Why is Power Delivery, and USB-C significantly more expensive?

I did search but its too spread out.


So why is Power Delivery significantly more expensive? I accept it should be a little more expensive. Example above two recently shipping products, a 15000mAh 2-port Type A out, MicroB input “traditional” non-PD non-C product with more capacity, is more expensive than a 10000mAh two-port, USB PD input, USB PD output, 12W Type A output?

You got one fewer LG 21700 $7 cell and just faster electronics? So Anker’s costs are $11 higher for the electronics to just move up to 28W from 15W?

Do you think Anker is price gouging PD users? PD devices generally larger higher-end so Anker reckons they can charge more for PD chargers?

Or is it really so much more expensive in reality?


Like you and I have duscussed in previous articles, PD (USB-C) truly is more complex than micro-usb.

The basics are simple, 5 pins (for charging you would use 2) vs 24 pins (for charging 8). This requires additional traces, different chipsets and additional parts. Then you need to factor in ground planes and beefer lines to accomodate increased current glow. Batteries and plastic are cheap, the components and design is where the costs come in.

People who dont design electronics for a living do not understand the kind of components that go into a circuit. They see specs being similar and think costs will be as well. A search on mouser.com for just the board mount connector for each plug style results in a $1.40 increase to go PD. It isn’t price gouging.


but you are not transmitting data just electricity and control thereof, so that’s much more expensive?

The USB is 2 pins active (5v, ground). USB PD you say is 8 pins, additional pins for the control path. I accept you need to step up voltage higher.

A typical device (phone, tablet, laptop) is in the $400-$10000 range a few $ more is not detectable but in a $30-$50 device it is obvious.

$100 for a 4 port charger (we all know it will discount to about $80-ish soon but $80 is still a lot)


Right, but its different chips and components. You cannot just connect the voltage lines for PD, it runs through an ic design thats different than micro usb. The chip is more complex in that it recognizes voltages and changes levels. In order to do those voltages you need additional/different components in and out of the chip to compensate, plus more grounding since wattage increase.

Phones are different really, the system is already sorta there due to QC, so the usb-c chips are negligible. Not to mention 1 million phones vs 10000 anker charges would be a huge difference in buying power.

I think I do not blame anybody or any company:

New products always have their price.

In most cases it is just a business calculation: get in the development costs in a certain time … and then make money …

So most companies want to get their development costs quite fast. And it works : Because there are many people, who want the new item fast. Think about the queuing lines on apple stores …many people slept there for days …

And when the development costs are in, the price drops…


Another nice story about price:

In the '50, there was a german company named BRAUN. And they wanted to sell an electric shaver. Very basic tecnology, therefore low (good ! ) price. But nobody bought it.

Too cheap, has to be rubbish.

So they changed marketing and raised the price.

It was the beginning of a success story: it sold like …(warme Semmeln) cut bread or how you say …

I think $100 for Anker’s 4 port charger is too much. I’ll be ok with paying $50 for it. Guess I’m too cheap

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Well it become that price eventually. Mix of manufacturing costs go down, quantities increased due to demand so per-unit costs reduce, more players in the market cause reducing margins.

It is just hard to know when.

All we can ever do in technology is make a decision today on what we know and can buy today and USB-PD isn’t there today. So I not bought any of it!


Take apples policy… The more it costs the better it is… But we all know that’s not true!

Obvs with all new technology, initially expensive, to cover design costs, manufacturing costs as quickly as possible.

Then as manufacturing improves, and competitive companies come along, the price lowers.

Take for example lightning/usb-a cables. At first very expensive, so you used the one that came with the phone, exclusively. Then next year, more people make it, and price drops. So you buy different cables for different situations.

At the moment, to create, thin cables to go in a pocket/small bag, but you want that cable to be fast, it costs money (design n make)

I remember when buying MMR cards for a mobile… OUCH for large memory,… Now I can buy 16gb class 10 MMR for under £3 (GBP)

The same WILL be with usb-c stuff n pd… There are cheaper makes out there, who make similar promises, but we know ANKER is the best. To be n maintain the best takes money.

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I would think we are looking at a combination of factors that increase the price

  1. newer technology means higher R&D
  2. fewer units sold so economies of scale are lower
  3. newer technologies having higher component costs
  4. higher power devices require better built components

The end result is that prices are currently higher. I would expect, as the technology matures and becomes more common, that the prices will drop. This is similar to how prices have dropped for existing technologies like Quick Charge etc.

