Apple iPhones finally get wireless charging, but no ‘charging mat’ this year
Apple is working on AirPower, an all-in-one wireless charging pad for the iPhones, AirPods and the Apple Watch, but that is only going to be available in 2018
The latest line-up of Apple iPhones, the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus and top-of-the-line iPhone X, all feature built-in wireless charging capabilities. With the new glass back panels, the new iPhones can be charged wirelessly—as in, you don’t need to plug in a lightning cable to juice up the battery, and instead can place it flat on what can be referred to as a charging pad to do the same task.
The company is betting big on the wireless charging feature. Incidentally, this feature is something Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S series of phones have had for a couple of generations. However, Apple wants to introduce this to more than just the phones in their ecosystem of products. At the iPhone keynote, the company revealed the new charging case for the AirPods wireless earphones that will support wireless charging too.
But, as it turns out, Apple hasn’t made a wireless charging pad for these iPhones just yet. In what was a “sneak peak” at the future, the company did show off the AirPower charging mat, which will enable wireless charging on the now current line-up of iPhones, and the new AirPods that have the wireless charging case and will also work with the Apple Watch. That is set to arrive only next year.
That could have been a bit of an embarrassing position for Apple. But the accessory partners have come to the rescue. If you are buying one of the newer iPhones and believe that the wireless charging accessory is something that will make a positive change in your life, Belkin and Mophie, for instance, have the answer.
Belkin has announced the Boost Up charging pad for the new iPhones, which has a maximum rated power capacity of 7.5-watts. This will work with the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. However, at the moment, this charging pad does not support the Apple Watch and the updated case for the AirPods, though that cannot be entirely ruled out with the next version. This is based on the Qi wireless charging standard, similar to many wireless charging pads for the Android ecosystem too—however, most of those were limited to a maximum power rating of 5-watts. Belkin says that the charger will wirelessly juice up the iPhone’s battery even if your phone has a protective case—up to a thickness of 3mm. This will be priced at $59.99 (around Rs3,800).
Mophie, which was Apple’s partner in making the battery cases for the iPhones thus far, has also announced the wireless charging base. This also uses the latest iteration of the Qi wireless charging standard, and is rated at a maximum power rating of 7.5-watts. This charging pad is also compatible with the three iPhones, the 8, the 8 Plus and the X, though there might be support for the Watch and AirPods as well in the future. This is priced at $59.95 and will be available in black colour.
If you happen to own an existing Qi wireless charging pad, you must be wondering if that will work with the new iPhones. At present, we really don’t know if they will, and one of the reasons for that could be the different power ratings.
Vishal Mathur was in San Francisco as a guest of Apple.
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