The morning of Apple’s iPad mini event earlier this week we told you there was a handful of new accessories coming including four new Lightning adapters and a 12W USB power adapter. We didn’t hear much about them during the event, but the new cables and adapters have hit Apple’s online store now, including a Lightning Digital AV adapter and Lightning to VGA adapter, with most shipping in 2-3 weeks.

On the product page for the new 12W USB charger, Apple confirmed it will indeed ship with Retina iPads, and with the new 4th-gen replacing the third-gen iPad, that would essentially cover just the iPad 4. It is, however, selling the adapter by itself for $19.00 online and listing compatibility with iPad 2, iPhone 4S, and iPod touch 5th gen and up. Many readers have wondered whether or not the adapter would allow for faster charging with the iPad 3 and 4th gen iPad, a big complaint among third-gen iPad users that found the device took up to several hours longer to charge than previous generations due to its larger battery. Also, on Apple’s discussion forums some users asked if a software update would be required for the iPad 3 to draw additional power.
When we asked Apple about the 12W adapters, we we’re told the following:

“We don’t have an exact percentage of how much faster it would charge but you should see an increase in speed.”

It would make sense since, for example, an older 10W iPad charger does charge an iPhone slightly quicker than its own. In case you were wondering, Apple also told us that the iPad mini would come with a 12W adapter as well, which means we shouldn’t see the same slow charging issues with Apple’s smaller tablets, as well as increased charge times for its new Retina iPad.
Apple’s new 12W USB Power Adapter is available right now from its online store for $19.00 and shipping in 1-3 business days. Word has it Apple will also be exchanging iPad 3′s purchased in the last 30 days for a new 4th gen.