(iPhone 5 (white, camera closeup 001)

Despite Apple’s traditional reluctance to implement wireless charging on iOS devices, the dream continues to live on. The notoriously unreliable DigiTimes, an Asian trade publication, has revive the rumor Friday morning, reporting that Apple is planing to implement the technology for its “flagship models” of smartphones in 2013.

Unlike the Qi inductive charging method, an interface standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium for inductive electrical power transfer over distances of up to 4cm (1.6 inches), the iPhone maker is said to be working on its own wireless charging technology. At the very least, that does sound a lot like Apple…

DigiTimes quotes industry sources who claim that both Samsung Electronics and Apple are expected to add wireless charging capability to their flagship models in 2013 after certain handsets by Nokia, LG Electronics and HTC have implemented a wireless charging tech promoted by the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA):

Apple is likely to adopt the wireless charging technology developed internally, but it remains unknown if the next-generation iPhone will come with built-in wireless charging capability or with other attached accessories, said the sources.

Members of the WPC include Nokia, HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility and Sony Mobile Communications so Samsung’s eventual adoption of the Qi standards on the Galaxy S IV may drive the technology to become mainstream for smartphones, writes DigiTimes.

Samsung is set to launch the Galaxy S IV at a New York City media event on March 14.

Interestingly enough, DigiTimes says Samsung will require Galaxy S IV users to “buy replacement back covers for their smartphone for access to a charging pad” rather than embed the wireless charging capability on the handset.

Energizer Qi case for iPhone

As for the Apple wireless charging meme, I guess DigiTimes didn’t get Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller’s memo last year (via AllThingsD):

“Schiller notes that the wireless charging systems still have to be plugged into the wall, so it’s not clear how much convenience they add. The widely-adopted USB cord, meanwhile, can charge in wall outlets, computers and even on airplanes, he said.

“Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated,” Schiller said.

And in its patent application for “Wireless Power Utilization in a Local Computing Environment”, Apple calls the current method of plugging a charger into a wall socket “unwieldy”.

Apple’s proposed solution is a “realistic” way to wirelessly recharge iDevices through near-field resonance that can wirelessly transfer “usable amounts of power over distances suitable for limited applications.”

By the way, I’m totally with Schiller.

The current wireless charging implementation isn’t the right solution as it simply replaces one cord with another.

I think Apple should leave this to third-party vendors, like Energizer’s iPhone Qi sleeve, pictured above, Powermat or Duracell’s MyGrid, to name a few.


  • TesticularFortitude

    Gotta agree with you, Christian… If you have to plug the base into the wall, you’re just exchanging one cord for another.

    Last year I emailed Cook with some solar panel designs and how they could be implemented into the iPhone and into iPad smart covers for true wireless charging. He didn’t respond to that one. However, one time I had a problem with my 4s and emailed him… Two days later I got a phone call from Apple.

    • Tr1pTr0p

      I wonder how long does it take them to jump on the wireless charging bandwagon? I’d be more than happy to replace one cord with another! All I’d have to do is place my phone on a base station and let it charge without messing around with damn cables everywhere… Ugh! Yes, please!

      • TesticularFortitude

        Cool. I, on the other hand, would prefer a solution where a mat isn’t required.

        Does this anger you? Lol, Jesus.

      • Tr1pTr0p

        Anger me? I don’t give flying shit, really.

  • 100 bucks says this is referring to a stand for a watch

  • Qiren_94

    Charging your phone by placing it on a Charging Pad which is connected to the wall outlet via a power cord. Pretty pointless to me.
    And you can’t even pick it up to use while charging if the distance is only up to 4cm.

  • Dan

    I agree. This seems more like a novetly than anything else, the base still has to be plugged in.

  • Z3r0ViP

    It still has to plug in to the wall, but the technology would be pretty slick, no? I’m already half sold if they implement that.

  • You’re all wrong. It’s not pointless, a novelty, or just exchanging one cord for another. Anyone that has used a Palm Pre phone can attest to that. You have a charger at your desk, and one in the car or living room. You simply set your phone down and it’s charging. It’s a lot more convenient than plugging it in. Also, when you get a call, you don’t have to use both hands to unplug it so you can talk.

    It’s not intended for portable instances where you are going to be transporting your charging cord/base.

    Before poo-pooing something, maybe you should ask people who have used it.

    • What’s a pre phone?


    • I tend to agree with you that it’s neither a novelty nor pointless. The argument that it’s replacing one chord for another is terrible too. Just plug in your charging mat once and you’re done. From now on, just lay your phone down on the mat to charge it. I think it’s a great idea which will eventually make its way to all electronics, but for now, it’s just being dismissed as a silly idea. Time will probably prove skeptics wrong.

      • Guest

        You’re an idiot and a fag. Ugh!

      • Siv

        He has a wife so I believe that disqualifies him of fag status.

      • Kurt

        and a kid

      • TesticularFortitude

        It’s just a dock without the prong. I plugged in my iPhone dock once, too. Now I just have to sit my phone on it.

        I prefer a solution were a dock or mat isn’t needed. Solar light charging is a good start.

        Not trying to fight here btw…

      • Don’t ask me when, where and what price but I saw a backcover for iphone once which had solar charging. Don’t know how it functions as I only saw it in a magazine.

        Oh while I type this, I think it was around the time of the iPhone 4S.

    • I agree with Fishous. It’s very convenient to just place your iPhone on a charging pad. I don’t care for bulky inductive charging cases either.

  • batongxue

    Apple would not do this until there is no need for that stupid charging base.
    BTW, Apple is not going to make a phablet until the screen is totally edge to edge.

  • I have to agree. I had a Nokia Lumia 920 for awhile and although “wireless” charging is almost like black magic, I still had to deal with “Where do I plug it in?” and “Now where do I put this bulky charging pad?” – Point is, everyone wants what they want and as is human nature everyone else will be wrong. 100% chance someone will argue with me… whatever.

    • Kurt

      No one argued with you 😛

  • Dee Myra

    I’m thinking more of stranded-at-airport scenarios where there won’t be blood feuds over who gets the damn power socket.