Apple is exploring reverse and “true” wireless charging technology

Enlarge / AirPower, as introduced in 2017 earlier than its final cancellation.

Samuel Axon

A e-newsletter from Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman claims that Apple remains to be engaged on a multi-device wi-fi charger that will fulfill the promise of the corporate’s long-canceled AirPower charging mat.

The e-newsletter that Gurman despatched out yesterday claims that Apple remains to be engaged on a charger that would deal with three units directly—iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch—regardless of its failures with the AirPower. Apple publicly introduced the AirPower alongside the iPhone X in 2017, however the product was reportedly plagued with growth issues like overheating and was ultimately scrapped.

Bloomberg previously reported that Apple was engaged on each an AirPower successor and true wi-fi expertise in an article printed final June. (That article additionally outed, amongst different issues, the iPad mini redesign.)

That article claimed that Apple plans to in the end add a reverse wi-fi charging function to the iPad, that the corporate was exploring the concept of creating an AirPower successor, and that it was additionally (individually) investigating “various wi-fi charging strategies that may work over better distances than an inductive connection.”

On this week’s e-newsletter, Gurman means that the brand new AirPower may use certainly one of these new applied sciences—in different phrases, Apple may flip to a brand new expertise to unravel an issue it could not clear up with a tool that used the presently widespread inductive charging expertise.

Because the cancellation of the AirPower, Apple has launched some comparable merchandise, like a twin charger for the iPhone and Apple Watch. However whereas the AirPower was conceived as a single charging floor that would service a number of units, the Apple-designed iPhone/Watch charger is solely two separate charging units related to at least one energy wire.

Accent makers like Belkin have additionally launched multi-device inductive chargers to Apple’s ecosystem. The units work nicely sufficient for probably the most half, however they nonetheless do not do every part Apple sought to cowl with the AirPower.

Apple launched MagSafe for the iPhone in 2020, placing wi-fi charging on the heart as a substitute of as a peripheral further function. There was widespread hypothesis that Apple will drop bodily charging ports from the iPhone fully in some future iteration; higher charging tech could possibly be a catalyst for the transfer.

In keeping with Gurman’s reviews, Apple envisions a state of affairs the place an iPad may cost an iPhone, and the iPhone may cost AirPods, and quite a lot of this might occur really wirelessly, with out direct bodily contact between the units. What’s extra doubtless is that the corporate will begin with inductive reverse charging and work its method as much as the true wi-fi tech. We nonetheless have no sense of a timeline for these developments.

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