If the iPhone 8’s rumored OLED screen and edge-to-edge display haven’t left you chomping at the bit for a new iPhone, perhaps wireless charging will? The hardest evidence yet that Apple’s next phone will be ditching a wired charger has just been revealed.
That’s because Apple is now a member of the Wireless Power Consortium. It’s the body which oversees wireless charging standards, and already counts the likes of Nokia, Samsung, Sony and HTC among its ranks. Apple appeared on the site’s partner list this weekend.
It shows Apple paving the way for increased wireless charging support in its products, potentially even making use of the same standardized Qi charging technology that is already powering its rivals’ gear.
Tired of wired
The news follows a recent rumor that Apple will indeed be using wireless charging in its next iPhone models, but would be offering it as an additional accessory rather than packed-in charging option. Whether existing wireless chargers could be paired up with the rumored iPhone 8 remains unclear, but joining the Wireless Power Consortium would suggest that Apple is at least interested in supporting open standards.
This would be contrary to the wireless charging tech that already exists in the Apple Watch – while based on the Qi standard, it’s a proprietary variant the Apple uses, locking customers into pricey, officially-licensed replacement chargers.
One thing that the Consortium news doesn’t add any weight to is the potential of “true” wireless support. Apple has been said to have been working with Energous, a company that is working on wireless power hotspots that can charge devices in their general vicinity, rather than requiring a contact station.
If you’re going to buy a new iPhone, this is the one to get – there’s slightly longer battery life, a better camera, fast innards and protection against water. However, many of the changes are slight, and the iPhone 6S, for the lower price, suddenly becomes a very attractive option.