The Future Of Wireless Charging
MacFormat UK|December 2020
Apple wants a wireless future. Here’s what that might mean for your next device…
Alex Blake

Apple is not a company that enjoys giving up on a good idea. Take its planned wireless charging mat, AirPower, for example. This would have allowed you to charge multiple devices anywhere on the pad’s surface, but Apple ultimately could not get it to market. When Apple regretfully announced the termination of its pet project in late March 2019, the firm said, “We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward.”

Look at Apple today and that assertion appears to be truer than ever, with the company bringing wireless charging to an increasing number of devices – not least with the arrival of MagSafe on the new iPhone 12 series. It pairs a ring of magnets embedded into the back of the new iPhones with a disc-shaped MagSafe charger (similar to the one the Apple Watch has), with the aim being to deliver more power more efficiently than most Qi chargers can manage. The magnets help lock the iPhone 12 to its charger more securely, enabling it to deliver up to 15W of power; regular wireless charging (on iPhone 8) or later is limited to a maximum power delivery rate of 7.5W, meaning such devices will take longer to charge.

With Apple’s stated wireless charging aims in hand, what can we expect to see from the Cupertino company in the next few years? Let’s see what the future holds.

Long live AirPower?

Remember when Apple channelled its inner courage and dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack from its iPhones? That may have only been half of the story. Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that 2021’s flagship iPhone will come with no ports at all – no headphone, no Lightning, not even USB-C, all sacrificed on the altar of wireless connectivity. That idea certainly fits in with Apple’s philosophy of forging ahead with wireless features, and iPhone ports would be far from the first casualty in Apple’s crusade: just ask Mac fans about Ethernet ports, CD drives and SD card readers. Without a Lightning port, wirelessly charging your iPhone will no longer be optional – it will be mandatory.

If Apple really is determined to foist wireless charging on iPhone users one way or another, what charging solutions does it have up its sleeve? One way to determine what the firm might be up to is to examine reports from its supply chains and third-party analysts. And according to rumours and leaks, far from abandoning the project, Apple is actually pushing ahead with AirPower, determined not to let a promising product go to waste. We may even see it re-emerge within the next year, if prominent leakers like Jon Prosser are to be believed – although you should take this with a pinch of salt, as there is no way we can externally verify the reports.

Another way we can surmise what Apple might be planning is through the patents it has filed and won. While these by no means guarantee that the depicted products will ever see the light of day, they do at least signal the ideas that Apple is interested in pursuing.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM MACFORMAT UKView All

Logitech Keys-To-Go

A portable Bluetooth keyboard for iOS

1 min read
MacFormat UK
January 2021

LaCie 1big Dock

Hard drive and Thunderbolt dock

1 min read
MacFormat UK
January 2021

MacBook Air (13-inch)

Apple’s first post-Intel MacBook Air is here – and it flies, mostly…

4 mins read
MacFormat UK
January 2021

Smart Stacks in iOS 14

Spruce up your Home screen with this clever little widget

3 mins read
MacFormat UK
January 2021

NEW USES FOR YOUR APPLE KIT

Got some old Apple devices lying around gathering dust? Don’t just throw them away! These creative ideas will breathe new life into them

10+ mins read
MacFormat UK
January 2021

The smart home dream

We’ve been promised a united smart home – so why does it seem to be fracturing even more?

9 mins read
MacFormat UK
January 2021

HomePod mini

The little speaker with a big, big sound

5 mins read
MacFormat UK
January 2021

M1, and the future of the Mac

Apple has now built its own silicon chip into its latest product launches. It’s a powerful move…

6 mins read
MacFormat UK
January 2021

DEC 1968 – NOV 2020 Adam Banks

It is with deep sadness that we must say a fond farewell to our well respected colleague and contributor Adam Banks. Craig Grannell pays tribute to the man that put both his characteristic wit and vast tech knowledge into so many MacFormat articles

1 min read
MacFormat UK
January 2021

Adobe Premiere Elements 2021

Create slickly-edited video for friends, family and followers

3 mins read
MacFormat UK
January 2021
RELATED STORIES

Ditching DLNA

HIGH END- PROJECTORS

4 mins read
Sound & Vision
December 2020 - January 2021

iOS system maintenance

Use iMazing’s tools to keep your iOS device spick and span

3 mins read
Mac Life
February 2021

Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagon

Colorful, configurable panels that’ll light up your home

3 mins read
Mac Life
February 2021

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Capture stunning stills and richly detailed HDR clips with this top–of–the–range device

6 mins read
Mac Life
February 2021

Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station

The TBT3–UD1–85W provides compact connectivity

2 mins read
Mac Life
February 2021

POWER UP YOUR MAC

How well do you know macOS? With Big Sur newly arrived, follow our tips and brush up on the basics that can save you seconds every, well, second

10+ mins read
Mac Life
February 2021

HomePod mini

The little speaker with a big, big sound

4 mins read
Mac Life
February 2021

iPhone 12 mini

Finally — smaller hands get the iPhone they deserve

4 mins read
Mac Life
February 2021

APPLE ANNOUNCES NEW PROJECTS AS PART OF ITS RACIAL EQUITY AND JUSTICE INITIATIVE (REJI)

IT’S ALL PART OF THE COMPANY’S $100 MILLION PLEDGE

2 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #481

Whatsapp Growth Slumps As Rivals Signal, Telegram Rise

Encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram are seeing huge upticks in downloads from Apple and Google’s app stores.

2 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #481