Breakthrough could finally bring wireless charging to iPhone

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iPhone wireless charging
How a future iPhone could look with wireless charging.
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