Michael Potuck at 9to5Mac lays out a compelling case for why Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) should include either a 12-watt or 29-watt power adapter in the box with its iPhones. iPhones currently ship with more modest 5W power adapters, which can’t charge the devices as quickly as either a 12W or 29W adapter.
While including the more powerful power adapters in the box with future iPhones would certainly enhance the out-of-the-box experience for iPhone owners, here’s why I think Apple doesn’t currently do it — and won’t do it anytime soon.
Added costs for Apple
While, as Potuck points out, Apple charges the same $19 on its online store for the 5W and 12W adapters, I suspect that the manufacturing costs of the higher-power adapter are simply higher. Including it in the box with the iPhone instead of the 5W adapter would almost certainly increase the costs of the devices by a significant amount.
Even if Apple would incur a raw-materials cost increase of only $3 to $5 by including a 12W adapter in the box in place of the 5W adapter, multiplying that by 200 million units shipped each year would mean a total annual deduction from Apple’s gross margin of between $600 million and $1 billion.
The impact wouldn’t stop there, though. Raw materials aren’t the only costs involved in getting a product from the factory and into a customer’s hands. The phones need to be shipped all around the world from the factories in which they are produced, and the inclusion of a 12W power adapter would increase the weight of the box the iPhone ships in.
I know that a slight weight increase might seem trivial, but it would lead to increased shipping costs that gnaw away at Apple’s total gross profit and, again, reduce its robust gross profit margin percentage.
This all might not seem like much to Apple, which generated about $60 billion in gross profit during its fiscal 2016, but if there’s no need to…