Apple has quietly refreshed its MagSafe Duo page to note the fact that wireless charging at the product’s maximum speed isn’t possible without spending extra cash.
It boils down to the fact that the 2-in-1 MagSafe Duo charger needs a 20-watt USB-C charger for faster wireless charging up to 11 watts. For even faster wireless charging up to fourteen watts, you’ll need to purchase a 27-watt or higher USB-C charger.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who spotted the change, notes that Apple doesn’t even sell a 27-watt charger but that’s beyond the point because the MagSafe Duo works with third-party USB-C chargers as long as those devices are compatible with the USB Power Delivery protocol.
“Wow, Apple has just updated the MagSafe Duo page,” Gurman wrote in a tweet. “The $129 charger only gets you 11 watts for charging with a 20-watt brick or 14 watts with a 27-watt brick. That compares to 15 watts you get with the solo MagSafe charger.”
Apple’s 30-watt USB-C charger is a $50 value and the MagSafe Duo is priced at $129. In other words, the MagSafe Duo is a $180 wireless charger if you want it to work at its fastest speed — and you don’t even get the theoretical maximum of 15-watt of fast-charging power.
Apple’s MagSafe system continually regulates the charge being delivered to a connected iPhone based on heat and other factors so even a regular MagSafe charger generally won’t deliver a constant 15 watts, but still, the fact that the MagSafe Duo charger delivers lower peak power than that may be concerning to some potential customers.
This makes the MagSafe Duo a very pricey wireless charger.
Neither the basic MagSafe charger nor the MagSafe Duo charger ships with a power adapter, with Apple noting that a 20-watt or greater USB-C adapter is recommended for the basic MagSafe charger in order to deliver the maximum 15 watts of power supported by MagSafe. (The iPhone 12 mini can charge at a maximum of 12 watts over MagSafe, while all other iPhone 12 models support 15 watts.)
Considering the need to buy a power adapter, the MagSafe Duo charger may just not be worth it. Folks who are in the market for an elegant wireless charging solution that won’t break the bank should consider a third-party product, such as Belkin’s new 3-in-1 charger.
Meanwhile, Apple has yet to announce a launch date for the $129 MagSafe Duo charger.