Apple patent application reveals iPhone inductive charging sans extra hardware

“According to a patent application published on Thursday, Apple is actively investigating the integration of inductive charging technology into its devices using multi-mode versions of electrical coils already found in speakers, microphones and haptic engines,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“In the application, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as ‘Inductive power transfer using acoustic or haptic devices,’ Apple describes a common two-coil inductive charging system in which a dedicated transmitter coil interacts with a receiver coil in a consumer electronic device, like an iPhone,” Campbell reports. “Unlike current solutions the invention does not require additional hardware, instead using existing coils from audio or vibratory feedback components.”

Campbell reports, “Inductive charging systems are sensitive to coil diameter, distance, resistance and even shape. A good example of the current state of technology is the standalone coil in Apple Watch and its mate in Apple’s Magnetic Charging Cable. Even with dedicated hardware the system is slow to charge, taking roughly the same amount of time to fully juice Watch’s 205 mAh battery as a 5W power adapter does an iPhone 6s’ 1,715 mAh cell.”

Read more, and see Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For devices where speed is not of the essence and charging ports are unwanted, as with Apple Watch, inductive charging can make sense.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. You still need a connection to a wall outlet somewhere.

    That could mean a charger in a laptop that charges watches and iPhones, but that doesn’t seem practical on a physical level to me.

    A charging pad, yes, but there is still a wire to an outlet.

    I’m a bit skeptical about the practicality yet.

      1. The point Bo is trying to make is that inductive or “wireless” charging is bit of a gimmick right now since, unlike say wifi vs Ethernet cable, you need to be in such proximity to a charging pad you may as well just plug a wire into your phone.

        However, an on-the-go charging device is certainly capable of providing power without a wall outlet. Battery/power banks are becoming more common, and though most of those first need charging themselves through USB, there are battery packs that have solar power cells and even hand cranks, so in theory would never need to be plugged into a wall outlet.

  2. I wonder how different it will be from what Lumina and Samsung have been using for years? It’s too bad that Apple can not just adopt the QI standard.
    The only thing I can think of is that they are trying to overcome the limitation of inductive charging on a metal frame.
    In contrast to the editors comment inductive charging does make sense regardless of speed. A phone will just sit on a desk top or bedside charger waiting for use. Other manufacturers have implemented this very well.
    If it didn’t make sense, why would Apple be investing and patenting the idea?

  3. The question that comes up in my mind is that for all modern battery charging technology there is a circuit that drastically reduces the charging when the batter is full or near full to avoid damage. Do those exist in components like speakers, microphones and haptic engines?

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