Remember the tiny USB wall charger that used to ship with old iPhones, iPads, and even some iPods? Apple still sells the power adapter, but it seemingly won’t for much longer.
The official Apple 5W USB Power Adapter is still available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and a few other countries. It has remained nearly identical since it was first included with the iPhone 3G in 2008, with a single USB Type-A port and a maximum charging speed of 5W. That’s much slower than the 15W charging speed that modern iPhones can handle. It’s priced at $19 in the United States.
MacRumors and Mac Otakara report the 5W charger is currently sold out in Apple’s online stores in Australia, Japan, France, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Spain China, and other countries. It seems like the company is slowly phasing it out, as the last remaining stock runs out in each country. Apple still sells a larger 12W power adapter with the same USB Type-A connector, alongside many wall chargers with USB Type-C ports and higher power outputs. Most recently, Apple released a dual-port 35W charger.
Even though faster USB chargers are widely available, slower adapters like the 5W model are still used by some to avoid excessive wear and tear on smartphone batteries. Even though modern smartphones are designed to avoid overheating or wearing out the battery when charging, and usually have software features to limit the maximum battery level or charging speed, using a slower power adapter for overnight charging can still be beneficial for long-term battery health.
Thankfully, if you want to continue charging your devices at slower speeds, there are many other options than Apple’s decade-old $20 charger. Amazon sells a comparable 12W charger for $12.29, and Anker sells one with two 12W ports for $14.39 (at the time of writing).