Apple put iPhone reverse wireless charging on the back burner

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Reverse wireless charging an Apple Watch with an iPhone isn’t coming soon.
Don’t anticipate two-way inductive charging in the iPhone 13.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Don’t expect the 2021 iPhone to be able to charge AirPods or Apple Watch. A reliable tipster says Apple doesn’t intend to build reverse wireless charging into future handsets. Not anytime soon, at least.

iPhones can already receive power through inductive charging. But Apple reportedly has explored allowing iOS devices to wirelessly transmit power, too. That would allow a handset to easily juice up an Apple Watch, for example.

It’s supposedly not happening in the iPhone 13, though. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple considered reverse wireless charging for 2019’s iPhone 11 series, but changed its mind. And he now says, “That functionality is unlikely in the near future.”

Gurman has an 89.1% accuracy ranking on AppleTrack, which rates tipsters on how well they predict Apple’s future moves. That makes him among the most accurate.

Apple debates putting reverse wireless charging in iPhone

A teardown of an iPhone 11 Pro Max found hardware quirks possibly related to two-way inductive charging. But the feature was never enabled.

Even so, Apple looked into taking the idea and running with it. In January, the company received a patent for building reverse wireless charging into iPhones, MacBooks, iPads… every type of computer it makes. Perhaps some version of that will happen in the future.