They look the same and get mixed up. My iPad 2 can't charge with the iPod's cable but vice-versa works.

Might this iPad question apply?: Using an iPod charging cable to charge an iPad

Can this behavior be because the iPad 2 30-pin cable and the iPod touch cable are somehow made differently?

  • 1
    The question you linked to could very well be relevant, as the cables should be identical, but the chargers may well not be.
    – Cajunluke
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:36

2 Answers 2


The USB-to-30-pin-dock cables are electrically identical. All of them can carry enough charging current for both devices. The same is not true for the power sources as the iPad gets a 10W supply and the rest 5W.

What power source are you using with the cables? iPads need more power than most USB ports offer to charge with the screen on.

  • 1
    And even with the screen off the iPad takes a really long time to charge with a standard iPod or iPhone USB charger.
    – Ɱark Ƭ
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:16
  • @bmike Thanks for the edit. That's exactly what I was thinking.
    – Cajunluke
    Aug 29, 2012 at 18:17
  • Interestingly, you can charge off the USB ports on a Macbook Pro pretty fast. I suspect that the MacBook Pro can supply a lot more voltage for just this reason. At least you can charge, though. The first generation iPads simply would not charge on non-iPad chargers.
    – vy32
    Aug 31, 2012 at 3:37
  • @vy32 Yes, most recent Macs will happily charge an iPad. And first-gen iPads could charge on less-than-10-watt chargers, but you had to turn them off first.
    – Cajunluke
    Aug 31, 2012 at 14:20
  • @CajunLuke, ah, but who turned off their iPads? Thanks for the info.
    – vy32
    Aug 31, 2012 at 15:33

The standard iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch cables are identical and interchangeable. As the Apple store item notes:

This USB 2.0 cable connects your iPhone, iPad or iPod — directly or through a Dock — to your computer's USB port for efficient syncing and charging or to the Apple USB Power Adapter for convenient charging from a wall outlet.

However, the chargers are different - as commenter @Mark noted, it takes a long time to charge an iPad with an iPod charger.

iPhone/iPod Touch charger specs (from Amazon):

Input:110-240V 50/60Hz 1.0A, Output:5V==1A

iPad charger specs (from Amazon):

Input: 100-240V 0.45A 50/60Hz, Output : 5.1V 2.1A 10W

The iPad charger can output twice the wattage and current of the iPod charger, so your iPad will charge a lot more slowly if you use your iPod charger (at about a quarter of the speed using the iPad charger). If your iPad is on, it may not even charge because it's power usage is higher than the iPod charger's capacity to charge, as noted in Adam's answer in the question you've quoted.

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