iPad and iPhone charger compatibility
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I’ve got an iPad 2 and an iPhone 3GS which both came with their own chargers but both use the same data cable. Can I use either charger to charge either device?
A: Apple’s USB chargers for iPhones and iPods are generally interchangeable and even old chargers for the fifth-generation click wheel iPod can still be used to charge an iPhone or iPod touch.
The iPad is a special case, however, as it requires a higher charging current. Although the adapter included with the iPad looks identical to other Apple chargers, if you read the fine print you’ll see it’s actually a “10W USB Power Adapter,” providing 2.1A of charging current. By comparison, the standard iPhone charger only supplies 1A of current. What this means is that you can’t realistically use the iPhone charge an iPad—it simply doesn’t provide enough juice. You won’t harm the iPad or the charger by plugging it in, but you’ll be presented with a “Not Charging” message in the top right corner of the screen.
Note that the iPad charger can be used with an iPhone or iPod touch, however, which may save you the trouble of having to pack an extra charger when travelling. The iPhone, like any other electronic device, will only draw the current that it actually needs and can handle, so when using the higher-current charger, the iPhone still only draws 1A.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple
- Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct
- Apple adds nine more apps to universal search in Apple TV
- WSJ: iPhone to see modest changes this year, eliminate headphone jack
- China tightening restrictions on mobile games starting next month
- Supreme Court patent ruling bodes well for future Apple cases
- Apple to pay $400M to consumers over e-book price fixing case
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
- Twelve South BookBook for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Spigen Rugged Armor, Style Armor + Wallet S for iPhone SE
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app