Apple snaps up New Zealand wireless charging company PowerbyProxi

Apple recently acquired PowerbyProxi, a New Zealand company that designs wireless power solutions, for an undisclosed sum. It confirmed plans to keep the business in New Zealand.

According to a report yesterday from local website Stuff, the price paid by Apple appears likely to be at least in the high tens of millions and could be into ten-figures.

Dan Riccio, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, told Stuff that the Powerbyproxi team would be “a great addition as Apple works to create a wireless future.”

“We want to bring truly effortless charging to more places and more customers around the world,” Riccio added.

Founded in 2007 by Fady Mishriki as a spin-out from Auckland University, PowerbyProxi now employs about 55 staff and holds more than 300 patents relating to wireless charging.

“There is tremendous alignment with our values, and we are excited to continue our growth in Auckland and contribute to the great innovation in wireless charging coming out of New Zealand,” said the PowerbyProxi CEO.

NZTech CEO Graeme Muller predicts that Apple is unlikely to keep the development of PowerbyProxi’s technology in New Zealand following the acquisition. He speculated that wireless charging could become ubiquitous in Apple devices within a generation and it would become one of those little-known facts that the technology originated in New Zealand.

“My gut feel is this will be a piece of technology that New Zealand has had a hand in being involved in, and a generation from now it won’t be associated with New Zealand—it will be this ‘cool invention that Apple came up with’,” he opined.

Apple in February joined the Wireless Power Consortium which creates and promotes market adoption of the ubiquitous wireless charging standard Qi.

Apple at the September 2017 media event unveiled iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and Apple Watch Series 3, all with built-in support for Q1 wireless charging. Next year, it will be releasing a pair of Qi-compatible accessories: a standalone wireless charging case for AirPods and a wireless charging mat with multi-device support, called AirPower.