Apple added wireless charging to its iPhone lineup with the debut of the iPhone X and the iPhone 8/Plus last year. The company added Qi wireless charging to its devices, and later via a software update, managed to improve the wireless charging speed from 5W to 7.5W as well.
As it turns out, Apple was mulling removing the wired charging port on the iPhone X completely and replace it entirely with wireless charging. As we all know now, the company (thankfully) did not go through with its plan because wireless charging on the iPhone X is simply not fast enough. Plus, Apple would have then also had to bundle a wireless charger in the retail box which would have pushed its production cost up.
While we all envision a future where we are able to charge our phones wirelessly, that future is still a long time away. Even if Apple manages to come up with a fast wireless charging technology, it still cannot remove the Lightning port from the iPhone X. This is because the port is also used to connect the phone to a bunch of different accessories like docks, adapters, and speakers. There are plenty of audio accessories out there that solely rely on the Lightning connect to talk to the iPhone.
The Lighting port also used to connect the Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter which then allows users to connect their headphones with a 3.5mm jack to the device. And let’s not forget that transferring and syncing large files and iPhone backups over Wi-Fi is simply not a feasible option right now.
Then there’s also the point that wireless charging needs to become a commonplace before Apple — or any other OEM for that matter — even thinks about ditching the charging port completely on their device. Plus, the removal of the charging port needs to go along with an improvement in battery life. While we may find wireless chargers across major shops and offices in a few years from now, there are still plenty of other scenarios where you would need to have a charging port on your device for charging purposes. What happens when you are out on a week-long trek where even mobile networks are a rarity, forget an electric socket? While there are portable power banks with wireless charging, you definitely cannot use them while you are on the move which is possible with wired charging.
One thing is for certain though. Apple’s adoption of wireless charging on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X is going to give the Qi wireless charging technology a major push and within a few years, wireless chargers should become a commonplace. But even at that point, I don’t think the world would be ready to ditch wired charging. What do you think?