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Apple's mini 18W USB-C charger may be real after all

Rumors of a more powerful 18-Watt USB-C wall charger supposedly being bundled with this fall's iPhone releases have been bolstered, with the surfacing of photographs appearing to depict an engineering sample of the alleged accessory.

Photographs published by Chongdiantou and spotted by Macotakara show the charging plug from three different angles. Along with showing the side and plug prongs in one shot, a second simply shows the USB-C connection at the top of the device, where the USB-C to Lightning connector would be inserted.

The third photograph is blurry but readable, showing it to be an engineering sample. At the bottom the output data claims it can provide up to 5 Volts of power at 3 Amps, equating to 15 Watts delivered to the iPhone, or for 9V to be delivered at 2A, namely 18W.

While this is one of the first credible photographs of the rumored charger, there is no guarantee that it is genuine. A May report included alleged renderings of the European version of the iPhone charger, again offering 18W of power.

Currently, iPhones ship with the same 5W USB-A charger, despite the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X all supporting Fast Charging, using a USB-C to Lightning cable and a charger with a higher wattage. Fast Charging allows an iPhone to charge to 50 percent of capacity within 30 minutes, which is currently possible using the USB-C wall charger supplied with the MacBook or MacBook Pro, albeit at a relatively high cost.

If Apple does include a USB-C charger with future iPhones, it could also allow third-party accessory producers to create more cables. Apple currently does not allow other vendors to create USB-C to Lightning cables under the MFi certification program, but this stands to change if the rumored charger is included in the iPhone package.