by Brandon Butler
MagSafe charger needs PD 3.0 10/29/2020

Over the week as the new MagSafe magnetic iPhone chargers have been distributed, there’s been some troubling news that the chargers only provide the full 15W output with Apple’s 20W power adaptor (brick) — which is sold separately, of course. But it appears this may not be the whole story. Here’s Juli Clover at MacRumors:

Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 ‌MagSafe‌ charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple does sell a new 20W power adapter alongside the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger, and as it turns out, that seems to be one of the the only charging options able to provide a full 15W of power to the new ‌MagSafe‌ charger at this time.

However, that article has since been updated with the following:

With further testing, Zollo now says that some third-party chargers may work, but those chargers need to be PD 3.0 compatible with specific voltage and amperage output.

USB PD, or Power Delivery, is the specification for how USB distributes power. The 3.0 spec was released just last year, so it’s not surprising that many USB-C chargers in use today don’t support it. It’s also not surprising that Apple doesn’t specify the need for 3.0 — it looks bad that they’ve switched from USB-A to USB-C while saying “everyone already has a brick,” when, in fact, they likely do not.

If it seems that only Apple gets themselves into these situations, well, it is. And it’s entirely self-inflicted from the lack of open communication they insist upon.