Apple’s new iPhones may be unveiled without the ability to let you charge your AirPods or Apple Watch off the back of them.
It had been previously rumored that ‘bilateral wireless charging’ support would feature on the new handsets, which would allow users to place wireless charging-enabled devices on the back of the iPhone to power them up.
According to the usually reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the feature may not be unveiled at Apple’s 10 September event. It apparently may have been scrapped because, “the charging efficiency may not meet Apple’s requirements.”
On top of Kuo’s report, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggested on Twitter that he has also had word Apple has been struggling to bring the reverse charging feature up to its required standards to roll it out.
Bilateral charging, as it’s sometimes called, would allow the iPhone 11 (or whatever naming convention Apple decides to roll with) to transfer charge to certain accessories via the back of the phone, most likely through the Qi charging standard. That would mean newer AirPods cases, for example, could just be placed on the back of the phone to get a charging boost.
Obviously, at present, the Apple Watch doesn’t charge through straightforward Qi charging – it has its own induction charging adaptor. However, it’s entirely possible that Apple is or was planning ways around this, whether in changes to future Apple Watch models or with Qi charging cases.
The charging feature is one that Samsung added to its most recent flagship phones. Its phones can transfer charge to Samsung smartwatches, including the Galaxy Watch, Gear S3 and Gear Sport. This is the sort of feature that can be massively useful in a pinch, especially if you’re properly invested in one manufacturer’s ecosystem.
Whether Apple reveals it or not, we don’t have long to wait to find out. Apple’s event kicks off in a matter of hours where we hope to see the Apple Watch Series 5 and maybe a few other surprises.