When Apple announced the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models during that September 12 event, it mentioned that their new USB-C ports will be able to charge AirPods Pro and Apple Watches when the need arises. But what about other things?
It isn't immediately clear why Apple chose to mention the Apple Watch and AirPods Pro specifically, beyond those products also being updated at the same event, but the obvious question was whether anything else would charge when plugged into the USB-C port on those new iPhones. It made plenty of sense that they would, but we didn't see any confirmation from Apple either way. Now, we're starting to learn that yes, you can basically plug anything into that iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro in a pinch.
We know this after YouTuber MKBHD shared details of his testing of the new iPhones. That testing included plugging all kinds of things into the new models, including other iPhones and Android devices.
As he notes, plugging a Lightning iPhone into the iPhone 15 will see the older iPhone charge, even if the iPhone 15's battery is lower in terms of charge. Do that with two USB-C iPhones and some sort of handshake happens - the iPhone with the lower battery percentage automatically begins charging.
However, things are less predictable when you start to bring Android phones into the mix. If the Android phone supports USB-C PD it will charge the iPhone 15 if it has a lower battery at the time. If it doesn't support USB-C PD, anything could happen depending on which order you plug things in. And even then, it isn't predictable.
This will also presumably work when trying to charge non-USB-C AirPods, but it's to be noted that the iPhone 15 can only charge other devices at 4.5W which is far from fast. Still, if you do find yourself in dire need of charging another device it's sure to be better than nothing.
The iPhone 15 doesn't support reverse wireless charging, however, so you won't be able to place another device on the back of your iPhone and have it charge. That's a feature that a lot of Android devices have and has been rumored for iPhones for years, but it's yet to come to fruition.
The iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and Iphone 15 Pro Max will all go up for sale on September 22 after preorders began last week on September 15. The iPhone 15 Pro Max in particular has proven popular with long multi-week delivery estimates for people placing an order today.