Tucked in among the details for the iPhone 8 and iPhone X is the fact that the new devices will support fast charging. Apple claims its new phones can recharge up to 50 percent of their battery life in a 30-minute charge. But there's a catch: you have to use USB-C.
That's because Apple is using USB Power Delivery — one of the various USB-C charging specifications — to provide fast charging on the new phones. It's a feature the company has also offered on its newest iPads as well; both the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the updated 12.9-inch model supported the option when they were released earlier this year. And it's hard to fault Apple for actually adhering to an industry standard here, instead of coming up with its own proprietary method.
That said, it does mean that getting fast charging on an iPhone X or iPhone 8 is a little expensive, since Apple doesn't include any of the required accessories with the phones themselves, opting instead for a regular Lighting-to-USB cable and a 5W USB brick.
So, to take advantage of fast charging on one of the new iPhones, you'll need to buy both a Lightning-to-USB-C cable (Apple sells them for $25), and a USB-C Power Delivery-compatible charger. The cheapest Apple option is the 29W brick for the 12-inch MacBook, which costs $50, but any third-party USB Power Delivery-capable charger should work. (Those aren't particularly cheap either.)
Still, assuming you're willing to make the investment, fast charging is a great addition to a phone. It's just a shame that Apple isn't including the hardware you'd need to make it work in the box.