Charging your iPhone from a power outlet in China

The Wiki Connections page showing how to charge your iPhone from a Chinese power outlet with the Apple USB 30 pin connector with a three pin Type A power adapter, recharging the iPhone using a Type C USB plug and recharging the iPhone using a Type I USB plug

Chinese power outlet

Varying complicated region codes and voltages can all lead to confusion when planning to stay in another country for the first time traveller. With only a handful of different types of plug sockets used throughout the world this guide shows exactly what you'll need to pick up in advance to charge the iPhone . When you are travelling to China these instructions show powering the iPhone by using their standard Type I, A or C 220 volt 50Hz wall outlets, most Chinese will use the Type I power outlets. Power sockets vary depending on which region you are travelling to so we suggest reading the power supplies page for a complete list of regions and countries. When visiting China from another region ensure that your iPhone can be charged using a 240v supply. If the iPhone was purchased in a country which uses a lower voltage such as 110 volts check the device is dual voltage (marked with 100-240 volts) else you may need to use an additional power converter to stop the device from being damaged when powering up. If you intend on staying in a city such as Shanghai or Macau please refer to the Chinese Wikipedia page [1] for more indepth information.

This page details the iPhone 1st generation, the original iPhone is missing some features which have since been introduced to more recent iPhones. Visit the Apple category page for a full range of Apple iPhones. These instructions assume that you have installed Apple iOS 3 or greater on the iPhone.

Charging the iPhone in China

Can the iPhone be used in China?

Yes, you can connect the iPhone to a Chinese power outlet.

What is the best travel charger for recharging the iPhone in China?

If you are travelling with more than your iPhone the best international travel adapter for China is a multiple USB port adapter which includes swappable plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [10]. There are three standards of plug sockets in China (I, A and C) and bringing this will ensure that you are covered for both types A and C. As these chargers come with interchangeable pins and can handle from 100 to 240 volts will mean you can travel to multiple countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa simply by changing the heads. If your model of iPhone is compatible with Fast Charge (please note not all USB devices can) then you'll benefit from much quicker recharging times with one of these types of travel adapters along with compatibility with certain power hungry devices like tablets. This means you can charge more than one device at once without needing to bring seperate travel chargers on your Chinese trip or using up additional power sockets. Only bringing a single international travel charger will keep the overall weight down, making it ideal to fold up and store in hand baggage whilst travelling. Because of their versatility these types of travel adapters can be used back at home not just abroad so when you're not on holiday they can be used overnight charging multiple smartphones, tablets and speakers without using up an additional wall outlet.

For those travelling to China we suggest searching for an adaptable travel charger of this nature online; the travel charger illustrated here is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [10] which has been tested successfully with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries on a daily basis.

Alternative travel adapter for China

The 4 port USB travel charger [10] is the most compact option for travellers from around the world wanting to charge devices using USB, but for those also wanting to use their domestic plugs the following power strips provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power converters offer surge protection which is necessary for travellers to counties with unstable power supplies to prevent damage to any connected devices. These travel adapters are supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both China and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable power adapter for travellers originating from North America visiting China using type B American plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs. This is a much more cost effective alternative to the BESTEK with just one less AC outlet at almost half price.
  • Yubi Universal Power Strip Kit - The Yobi only has 2 USB charging ports but offers a flexible 6 AC outlets. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, B, E, F, G and I making it perfect for most travellers from around the world visiting China.
What is the best travel charger for recharging the iPhone in China?

Charging the iPhone from a Chinese power outlet by using a two pinned Type A USB adapter

The Wiki Connections page showing how to charge your iPhone from a Chinese power outlet with the Apple USB 30 pin connector with a three pin Type A power adapter.

  1. If you want to supply power to the iPhone using the Chinese power outlet you will need to buy a Type A USB power adapter [4] and a USB to Apple 30 pin cable [5] (this USB cable is normally already included with the iPhone).
  2. Begin the process by taking the Type A USB power adapter and plugging it in the wall supply. The wall outlet, sometimes known as a Type A power outlet [3], can be recognised by 2 thin slots adjacent to each other where the live and neutral pins slide into.
  3. Plug in one end of the USB to Apple 30 pin cable into the USB charger and the other end into the dock connector on the iPhone. The iPhone dock connector is found at bottom of the iPhone.
  4. Switch on the Chinese power outlet.
  5. The battery icon that you'll find in the top right hand corner of your iPhone screen will display a charging icon to indicate that the iPhone is charging and takes around one to four hours to fully recharge to full capacity.
Charging the iPhone from a Chinese power outlet by using a two pinned Type A USB adapter

Powering the iPhone with a Chinese power outlet by using a 2 pinned Type C Europlug USB adapter

Using the USB 30 pin Apple cable and a 2 pin Type C power charger to charge your iPhone with a Chinese power outlet.

  1. To charge the iPhone from the Chinese power outlet you will need to use a Type C USB power adapter [7] and a USB to Apple 30 pin cable [5] (typically already included with the device by Apple).
  2. Start the process by plugging the Type C USB power adapter into the power supply. This ungrounded plug supply (known as a Type C power outlet [6]) can be recognised by 2 circular adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral.
  3. Then connect one end of the USB to Apple 30 pin cable into the mains power adapter and the other end into the dock connector on the iPhone. The iPhone dock connector is found at bottom of the iPhone.
  4. Switch on the Chinese power outlet.
  5. The battery icon which appears in the top right corner of the cellphone screen will display a charging icon to indicate that the phone is recharging, typically taking roughly 1 - 4 hours to recharge.
Powering the iPhone with a Chinese power outlet by using a 2 pinned Type C Europlug USB adapter

Powering the iPhone with a Chinese power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type J USB adapter

Using a 30-pin cable and a 3 pin Type I power charger to recharge your iPhone with a Chinese power outlet.

  1. To charge the iPhone from a Chinese power outlet you will need to use a Type I USB power adapter [9] and a USB to Apple 30 pin cable [5] - this USB cable is normally already included with your iPhone.
  2. Start the process by plugging the Type I USB power adapter into the power supply. The wall outlet, sometimes known as the Type I power outlet [8], can be identified by the three slots forming an upside-down triangular configuration with a single vertical pin at the bottom and the top two slots sloping upwards for the live, neutral and ground blades. Please note that the live and neutral blades are configured reversed compared to Argentinian plug outlets so please check that your Type I travel adaptor is compatible in China.
  3. Then connect one end of the USB to Apple 30 pin cable into the mains power adapter and the other end into the dock connector on the iPhone. The iPhone dock connector is found at bottom of the iPhone.
  4. Switch on the Chinese power outlet.
  5. The battery icon which appears in the top right corner of the cell screen will display a charging icon to indicate that the phone is recharging, typically taking between 1 - 4 hours to recharge.
Powering the iPhone with a Chinese power outlet by using a 3 pinned Type J USB adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China - Chinese Wikipedia page
  2. https://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/0/MA616/en_US/iPhone_iOS3.1_User_Guide.pdf - The original iPhone product manual
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  4. Type A USB power adapter - Provides USB power from a type A mains power outlet
  5. USB to Apple 30 pin cable - This connects compatible iPhones, iPods and iPads to a USB port for charging, syncing and playing music
  6. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  7. Type C USB power adapter - Provides USB power from a type C mains power outlet
  8. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeI.htm - Type I power outlet
  9. Type I USB power adapter - Provides USB power from a type I mains power outlet
  10. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters