Breakthrough could finally bring wireless charging to iPhone


This iPhone 7 concept has wireless charging, but the real thing (probably) won't.
This iPhone 7 concept has wireless charging, but the real thing (probably) won't.
Photo: Ivo Marić and Tomislav Rastovac

Wireless charging has been on Apple fanboys’ wish list of iPhone features for a few years now, and while it’s unlikely that Apple will bring the technology to the iPhone 6s, Qualcomm just made a breakthrough in wireless charging that would be perfect for the iPhone’s metal body.

The problem with wireless charging, is it’s only been available on devices that have a plastic exterior. That’s ok if you’re making cheapo looking smartphones like Samsung, but Jony Ive’s love for aluminium bodies has precluded iPhones from being able to charge wirelessly.

iPhone parts supplier Qualcomm announced today that it has engineered the first ever solution that allows wireless charging for devices with metal exteriors. The solution uses Qualcomm’s WiPower technology and is designed to be compliant with the Rezence standard.

Qualcomm’s breakthrough is a pretty big deal because previous wireless charging systems use induction charger that heats up metal objects. The company’s new WiPower is based on near field magnetic resonance technology, and also allows simultaneous charging of multiple devices with different power requirements, which could mean one day you’ll be able to charge your iPhone and Apple Watch on the same charge pad.

A number of iPhone 6 components are supplied by Qualcomm, including the LTE modem, baseband processor, plus power management and power tracker chips. It’s been rumored that Apple plans to use Qualcomm’s upgraded LTE modems with twice the speed and better battery management capabilities. Qualcomm hasn’t made its new WiPower technology available commercially yet, so there’s no way Apple will have time to add it to the iPhone 6s, but you can start getting your hopes up now that it’ll ready in time for the iPhone 7.


Source: Qualcomm

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  • FriarNurgle

    Taking bets on how much an Apple charging station will cost.

    My guess is 59.99.

    • BusterH

      way too low. At least $90.

    • mildmanneredjanitor

      More. Plus it will be a proprietary Apple charging standard designed to lock you in.
      Maybe it will have special features like auto downloading U2 updates or automatically pre-ordering your next iPhone.

  • Scott G.

    Wireless charging makes little sense if it requires a large charging base like the one shown that still has to be plugged in. It also would likely be rendered useless by most cases. Is it really that difficult to plug in a Lightning cable? Buy a few extras to keep in your travel bag, car, etc. And while you’re at it, buy a nicer braided cable. You’ll thank me later.

    • Whocares

      Because it’s a gimmick. I could careless about wireless charging

      • qwertiii

        **I couldn’t care less**

  • AirWaterSnow

    It’sNot Wireless. Wireless would be it charging as you walk around with phone.. Imagine our Wifi was tied to the same perception that “Wireless” is being used here..???

    • Whocares

      Contact charging so called

  • Brandon Franklin

    Who cares about “wireless” but apple has dragged its feet with quick charge way to long!

  • imtough

    Bet you’ve blown a guy name Sam Sung, Schauenjewbergwitz.

    • Michel Schauenberg

      i did yes :-)

  • imtough

    Bet you can fit that piece of $hit up your @$$ sideways with its smooth edges.

    • Michel Schauenberg

      I actually can yes :-)

  • BusterH

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to say? I know the Galaxy S6 Edge has wireless charging. I still think it looks crappy, compared to the impeccable design of the iPhone 6.

  • yohemies

    This tech is not good in my opinion, it is a step back. With the current wired charging method you can still use your phone freely but wired, with this “Wireless tech” you can’t move you phone… So thank you, but no thank you.

  • igorsky

    Takes some kind of loser to log into an Apple-centric site to criticize Apple products. Congrats!

  • What happens when you have a case on your iPhone? Will a wireless charger charge my iPhone through my Apple branded silicon case? That’s one big fat detail that the Samsung ads totally leave out.

  • Stephen Agnew

    Actually, “magnetic resonance” wireless charging tech allows for TRUE wireless charging at long distances, not restricted to a charging pad. Also, no wireless charging exists. Needing your phone to be in contact to a charging pad is not wireless charging because there still needs to be a physical connection with the charging device.