Apple has been extremely conservative in regards to new charging technologies. The company hasn’t introduced quick charging options, for example, and has sat out on the sidelines while other phone-makers introduce Qi and PMA wireless charging tech into their smartphones. It’s looking more and more likely that Apple is working on building wireless charging support, at the very least, into its 2017 iPhone.
The Verge, digging through LinkedIn, noticed that a couple of engineers from wireless charging firm uBeam are now working with Apple and that the company has hired “more than a dozen staffers with expertise in wireless charging” over the past two years. Apple could probably pretty easily just add an option like Qi to an iPhone – there aren’t any barriers preventing it from doing so, for example – so it seems that Apple wants to do something better than what’s already available.
Wireless charging, admittedly, is pretty crappy right now – it’s slow, though to Samsung’s credit the firm has worked to speed up the process – and still very clunky. Yes, it can be convenient in some situations but, 9 times out of 10, it’s usually just easier to plug your phone in. The Verge and various other reports have suggested Apple instead wants to get “long-range wireless charging” working while you walk around a predefined space, like your house. Imagine, for example, your phone charging every time you walk into the kitchen. That would be pretty convenient, and a much better reason to avoid a cable and outlet altogether.
uBeam is trying to work on that sort of technology, so it makes sense that Apple might have poached engineers from that company specifically. It’s probably unlikely we’ll see this sort of technology in the new iPhone 7, so look to the 2017 iPhone instead.