With wireless charging rumored to be included in the new iPhone 8 later this year, Reuters has reported new details about the scope of Apple’s focus on wireless charging at the company. Apple already uses inductive wireless charging on the Apple Watch, but Reuters says there are multiple teams at Apple working on the technology.
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Apple recently joined the group backing Qi. But there are still at least five different groups working on wireless charging technology within Apple, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
We first learned that Apple had joined the Wireless Power Consortium earlier this month, which Apple later confirmed in a boilerplate statement:
Apple is an active member of many standards development organizations, as both a leader and contributor. Apple is joining the Wireless Power Consortium to be able to participate and contribute ideas to the open, collaborative development of future wireless charging standards. We look forward to working together with the WPC and its members.
As the Reuters piece notes, Apple has been relatively slow to bring wireless charging features to the iPhone even if it does ship with the iPhone 8 later this year. That’s often typical for Apple, however, just as we saw with NFC and Apple Pay. Once Apple gets behind a technology with the force of the iPhone, adoption tends to take off.
The new reporting that there are multiple teams developing wireless charging technology at the company suggests Apple’s plans could continue to evolve beyond what we may see introduced with the iPhone this year and with the Apple Watch so far.
For example, inductive wireless charging that requires a dedicated charging pad would be a matter of catching up with current technology, but long-range charging that fits Apple’s vision of wireless actually sounds like the long-term goal and has been rumored separately.
Wireless charging aside, Apple is expected to introduce a new design this year with facial recognition, a 5.8-inch OLED display with a new function area, a boosted battery, a new red color option, and stronger water resistance. Read our iPhone 8 guide for the latest.