Apple’s plans for extended range wireless charging could include working with Energous


image Energous WattUp wireless charging

Near the end of January, reports surfaced that Apple was developing long-range wireless charging capabilities for future devices. How that might come to pass is starting to take shape.

What Apple is actually doing, of course, remains a mystery wrapped within the Mystery Box that is Apple as a whole, but MacRumors has put together some interesting points that are worth looking at to make the case that Apple is working with Energous to bring long-range wireless charging to future iPhones. For those who haven’t heard of Energous, the company created WattUp, a new wireless charging technology that uses radio frequencies to charge devices up to 15 feet away.

First, there’s a reason why Apple would be partnering with a company that’s developing its own wireless charging technology, rather than simply build the technology itself. The reasons may vary, but it’s likely that Apple doesn’t hold enough patents to launch its own product from the ground-up. Apple only holds five patents that relate to extended wireless charging, and the company hasn’t filed any since 2013. So, working with Energous could potentially avoid any issues down the road if Apple does indeed launch some form of wireless charging.

As for the clues as to Apple’s and Energous’s working together, Louis Basenese of Disruptive Tech Research has many different points of interest, including the list of supply partners that both companies have. That includes TSMC and Foxconn. Moreover, they both have a membership with ANSI and are both working towards standards for wireless power transfer compliance testing. But, perhaps the most important detail: Energous’s RF-based wireless charging system is the only one that’s about ready to launch.

Another big detail is a deal that Energous made back in 2015, which was said to be with one of the largest consumer electronics companies out there. While there weren’t any names dropped back then, the list of top 5 companies in the world is one that certainly includes Apple, but also Microsoft, Hitachi, Samsung, and HP:

“From that list, we can easily eliminate HP and Hitachi, as they don’t make phones. Since Samsung makes its own chips and WATT is working with TSM, we can cross it off the list, leaving only Apple and Microsoft. In reality, though, Microsoft is an also-ran in the mobile phone market and rumored to be exiting it. So we’re left with one company. Of course, the identity will remain a mystery, as AAPL’s notorious about insisting on secrecy with partners and employees.”

Apple’s stance on wireless charging has been, in the past, less-than-stellar as other companies, including its major competitors, adopt the technology for their own mobile devices. Of course, that never meant Apple wasn’t considering it, or even developing it, but simply always intended on offering something a bit different. Long-range wireless capabilities, especially in what Energous is developing, would certainly be different.

What do you think of the idea?

[via MacRumors]

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