I agree if it had six ports for $100 then I would be more open to considering it but this has four for $100 which is $25 a port which is kind of a lot

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It is kind of expensive for $100, but remember its still 100W. I would buy it, if it went down to like $85-90 and had one more usb a port.

It will drop to $80 soon I’m sure and the brief times to about $65-$70 if you’re patient over next months.

I always carry a spare tiny charger as backup anyway so that functions as extra ports if i need them. Anker’s 12W serves that role nicely ( I don’t own that but something looking identical from Aukey)

This 100W charger looks so huge to me I’d be seeing it as a home / office desk tidier, for say when there is only 1 or 2 power sockets available. I’m far from clear if I’d ever travel with computing devices so large and power hungry to benefit from 100W. A 45W-60W 5 port similarly intelligent version, smaller, much less expensive, would be my preference. I do know if i wait such an item will arise eventually.

I’m relatively new here, although I’ve had Anker products fro I think over 4 years (my oldest one is a replacement battery for a laptop that was made in 2005). Do prices usually drop after 2-3 months after new releases?

No, they drop like from the moment in stock to 2-3 weeks after release by 20% and then stay there, then if you wait a couple of months you begin to see 30%-40% discounts like on Black Friday offers. That $100 number is just so make the future $80 show 20% discount so you think ooooh a discount.

I’d hazard a guess that $80 will appear between next week and about end of February to 1st week of March.


ok thanks :slight_smile:

Bear in mind I agree with @joshuad11 there is a suspicious lack of mentioning of GaN in the Atom 4 Amazon link compared to its right up there with the Atom 1.

The Atom 4 is

Size: 4.1 × 3.3 × 1.3 in (main body)
Weight: 383 g (main body)

Vs Atom 1 is

Size: 1.61×1.37×1.50 in (main body)
2.08 ounces / 59g.

So for 3.3x the wattage you are 6.5x the weight and 5.3x the volume. So there is a kind of doubling going on more than logical. While I know that heat is going to be harder to escape in a bigger charger so you’d expect it to be a little larger, the shape of the Atom 4 is inherently more heat-releasing in a more flat shape then the Atom 1’s more square shape, so, still, there’s something oddly huge about the Atom 4.

Heat: the surface area of the Atom 4 is 46.3 sqin, the Atom 1 is 13.35, so 3.5x surface for 3.3x the energy, so its as if they deliberately it so big to just dissipate heat?

On the other hand, if you compare with say the 60W PD model been out for over a year (now plastic, before metal)

It is

4.1 x 3.1 x 1.1 in
8.5 oz

So if you scaled up 60W using basically the same technology you’d get something similar in size to the 100W. 4.1x3.1x1.1=14cuin, 14 x 100 / 60 = 23cuin. Atom 4 is 17cuin. So its not as large as it could be. The ports in and out would be same size but the AC/DC conversion should be larger. If you assumed 20% of the volume is tied up with the common components of C19 port and USB ports you’d get 14x (0.8 * 100/ 60 + 0.2) = 21cuin > 17 cuin.

Hmmm, you do reckon if you wait a smaller version will come out? Even at $80 (my prediction soon) or $65-$70 (the brief shorter discounts later in the year) it is a tall ask of $ for something suspiciously large.


Yea $25 for each port, hmm I don’t know if my wallet will like that

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Now if it was 4 USB-C ports then I’d happily pay the price… If they each could output at a minimum 45 wats each


Eventually yes when we get more USB-C items yes a 4 port USB-C would be nice. You can imagine a USB PD phone, tablet, buds, Powercore = 4 ports.

Anyhow the expense of PD has made me make my last big gadget expense of a 18W tablet so I’m likely sitting PD out for >year, I only have my Thinkpad needing some kind of PD but I’m not sure I’d buy something so expensive and cross fingers it worked.

Another mystery with the Atom 4 is unlike say the PowerPort II PD which has PD and IQ2 ports, the Atom 4 has PD and IQ, not IQ2. If you were to put all of 100W in one product and intelligent spread it you could spread out 18W instead of 10W to the Type A ports. So a mystery of why so large and so expensive. That tells me unless you’re in an urgent need, probably not too many months off a better product?