How Apple’s next-gen iPhone could change the wireless charging landscape

“Will the iPhone finally get wireless charging?” Brianne Garrett asks for CNET. “Sure, you can place a Samsung Galaxy and many other Android phones onto a charging pad without having to plug the phone into any charging cable. And those same pads are increasingly built into countertops at coffee shops, burger joints and even furniture you can buy at Ikea. But those pads still need to be plugged into a wall outlet. The wire is still there, it’s just not attached directly to the phone.”

“That’s a roundabout way of saying ‘wireless charging’ is basically a misnomer,” Garrett reports. “Except when it isn’t: ‘True’ wireless charging — in which batteries get juiced up at distances measured in meters, not centimeters — is a real-world technology, too.”

“Wireless charging over a distance could be the real tech game changer,” Garrett reports. “It just needs to get over the pesky questions over whether it’s safe — and actually show up in a mass-market consumer device.”

“Could Apple wow the world with true long-distance wireless charging? Energous CEO [Stephen R.] Rizzone has long touted a ‘top five’ consumer electronics partner, and the company received a $10 million investment from Apple component supplier Dialog Semiconductor,” Garrett reports. “Leapfrogging straight from no wireless charging to true wireless charging would be an impressive feat, but a material product from a possible Apple/Energous partnership could also still be years away — if it ever materializes at all.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: True wireless charging would be quite the leap. However, most observers are expecting a more pedestrian inductive charging capability for the next-gen iPhone(s).

As we wrote last month, “It sounds like we’ll be waiting at least another year for true wireless charging at a distance (à la Energous).”

Right now, the Apple Watch’s charging system is nice because it’s less fiddly, and especially useful in the dark, but it’s still essentially a wired charging system in practice. If Apple offers Qi-type charging, it’ll be fine, but will not be a big selling point – unless it offers considerably faster charging than today.MacDailyNews, April 27, 2017

SEE ALSO:
Leak appears to confirm widely anticipated new feature for Apple’s iPhone 8 – July 27, 2017
John Gruber: Apple’s wireless charging accessory won’t be ready at iPhone launch this year – July 8, 2017
Apple supplier confirms new iPhone models will be ‘waterproof’ with wireless charging – June 14, 2017
iPhone 8 renders from highly detailed CAD file point to glass back, embedded Home button, wireless charging – May 16, 2017
Apple’s next-gen iPhone to pack revolutionary wireless over-the-air charging at a distance? – May 11, 2017
Apple patent application focuses on truly wireless charging via Wi-Fi – April 27, 2017
Apple has at least five different groups working on wireless charging technology – February 23, 2017
Apple joins Wireless Power Consortium – February 13, 2017
Apple’s ‘iPhone X’ to feature wireless charging and iris scanning technology, sources say – February 10, 2017
KGI’s Ming Chi Kuo predicts wireless charging for all three new iPhones – February 9, 2017
More evidence suggests Apple tie-up with true wireless charging firm Energous – December 21, 2016
Apple supplier Dialog partners with wireless charging company Energous – December 15, 2016
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s next-gen iPhone to feature all-glass case for wireless charging – November 23, 2016

10 Comments

  1. Even if it wasn’t true wireless charging I wouldn’t mind having being able to use the same system to charge my phone and my watch so I don’t need two cables. At the least it would be nice if the Apple Watch magnetic connector was just the puck and had a lightning connector on the back (much like the Apple keyboard and trackpad)

    1. Get rid of the “having” obviously. If the Apple watch charged from a puck that connected to a standard lightning cable it would make it much more practical to carry one with you to charge it if away from home for extended periods. Every cable you don’t have to carry is a bonus.

  2. Wireless charging offer a big advantage in commercial establishments ( cafes, hotel, offices etc ) due to it’s ruggedness. The weak link in most charging points is the connector, but a wireless charger doesn’t need a fragile connector. At the moment, charging pads are relatively uncommon, but if they were needed for iPhones, they would soon be seen all over the place.

    However I’m still not keen on existing wireless chargers which need to be in close proximity to the device. Apple have been very actively researching medium range charging technology and I look forward to seeing that sort of technology being used in iPhones.

    1. After just under three years of use the lightining port on my 6+ is giving out. I need to use a rubber band to hold in the cable so it charges. I’ll be glad to have both the option of wireless and wired charging. My Apple Watch will also occasionally not charge, I’ll switch between two chargers, remove the case I have on it, wipe it down, and then later after it sits for a while, it’ll finally work.

    1. Personally I think it’s a great intermediate stage placing your phone on a pad instead of having to plug it in. The final wireless Nikola Tesla-type stage can come whenever it’s safe and ready if the connectorless one was available.

      1. What’s a little sacrifice being slowly cooked to death & irradiated if your devices are getting juiced up in the process?

        “No harmful side effects – for years!”

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