A report from Bloomberg today indicates Apple is working on the technology to allow wireless charging of its iPhone, available as soon as 2017. The company is reportedly working with its partners to create such a technology.
The Bloomberg report cites the ever popular “people familiar with the plans.”:
Apple is exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. The iPhone maker is looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed, they said.
Wireless charging technology currently requires users to place their devices on a charging mat or pad. As recently as September 2012, Apple executive Phil Schiller said the company wasn’t sure how convenient wireless charging actually was, as they still require being plugged into a wall.
Bloomberg notes that 2010 saw an Apple patent application that outlined the concept of using an iMac to act as a wireless-charging hub, allowing recharging at a distance of about 1 meter using a technique called near-field magnetic resonance. Apple currently uses a wireless charging technique, called “inductive charging” to charge its Apple Watch. However, the Watch must be touching the magnetic charging pad in order to receive its charge.
Recent rumors have indicated Apple would remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 in favor of a Lightning connector that would allow for both charging and headphone use. This lead to outcries against the rumored move, as users moaned they wouldn’t be able to listen to their devices while they charged it. A wireless charging solution would remedy this issue.