Wireless Charging Enters the Picture for Next iPhone

February 14, 2017 - 2 minutes read

New York iPhone app developers have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of wireless charging for the iPhone. It finally seems to be on the horizon, fueled by reports that Apple has joined the Wireless Power Consortium. While Apple has been conservative in implementing this features, tech developers believe the technology is “there,” and we could see wireless charging become a norm in the smartphone industry easily within the next couple years.

The move would be in-keeping with Apple’s slow but sure jettison of ports and plug-ins, most notably the removal of a headphone jack on the last model. Developers expect the phone to eventually reach the Platonic ideal of smartphone tech: a smooth screen with no ports or extruding features.

When the tech is there, this could make the ease of use even better, making any external functions a matter of automatic Bluetooth connection. For users, the nightmare of keeping track of external cables and untangling delicate wires could be over. While the lightning port is certainly useful, removing ports altogether could open the door for improvements to durability and waterproofing at a lower price point than is possible with ports. (That said, next-generation displays are rumored to be bringing up the cost of the next iPhone dramatically, at least for the premium option.)

For now, iPhone app developers don’t expect Apple to remove the Lightning port. Apple analysts have reported that wireless charging is planned to appear alongside the traditional charging port, rather than a forced replacement as with the less-critical headphone jack.

Apple isn’t the only smartphone company to join the Wireless Power Consortium: LG, Samsung, and several other are also on the list. Past attempts at wireless charging have always left batteries stressed and prone to overheating. Seeing major players compete on real-world implementation of wireless charging will add a whole new element to the smartphone market battle over the next couple years.

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