Adapter Cost Breakdown and Its Future Trends

Many of us may get confused: adapters look the same to me, why would their prices vary? What should I know if I’m going to purchase an adapter or to select one for my product?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  In the following content we’ll provide you with the price-deciding factor of the adapter and its future trends.

Price-deciding factor

  • Power: power is the fundamental factor influencing the price. Adapters providing the same power are in the same price range. For example, the adapter charging our phone can cost just a couple dollars while those providing large amounts of energy to industrial machine worth tens of thousands dollars.
  • Input voltage: given the same output power, an adapter that can handle a larger range of input voltage will have higher price. This is important for mobile devices like tablet PCs and mobile phones, since they may be brought to areas using different mains electricity.
  • Efficiency: if there’s no special needs, SMPS (switched-mode power supply) is better than linear power supply in terms of efficiency. A better design of the circuit means higher efficiency and of course a higher price.
  • Output dynamic response: our devices are not always running at full load, therefore we need the adapter to adjust its output power. High quality adapter can have a very short response time and puts up the price.
  • Temperature and heat dissipation: heat control is another crucial part in adapter. It’s for sure an adapter will produce heat due to the Current Heating Effect. And the heat will affect the components and even damage them. Quality of cooling elements determine the ability of heat control and influence the price.
  • Size: unlike a display screen, a small size adapter is loved by all. To output the same power, a smaller size of adapter requires more exquisite circuit and often more electronic components, which leads to higher cost.

Phone charger


There are some additional characteristics varying the price for phone chargers:

  • Charging speed: quick charge technology is the latest trend, it can shorten the charging time to a third or less. Usually a quick charge adapter will double or triple the price of a normal charging adapter.
  • Charging temperature on device: fast charge will bring more heat on the charging devices, causing damage to the battery cell. Generally, quick charge technology uses a higher voltage with the current invariant or vice versa. The scheme using a higher current can help keep the devices in a lower temperature, while it needs a better control circuit.

Future trends

The future of the adapter are led by 4 aspects.


The miniaturization and weight reduction of power supplies are especially important for communication power products.

Therefore, improving the power density and power conversion efficiency of the power supply, making it compact and lightweight, is a goal that people are constantly striving for.

More integrated

It’s a trend for the whole manufacturer to cooperate with the component manufacturers to develop specified power modules.

That is, almost all the hardware of a complete machine will be installed into one module in the form of a chip, so that there is no longer a traditional lead connection among a large number of components.

The electrical stress on the device and the interference are minimized to improve the reliability of the system equipment.


The digital power supply combines the high efficiency with the intelligent control of the digital chip, and uses appropriate algorithms to adjust the voltage and current.

Compare with traditional power supply, digital power supply can precisely correct the current detection error and make voltage detection more accurate.

More eco-friendly

Energy conservation is the focus of future power products.

The strict environmental protection requirements will enable a wide range of intelligent power supply technologies to be widely used, and the distributed generation will be a crucial supplement of power supply structure.

That concludes what we have to say in this post.

Feel free to let us know if you’re interested in knowing more about it.

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