Apple chargers could become smaller, lighter with GaN adoption

Apple's chargers have become the center of attention a few months back and not exactly in a good way. The company's decision to exclude the power adapter from iPhone packaging didn't sit well with everyone but that doesn't mean Apple isn't innovating its charging technology anymore. On the contrary, that actually means it can aim even higher for something consumers might want to buy, especially if they end up being more portable as this report seems to imply.

While battery technology in smartphones and laptops has pretty much remained the same for years, innovation in chargers have been making sprints in contrast. In addition to fast charging in smartphones, many brands are moving over to the use of GaN or Gallium nitride for the chargers themselves. Without getting into the nitty-gritty tech details, GaN chargers are smaller and lighter while being able to deliver even higher power output.

Apple has been rumored to be working on advancing its chargers for 2021 and, according to the famed Ming-chi Kuo, might launch 2 to 3 new power bricks this year. He didn't go into detail about what those new chargers would be bringing to the table but this report from industry sources pretty much nails it down to GaN technology.

According to DigiTimes, Ireland-based Navitas Semiconductor has received orders from Apple and other vendors for its GaN-on-Si chips. Navitas supplies these chips to companies like Anker, Aukey, and Belkin who specialize in power solutions like chargers and power banks. These have also started embracing and marketing GaN chargers in their latest products.

That said, there's no timeline yet for Apple's new chargers or, more importantly, how much more expensive they will be. While the price impact might not have much difference for Apple's other devices like MacBooks, more expensive iPhone chargers could make their removal from boxes become even more controversial.