What I read about charging an iPhone 12 seems very confusing. Here's what I understand and my questions.

  1. It supports wireless charging at 7.5 Watt.
  2. It supports wireless charging at 15 Watt with a "MagSafe" charger. Question: So I need to connect the iPhone to the "MagSafe" charger and that has a cable plugged into the wall? Since I wouldn't call that "wireless" do I understand this completely wrong?
  3. It supports USB-C charging with up to 20 Watt. Which means I need a USB-C charging port and the supplied USB-C to Lightning cable.
  4. It supports USB-A charging. Which means I need any old USB-A port and any USB-A to Lightning cable, which most people already have. Question: Is that correct? And how many watts can be supplied that way, especially if I use a higher powered Apple charger, or an Anker charger with "IQ ports"?
  • This might be better as two questions. One covering lightning charge connector since it doesn’t matter what is on the other end of the cable if the lightning ports connect and signal wattage to the phone. One on wireless chargers.
    – bmike
    Oct 18, 2020 at 0:44
  • @bmike Well, I don't know what matters and what doesn't matter.
    – gnasher729
    Oct 18, 2020 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


Let's clear some things up:

  • Wireless Charging refers to the Qi wireless charging standard that allows you to charge your phone without directly plugging it in. You place it on a charging pad, or in the case of the new iPhone 12, the MagSafe charger will magnetically align it for you. You have to plug the base (transmitter) into the wall - it can't obtain power from thin air.

  • USB-C charging conforms to the USB-C Power Delivery spec in which it negotiates higher charging rates. To get those higher rates, you need a USB-C charger rated to at least 20W. You can use a higher one with no problem. If you use a lower rated one (i.e. the 5W charger) but, you won't get the faster charging speeds; it may not even charge at all.

  • The "regular" USB type A charger (that everyone has) can typically supply up to 12 watts of power. You can use a charger that supplies more, but the phone will not draw any more than 12 watts. Again, I recommend, using chargers with higher wattage ratings.

  • Anker PowerIQ is Anker's technology that identifies what it's connected to so that it can deliver the maximum charge to the device connected. The first generation of PowerIQ delivered up to 12W and PowerIQ 2.0 can deliver up to 18W. These really have nothing to do with Apple's products per se other than they are compatible.


The charger (the thing that plugs into the wall) is required; period. Regardless if it's USB-A or USB-C, you can always use a "larger" charger than what is called for, in fact, I recommend it. A USB-A charger will typically max out at 12W (5V @ 2.4A). A USB-C charger will go up to 20W.

If you go wireless, you still need a charger (USB-C) and the maximum you'll get is 15W using MagSafe and only half that (7.5W) using a regular Qi charger. No matter what, you still need to plug the Qi base into the wall and the sizing rules still apply - get an adapter "larger" than what you need (i.e. get at least 20W). You can use a USB-C MacBook charger rated at 91W with no problems whatsoever. The 5W charger that came in the iPhone SE box will not cut it.

You can use either the new USB-C charger with Power Delivery or your can use the older USB (type A) chargers that supply 5V at 2.4 Amps

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