How to charge the iPhone 3GS when planning a trip to China

A guide showing you how to recharge your iPhone 3GS with a Chinese power outlet by using an Apple USB 30-pin cable and a three pinned Type A power charger, how to recharge the iPhone 3GS using a 2 pinned Type C power charger and powering the iPhone 3GS using a three pin Type I USB charger

Chinese power outlet

If packing for a vacation to China it's useful to know in advance if you'll be able to use your electrical devices that you'll be bringing along. However, by not knowing which power socket is being used you are more likely to bring the wrong power adaptor, meaning having to buy or borrow a potentially overpriced adaptor when you're there. Different voltages and plugs can often be daunting when planning on staying in a new country if you've never been there before. This isn't as complex as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of common standards used throughout the world this article shows exactly what to pick up in advance to power the iPhone 3GS in China. The following step by step guide shows you how to charge your iPhone 3GS when you're visiting China by using their types I, A or C Chinese 220 volt 50Hz plug outlets, please note that Type I power outlets are typically used by a majority of Chinese. Most power supplies will change depending on which area you are travelling to so we suggest reading the Asia page for a full list of countries. If you are travelling to China from a different country please ensure that the iPhone 3GS can be used with a 240v supply. If the iPhone 3GS was purchased in a country which uses a lower voltage (for example 110v) make sure the iPhone 3GS is dual-voltage (marked with 100-240 volts) otherwise you may need to use an additional voltage converter to stop the device from overheating whilst powering it. If you intend on visiting somewhere such as Shanghai we recommend reading the Chinese Wikipedia web page [1] for more indepth information. These instructions assume that you are running Apple iOS 6 or greater on the iPhone 3GS.

Charging the iPhone 3GS in China

Can the iPhone 3GS be used in China?

Yes, you can use the iPhone 3GS in China by using the correct power convertor.

What is the best travel adapter for the iPhone 3GS in China?

If you are travelling with more than just your iPhone 3GS and visiting more than one country the best travel power adapter for China is a multiple USB charger which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [10]. Chinese use three different types of plug sockets (types I, A and C) and using a power charger like this will ensure that you are covered for both types A and C.

Because these chargers come with interchangeable plugs and can handle 100 to 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa just by switching the included heads over. If your iPhone 3GS supports Fast Charge (not all USB devices will) then you'll benefit from much quicker charging times by using one of these types of power chargers, along with support for more power hungry devices. Having a 4 port adapter will allow you to charge multiple devices at once without needing to bring multiple power chargers. Because you are only packing a single travel charger will also keep the overall size down, making it perfect to fold up in hand luggage. Due to their space saving versatility these types of adapters can be used back at home so when you're not on holiday they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple smartphones, tablets and e-readers without using up an additional power outlet.

For those travelling often we recommend buying this type of flexible travel adapter at an electronics retailer, the power adapter illustrated below is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [10] which has been tested successfully for powering multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries with perfect reliably.

Alternative travel adapter for China

The 4 port USB travel charger [10] is the most compact option for travellers from any country who only have USB devices such as the iPhone 3GS, however for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs the following power adapters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power strips offer surge protection which is necessary when visiting regions with unstable power supplies. These travel adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both China and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular portable option for travellers originating from North America visiting China using type B US plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs. This offers practically the same functionality as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet at almost half the 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 suitable for most travellers from around the world visiting China.
What is the best travel adapter for the iPhone 3GS in China?

How to use a Type A power charger for charging your iPhone 3GS from a Chinese power outlet

A guide showing you how to recharge your iPhone 3GS with a Chinese power outlet by using an Apple USB 30-pin cable and a three pinned Type A power charger.

  1. To power the iPhone 3GS from a Chinese power outlet you will need to use a Type A USB power adapter [4] and a USB to Apple 30 pin cable [5] (typically already supplied with your device by Apple).
  2. Start by taking the Type A USB power adapter and inserting it into the Chinese power outlet. The wall supply, technically known as a Type A power outlet [3], can be identified by the 2 slots adjacent to each other where the two pins go.
  3. Connect one end of the USB to Apple 30 pin cable into the bottom of the USB mains charger and the other end into the dock connector on the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 3GS dock connector can be found at bottom of the iPhone 3GS.
  4. Switch on the Chinese power outlet.
  5. The battery icon which you'll find in the top right hand corner of the mobile screen will display a charging icon to indicate that the iPhone 3GS is charging, typically taking roughly 1-4 hours to completely recharge to full capacity.
How to use a Type A power charger for charging your iPhone 3GS from a Chinese power outlet

How to use a Type C power charger for recharging your iPhone 3GS from a Chinese power outlet

The WikiConnections guide showing how to power the iPhone 3GS with a Chinese power outlet with the USB 30-pin Apple connector with a Type C power adapter.

  1. If you want to charge your iPhone 3GS using a Chinese power outlet you'll need to buy a Type C USB power adapter [7] and a USB to Apple 30 pin cable [5] (Apple normally supply this USB cable when you purchase the iPhone 3GS).
  2. First you'll need to insert the Type C USB power adapter into the Chinese power outlet. This unearthed power outlet, sometimes called a Europlug, is identified by two adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral pins.
  3. Plug in one end of the USB to Apple 30 pin cable into the USB adapter and the other end into the dock connector on the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 3GS dock connector can be found at bottom of the iPhone 3GS.
  4. Turn on the Chinese power outlet.
  5. The battery icon that appears in the top right hand corner of your mobile will display a charging icon to indicate that the mobile is powering up which typically takes between 60 to 240 minutes to recharge to 100% capacity.
How to use a Type C power charger for recharging your iPhone 3GS from a Chinese power outlet

How to use a Type J power charger for recharging your iPhone 3GS from a Chinese power outlet

Using the USB 30-pin Apple connector and a Type I power adapter to charge your iPhone 3GS from a Chinese power outlet.

  1. In order to charge your iPhone 3GS using the Chinese power outlet you'll need to buy a Type I USB power adapter [9] and a USB to Apple 30 pin cable [5] (Apple typically supply this USB cable when you purchase your iPhone 3GS).
  2. First you'll need to insert the Type I USB power adapter into the Chinese power outlet. You can recognise this power outlet by the 3 thin slots forming an upside-down triangle shape with a single vertical pin at the bottom and the top two slots sloping upward for the live, neutral and ground. Note that the live and neutral blades are reversed compared to Argentinian power outlets therefore check that your Type I travel adaptor is compatible with a Chinese power outlet.
  3. Connect one end of the USB to Apple 30 pin cable into the bottom of the USB mains adapter and the other end into the dock connector on the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 3GS dock connector can be found at bottom of the iPhone 3GS.
  4. Switch on the Chinese power outlet.
  5. The battery icon which you'll find in the top right hand corner of the cell screen will display a charge icon to indicate that the iPhone 3GS is recharging, typically taking around 1-4 hours to completely recharge.
How to use a Type J power charger for recharging your iPhone 3GS from a Chinese power outlet

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China - Chinese Wikipedia web page
  2. https://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/0/MA616/en_US/iPhone_iOS3.1_User_Guide.pdf - Official iPhone 3GS user guide
  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