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1/29/2016
11:06 AM
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iPhone, iPad Wireless Charging May Come By 2017

Apple is reportedly working on smoothing out issues with technology that lets consumers power up iPhones and iPads sans wires.

iPhone 7 Rumors: 7 That Have People Talking
iPhone 7 Rumors: 7 That Have People Talking
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

The smartphone market is growing more competitive by the day, with consumers demanding the premium materials and features that upper-tier manufacturers like Apple have provided.

In an effort to stay ahead of its rivals -- and in the face of flagging iPhone and iPad sales, Apple is planning to introduce wireless charging on the two devices as early as 2017, according to a Bloomberg report.

The report, which quotes unnamed sources familiar with the plans, said Apple is working with partners both in the US and Asia to resolve some of the issues inherent in wireless charging technologies.

These issues include boosting the charging power of the device when the smartphone is farther away from the power source, and other technical limitations that prolong the time it takes to fully charge the phone.

The technology is not new. Apple currently offers wireless charging for its smartwatch, and smartphone rivals such as Samsung, Sony, and Google all offer handsets that boast wireless charging.

(Image: AleksandarNakic/iStockphoto)

(Image: AleksandarNakic/iStockphoto)

In March 2015, Samsung announced that its Galaxy 6 and S6 Edge smartphones would support wireless charging, while the Windows Phone 8-based Lumia 920 smartphone supported wireless charging almost three years ago.

Apple's hesitation may have something to do with the fragmented nature of wireless charging standards. There are three the mobile industry currently supports -- Qi, which is supported by the Wireless Charging Consortium (WPC); Rezence, which is backed by Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP); and Powermat, which is backed by the Power Matters Alliance (PMA).

While iPhone sales hit 74.8 million units during the most recent quarter, an all-time high for the company, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said he believes sales of iPhone units will decline for the first time in the next quarter. iPad sales also fell from 21.4 million units in Q1 2015 to 16.1 million in Q1 2016.

The flagging sales mean Apple will have to push harder than ever to make the iPhone, which represents the bulk of its profits, and the iPad, which has struggled to keep sales momentum (as has the rest of the slowing tablet market), must-haves for consumers.

While the iPhone 7's launch date is not expected until the latter half of the year, rumors are already piling up about what high-tech features Apple will pack into the ever-slimmer handset -- many of which are already stirring controversy.

[Read iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3: More Details Emerge.]

The company's endless quest to make thinner and lighter products, for instance, may well be the death knell for the standard 3.5mm headphone jack found on pretty much every smartphone in existence.

In its place Apple will provide headphones that connect through the iPhone's Lightning charger. This, of course, means that either headphone manufacturers will have to adapt their products, or consumers will be forced to buy Apple-designed headphones.

In addition, the tech giant is reportedly collaborating with Beats Electronics, which Apple purchased for $3 billion in 2014, to develop completely wireless in-ear headphones that would come with a charger and be marketed as a premium accessory.

In other iPhone 7 rumor news, Apple is reportedly close to an agreement with rivals Samsung and LG to supply organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens for its next-generation smartphone.

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Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

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mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
2/1/2016 | 12:32:36 PM
Re: Why so Late
@yalanand,

I don't agree 100%.... Iphone market share might decline only because of competiiveness. Apple has way too much invested in it's smarphone portfolio that'll always keep it a priority for it's R&D departments.

Samsung and others may come up with more bells and whiletls, but it's been proven time and time again that Iphones do have the most robust offering all around, given mainly because apple controls both software and hardware, so it has the capabicity to optimize for 100% performance. Samsung can throught every thing it can think off...it's still an android device with a custom UI, that do this day it still lags when compared to a true Android device (like Nexus)... IMHO

 

What does the community think?
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:30:28 PM
Re: Why so Late
Yea why so late? Doesn't matter. iPhones will decline still.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 1:47:39 PM
Re: Usefulness
@tzubair- Efficiency rate is approx. 60-70%, depending on the device manufacturer.

So 60-70% of the energy the charger is consuming reaches the device in the end.

The rest is lost in the inductive conversion process and the transfer between the two coils.

 
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 1:39:52 PM
Re: Usefulness
"Have you noticed on that your Lumia phone charges mush slower while wireless charging compared to the traditional usb charger? This is where the chargers efficiency comes into play. "

@Shakeeb: I haven't felt any such thing with the wireless charging. The charging speed has been the same as it'd be on a normal wired charger. The only hindrance is the fact that the phone needs to be placed on the plate and then be used.
shakeeb
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50%
shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:54:01 AM
Re: Usefulness
@tzubair- Have you noticed on that your Lumia phone charges mush slower while wireless charging compared to the traditional usb charger? This is where the chargers efficiency comes into play. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:50:44 AM
Re: Smartphone and Tablet sales
@mejiac – I have to agree with you on this, people now have some close options to choose from and they now have the ability to compare the features / specs before they make an investment.   
shakeeb
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50%
shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:48:56 AM
Re: Why so Late
@mejiac – Is Apple waiting to perfect wireless charging? Most wireless chargers have a low efficiency rate compared to the ordinary USB charging. I wonder if Apple is trying to overcome this hurdle to have fast efficient wireless charging on their devices.  
shakeeb
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50%
shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:42:45 AM
Re: Why so Late
Will Apple come up with a wireless charger that don't require you to keep the phone on a charging pad? We have seen power sent over RF waves to charge the phone. 

https://youtu.be/wM8XkUeFcjc
shakeeb
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50%
shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:34:53 AM
Re: Why so Late
I wonder why Apple took so long unless they wanted to try something different. I have a feeling they will come up with their own standards and users will have to adopt accordingly. 
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 12:04:56 PM
Usefulness
I have been using Wireless Charging on my Lumia phone for a while now but I find to be of very little use. While it's wireless as the name says, you have to place the phone on a charging plate to charge it. This means you can't life the phone up to use it while it's on charge. You must use it while it's on the plate. With a wired charger, this is very easy business. The only ease is that you don't have to plug the charger inside the phone and just need to place the phone on the plate.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
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