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The Apple Watch doesn't come with a power adapter anymore

For the environment, or to nickel-and-dime us to death?
Nathan Ingraham
September 15, 2020
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Leading into this fall, plenty of rumors swirled around Apple shipping its next iPhones without a power adapter brick. We don’t yet know if that’ll be the case, but today’s Apple event gave us a pretty good sign: all models of the Apple Watch, including the new Series 6, are being sold without the traditional 5W USB power adapter in the box. If you need one, Apple is still happy to sell you one for $19, and the Watch still comes with the magnetic charging cable you’ll need to power it up. Basically, if you’ve bought an iPhone or Apple Watch in the last decade or so, you should have the power adapter you’ll need already.

With that in mind, Apple said during its presentation that removing the power adapter would help it meet its environmental sustainability goals. It’s a valid point, as manufacturing millions of these things to go in the boxes of everyone iPhone or Watch that gets sold certainly adds up. Dramatically reducing the number of power adapters that need to be manufactured could make a positive environmental impact.

Of course, in true Apple fashion, it’s also plausible to wonder if they’re going to boost the bottom line a little with this move. It would be one thing if Apple sold the 5W USB power adapter for $5 or so, but this basic plug is still being sold for $19. Given the relative ubiquity of such adapters these days, though, I personally don’t mind Apple pulling it from the Watch box, but of course your milage may vary. We’ll still need to wait another few weeks before Apple shows off the latest iPhones, but I think it’s safe to guess that the basic iPhone 12 probably will ship without an adapter, too. Here’s hoping Apple continues to include the fast USB-C charger with the high-end iPhone, though.

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