Brace yourself for the era of change is here. Apple is reportedly joining the ‘wireless charging Club’ with its flagship model iPhone 8. Apple took its own time with the wireless charging feature with the Apple Watch in 2015. But even that product didn’t stick to the Qi standard overseen by the WPC, as it went against the trend of the rest of the phone industry in the process.
Wireless charging has been around since 2008 and products with Qi came in 2011. The first Android device to support it was Nexus 4 and all the device up until 6P support it. After that Google dropped the wireless charging feature with Pixel and Pixel XL. And even as Samsung supports this feature in its flagship models it doesn’t emphasize the feature anymore.
Wireless charging about to convenience but Now Quick Charge 3.0 is
It has become more of feature to juice up the device. And to add to it, Qi is not the only wireless charging game in the market. The Power Matters Alliance merged with the Alliance for Wireless Power to form AirFuel, of which AT&T, Samsung, and Starbucks are members. This entity is trying to convince the market that its solution is better. Truthfully it isn’t, but it does provide “spatial feature” with its resonance-based wireless charging.
It is a logical fact that wireless charging won’t be a hit with the public if there isn’t a feature for long distance charging, that allows a device to be charged from where ever it is placed. As the current technology is focused on the precise placement of a device for charging. Today Samsung is the only brand in town when it comes to wireless charging. LG may be added to the list with its upcoming G6 flagship, but it’s the Galaxy S7 series that have maintained demand.
One of the reasons why this technology is so limited is the material requirement. As it becomes hard to design a wirelessly charging mobile if it has a metal back cover and metal interferes with the magnetic field and hinders the charging.
Samsung worked around this issue with glass back plate which comes with their problems. So the real solution here is to develop a technology that is independent of the material.
WPC and AirFuel have both been working on it for years, but have yet found a solution to the extra heat caused by the increased power necessary to overcome the metal’s conductive nature.
In 2015, Qualcomm had announced a solution that used AirFuel’s Rezence standard to allow the charging through metal by the method of physically connecting the power source to the phone casing itself, but till now no devices have incorporated it.
Another issue here is that apart from Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 this feature is limited to flagship models that are expensive. This feature won’t go mainstream until it is included in mid-range mobiles. That would mean cutting the confusion and settling between the two standards.
Apple is expected to introduce Qi wireless charging with iPhone 8
Now Apple is expected to add Qi wireless charging to its flagship model. And this might benefit the Android market. The wireless charging feature in Apple flagship model will incite the interest of the public in the technology. This could speed up the technological advancement needed for the spatial freedom feature in wireless charging.
AirFuel released a statement after it was announced that Apple aligned itself with the competition:
“We’re encouraged by the news that Apple is looking at wireless charging for their upcoming devices. Consumers not only want wireless charging, they want it to be second-nature, available when and where they need it.
This is one of the many reasons AirFuel Alliance continues to support all wireless charging technologies, from inductive to resonant to RF. Whichever wireless charging technologies Apple ultimately considers incorporating into its next-gen phones, this is great news for consumers and the industry as a whole. We welcome Apple to the wireless charging table.”
This is good news for the fans of wireless charging as it seems like the technology is going to take leaps shortly.