing - no one needs more shit to throw away. Especially if they drop the price.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      >Especially if they drop the price.

      That's being a bit optimistic.

      Everyone seems to think that the cost savings are primarily from not shipping a charger and earbuds with the phone. I think the real savings come from not having connectors. Its not just the parts themselves, its that they're relatively bulky, they have to be placed in particular locations on the circuit board and they represent a mechanical weak point. Just building a hermetic iThingy realizes huge cost savings that won't be passed onto Apple's fandom (and as a bonus the product will be effectively unfixable so the feel good "I'm reducing eWaste" thing will be mostly illusion).

  13. logicalextreme Silver badge

    I honestly thought this was satire when I read the headline

    And that the implication was that Apple were removing the ability to charge the next iPhone entirely, along with the ability to use headphones because they encourage media usage which would drain the new one-time-use iBattery faster than necessary.

  14. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    charging standard

    Of course, there already is a charging standard that EVERYONE but Apple uses. If the goal was ACTUALLY to get rid of numerous incompatible chargers, Apple could just include a USB-C charger (that everything but Apple products use) and the USB-C to lightning adapter cable they already include in the box.

    What a ridiculous cash grab. I can get an Android phone for like $75 and it includes a charger! (Doesn't include headphones, but has a standard headphone jack so I can get like $5 headphones if I want.)

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: charging standard

      Well you've got your wish, the iPhone 11 already comes with a USB-C charger and separate USB-C to Lightning to connect to it.

      Its great that your $75 phone comes with a charger, but how many chargers do you have now and how many more do you think you need?

      What I'd really like to see is for no one to ship accessories, but instead put a coupon in the box to mail off for a free charger and cable if you are one of the 35 remaining people on Earth who don't already have several spare chargers and cables laying around.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: charging standard

        USB-C to Lightning?

        Why not just USB-C?

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: charging standard

          Because Apple went to Lightning before USB-C was created, and doesn't want to change again just for the sake of change. If they get rid of Lightning I wouldn't be too sure they go USB-C, they might drop the port and do all power and data exchange wirelessly.

          1. Lotaresco

            Re: charging standard

            " If they get rid of Lightning I wouldn't be too sure they go USB-C, "

            Keep up, Apple have already gone to USB-C.

  15. Updraft102

    ...Its great that your $75 phone comes with a charger, but how many chargers do you have now and how many more do you think you need?"

    In my case... None and just one, respectively. I'd return a phone that didn't have the charger in the box, so I guess I won't be getting one of these as my first smart phone either.

    On top of that, I know I am going to be paying for the charger either way, whether or not I receive it, and that being the case, I want what I paid for, even if it was redundant.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      What difference does it make to you if you buy a [phone and charger] for 75 groats, or a [phone, 72 groats] and a [charger, 2 groats]? The total is the same, unless I've missed something in your arithmetic.

      It costs you nothing, but benefits those people who have plenty of chargers already.

      1. logicalextreme Silver badge

        They definitely won't be reducing their intended price by the same amount as they sell their chargers for though; we all know that. It'll certainly cost people more overall, but probably not too many people. And I think the net supply/demand effect will indeed be that less chargers (and headphones) need to be manufactured, which is surely a small win on the environmental front. I expect Apple's included headphones are of a pretty decent quality but I know for a fact I've only used free phone headphones in "emergencies" cause they're usually uncomfortable and crap.

        I've personally liked getting a charger with my last two phones though because they've been 2A or above, and trying to find even a single-port 2A wall charger for less than £25 was a lot harder than it should have been a few years ago (plus the last phone I got a couple of years back contained the first USB-C cable I've ever owned in the box, which was handy because it meant I could charge the phone).

        I wouldn't return a phone that came without a charger though, if the description hadn't mentioned a charger. Invariably when an appliance is sold without an adapter/power cable it's made quite clear up front. Batteries not included etc. etc.

  16. DerekCurrie

    Charger: Don't need it. Headphones: Damned well Include them, cheapskates!

    Kuo has been wrong, of course. But he nailed the Apple precipice dive into ARM Macs. Considering that ill-considered move by Apple, I could believe they'd pull the boner move of yanking their wired headphones. *grumble*

    This isn't Steve Jobs' Apple any more, of course. But Apple has been perfecting its methods of how to tick off customers over the course of the last four years. *sigh*

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Charger: Don't need it. Headphones: Damned well Include them, cheapskates!

      > the Apple precipice dive into ARM Macs. Considering that ill-considered move by Apple

      What's your issue with ARM Macs? I note that you didn't comment under any articles about ARM Macs.

      1. Lotaresco

        Re: Charger: Don't need it. Headphones: Damned well Include them, cheapskates!

        "What's your issue with ARM Macs?"

        Possibly one of those who is doesn't know that Apple have used Motorola, IBM and Intel processors in previous models and at each change of processor architecture the users were mostly unaware of the change. I keep seeing the unknowing predicting dire things if Apple changes to ARM, usually based on a flawed understanding of how Apple has implemented emulation in the past. Given the design of MacOS it's possible to execute most of the system code natively and emulate only the small fraction of code that is created by the developer. Microsoft has always struggled with replatforming code, Apple were fortunate to inherit the excellent design work done by (mostly) Xerox PARC engineers.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple earphones


    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Apple earphones

      My ears are the wrong shape, and my work place means I benefit from noise isolating ear buds.

      For other people though - those needing to keep partially aware of their surroundings by being able hear ambient noise - they seem to be fit for purpose.

  18. tcmonkey

    "Apple would only include a USB-C to Lightning cable with its next crop of phones"

    Still no USB-C iPhones then? That's the most disappointing part of the whole article. I won't personally miss the snail's pace charger or earphones so bad they make listening a chore.

  19. Lotaresco

    Great News!

    Because presumably Apple will now remove the code that makes an iThing whine or refuse to charge when a non-Apple USB charger is used. Oh wait, you mean they won't be doing that? How naïve of me.

  20. applethings

    A view of iPhone 12

    iPhone 12 has a great features and specifications but the only thing it was lagging was it won't provide any accessories including charger within the box. When a user spends a lot of money he/she need to get some basic accessories but apple announced that they won't provide anything except the box. This brough a huge disappointment among users. we need to look a head to know how this will effect the sales

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