Some Apple Watches don't come with a USB power adapter anymore

The company wants to produce fewer of those little blocks you might have too many of.

Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala Former Senior Writer
Laura wrote about e-commerce and Amazon, and she occasionally covered cool science topics. Previously, she broke down cybersecurity and privacy issues for CNET readers. Laura is based in Tacoma, Washington, and was into sourdough before the pandemic.
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Laura Hautala
2 min read

Sick of piling up power adapters every time you get new tech? Apple is no longer going to send out the little blocks that plug USB cables into power outlets with some new Apple Watches.

The company made the change as part of its effort to reduce its carbon footprint, said Lisa P. Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, at an event announcing updates to iPads and Apple Watches Tuesday.

"Sometimes, it's not what we make, but what we don't make that counts," Jackson said. She added that Apple knows its customers are accumulating USB adapters and that making millions of them "consumes resources and adds to our carbon footprint."

The change doesn't appear to apply to Apple Watches sold with some luxury cases and bands, including one model with a titanium case and another with a "handcrafted" leather watchband designed by Hermes. Both products list the USB power adapter as coming with the device.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on why these high-end models come with the adapters, or whether the decision not to send adapters with non-luxury watches has to do with costs. A five-watt USB adapter costs $19 on Apple's website.

At Tuesday's event, Jackson also said Apple is making products without harmful chemicals like beryllium or mercury and using 100% recycled rare earth minerals in its devices.

Correction, 12 p.m. PT: This story has been updated to reflect that Apple will be making fewer USB adapters that plug into power outlets.

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