Fall is always new iPhone season, and Apple’s newest flagships largely delivered the goods. It’s hard to say the same, though, about at least one prominent new iPhone accessory that came out alongside the iPhone 12.

Apple hyped up its new MagSafe wireless chargers when it revealed the iPhone 12 lineup, with the MagSafe Duo charger looking especially appealing to folks who want to charge multiple Apple products at the same time. At $129, it’s pretty pricey, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman noted that you need to supply your own power adapter, with Apple’s 30W USB-C adapter delivering a total of “up to” 14W wireless charging on MagSafe Duo.

In general, higher wattage means faster charging. There are some other variables that can come into play (different phones have different maximum thresholds, for example), but for the sake of convenience, we can safely say a 30W wired charge that costs $50 (i.e., the standard charging cable) will be more effective than a 14W wireless charge that costs a total of $180 (MagSafe Duo plus charging cable). In fact, Apple makes a 20W charger that, at $19, will also be faster than the best possible MagSafe Duo configuration. Wired is inherently faster than wireless, but the price difference here is too big not to notice.

While it’s probably harsh to call this a scam, it’s tough to argue on behalf of a device that delivers slow wireless charging for nearly $200. There are lots of different ways to charge an iPhone 12, and choosing the right one is a little tougher than usual because Apple doesn’t include chargers with new iPhones anymore. If you really want Apple-branded wireless charging, the solo MagSafe is $40 without an adapter. If not, it’s probably best to stick with the old ways.





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