Apple’s new AirPods case could charge your iPhone in a pinch

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Apple’s upcoming AirPods case will offer more than just wireless charging for your headphones, according to a sketchy new report.

A source familiar with Apple’s plans claims the case will double as an iPhone charger that will give you a boost in battery life when you’re in a pinch. The device could be available before the end of this year.

Announced last September, but still not ready to make its public debut, the AirPods Wireless Charging Case does exactly what its name suggests. Buy it and you’ll be able to charge your AirPods by placing them down on the same Qi charging mat you use to charge your iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X.

But one rumor claims the case will offer an additional feature Apple didn’t tell us about.

AirPods case will offer iPhone charging

Nikkei Asian Review reports that the new AirPods case will somehow connect to your iPhone to top up its battery on the go. What’s more, you won’t need a cable.

“The product will be available as soon as the end of this year,” claims the industry insider with knowledge of Apple’s plans. “However, the schedule is still subject to change.”

Let’s not get carried away just yet, however.

Could an AirPods case really charge your iPhone?

This is an incredibly sketchy report, and it raises more questions than it answers. We’re not even sure it’s possible for an AirPods case to wirelessly charge an iPhone, and even if it was, it wouldn’t last long.

Apple uses the same Qi charging standard that’s been employed by Android smartphones for years. It’s made possible by two coils — one that sends power and one that receives it — that aren’t interchangeable.

What does that mean? Well, the coil inside your iPhone, which receives power from the coil inside your wireless charger, can’t be reconfigured on the fly to send power from your iPhone to another device. That’s just not possible.

So, to make an AirPods case that sends and receives power, Apple would either need two coils, or it would need to redesign Qi charging completely. It’s unlikely either of these things is possible in a device as small as an AirPods case.

But let’s say Apple found a way around it. After all, if anyone can, it’s Apple, right? Even if it fixes that problem, it still has to contend with the fact that the battery inside an AirPods case is too small to deliver any significant charge to an iPhone.

It seems highly unlikely

It seems like a novel idea, then, but when you really think about it, it’s highly unlikely it would actually work. Not unless Apple makes the new AirPods case significantly larger, and based on the pictures it has already published, it’s no bigger than the standard model.

Let’s take this particular report with a pinch of salt for now.