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iPhone 12 accessories: what kit do we expect will come with the new iPhone?

iPhone 11
iPhone 11 (Image credit: TechRadar)

The tech that comes in the iPhone 12 box might be completely different to what you expect, if various leaks and rumors are to be believed.

iPhones generally come with four things in the box - the phone, EarPods with a Lightning connector, a USB to Lightning cable, and a USB power connector.

Well, the iPhone 12 might only come with one of those things, according to some rumors (that 'one thing' is the phone, obviously), as people are speculating that Apple might stop bundling in as much tech alongside the handset.

Different leaks have pointed towards Apple dropping the EarPods, or the charger, or maybe both, and maybe there will be a wildcard thrown in there too. To help you understand the different possible items in the box, we're going to run you through the possible accessories and what we've heard about them so far.

iPhone 12 charger

iPhone 11 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

We've heard lots of leaks saying the iPhone 12 won't come with an in-box charger, with Apple potentially skipping the wall plug and maybe even the USB cable that goes with it.

An analyst has stated as much, an Apple survey hinted towards it, and a recent report backed those up, which if true would suggest wired charging is less of a priority for the company.

The logic goes that many people don't need a new charger when they get a new phone, as if you're buying an iPhone 12 you're probably upgrading from an older iPhone which uses the same Lightning connector.

The phone would likely be a little cheaper to make up for the lack of an in-box charger, letting people who actually do need one buy it themselves. In addition, this would cut down on e-waste as there would be fewer superfluous chargers that go unused.

This lack of a charger isn't a sure thing though - since hearing the rumors that the iPhone 12 will come without a charger, we've heard more that dispute that. One leak showed what the cable apparently looks like, and another apparently shows what the USB power connector (that you plug into the wall) will look like. This leak says the phone will have 20W wired charging, which is faster than the iPhone 11.

Most of the leaks about the charging tech came after the rumors saying there would be no charger, and came from different sources - this could be an attempt for some leakers to prove others wrong, or just to correct errant information. We can't be sure for now.

But there are enough sources disputing the lack of an in-box charger for us to think it's pretty likely that the iPhone 12 will come with one.

iPhone 12 EarPods

(Image credit: Apple)

While EarPods are a staple of iPhones, coming in the boxes with the new phones, a leaker says the iPhone 12 might not have them. Instead, apparently the company will ditch them to bolster sales of its AirPods, which people would presumably want to buy instead.

Presumably, dropping the EarPods will also let Apple drop the price of the iPhone a little bit, and reduce e-waste for people who want to use their own headphones.

A recent report backed up this idea, so it's not coming from a lone voice.

There haven't been as many rumors pointing to the EarPods being dropped as the charger, but if something is being lost from the box, the EarPods make more sense - people are more likely to buy headphones separately than a phone charger.

With so many great true wireless earbuds on the market, now is the perfect time for Apple to drop the EarPods too.

Consider this one possible - we can't call it likely, but it would make sense.

iPhone 12 wildcards

(Image credit: Apple)

If Apple strips stuff out of the iPhone 12 box, could it throw anything else in instead?

We've been expecting Apple AirTags for a while now, and they're said to be Apple's take on Tile trackers - little devices you attach to things, which you can then use an app to find wherever in the world they are.

If Apple introduced the technology at its iPhone 12 launch, a great way to get people to start using them would be to bundle the tech with the new iPhone. But since we've been hearing about AirTags for ages now, and they still haven't materialized, there's no guarantee they'll be coming along any time soon.

Another possible thing to include in the box is a cheap wireless charging pad. Apple is purportedly gearing up to launch a portless iPhone in the next few years, which would rely on wireless charging to power up.

Apple could use the iPhone 12 to 'soft launch' that idea, not by dropping wired charging tech but by nudging people in the direction of wireless. It could get iPhone fans on board with the cordless powering, so the future portless iPhone isn't so much of a leap.

A wireless charging pad would also contribute less to e-waste than a wired charger, since it's far less likely people will have their own wireless charging pads compared to normal chargers.

We'll have to see what comes with the iPhone 12 when it launches later in the year - maybe it'll have a surprisingly futuristic array of accessories, or maybe it'll be the same four things we always see.