Wireless Charging Set for iPhone 7

Posted by Kirhat | Saturday, April 04, 2015 | | 0 comments »

iPhone 7 Charging
Latest reports indicate that Apple is showing stronger interest in wireless charging technologies, and potential inclusion in the next-generaton iPhone 7. Apple is hiring for a Santa Clara-based Senior Wireless Charging Design Engineer (reports The Motley Fool) with a view to working on new power management technologies. There’s no doubt that power is still a key feature of the modern smartphone. Maximizing the use of available power is one way to create a better mobile experience. Another is to make sure that it is incredibly quick and easy to recharge your mobile phone.

Samsung is heavily promoting the fast charge feature of the Samsung Galaxy S6 which allows you to push "up to four hours" of battery life through ten minutes of direct charging. The Galaxy S6 also includes wireless charging with a 'multi-standards' receiver that can accommodate the multiple frequencies that different wireless charging pads and systems can provide.

It’s the wireless charging that appeals to many in general with new smartphone technologies. Simply placing your smartphone on a part of your desk and have it 'magically' charge with no connection means every time you sit down you can be charging. It also means that you simply grab your phone and go when the time comes to get up from my desk, and the charging connection is broken, with no trailing wires, physical connectors, or ‘must remember to unplug the cable’ thoughts getting in the way.

Apple already sources parts for the iPhone from Samsung, so there’s no longer any need to wait for a standards war to declare a victor. A wireless iPhone could simply work with every standard out of the box – although Apple will probably want to do something to provide a better wireless experience on iOS, perhaps leveraging iBeacons in Made for iPhone wireless chargers to provide hyper-local location-based services?

When could this happen? Well there are two issues that suggest that Apple is looking at the iPhone 7, rather than the upcoming ‘s’ update to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

One issue is that of dimensions. The iPhone 4s and iPhone 5s both retained the same physical design of the iPhone 4 and 5 respectively. While the wireless charging circuits is incredibly thin (strip away the packing and what’s left is a well laid out coil of metal wire) it would still add to the thickness of the design. That means something is going to be compromised to find that extra internal volume.

Would an increased efficiency of iOS allow a smaller battery to deliver the same amount of running time? If so Apple could sacrifice some of the battery volume for the wireless charging layer. Given the 'battery layer’ approach demonstrated at the recent MacBook launch, perhaps the final layer of the next iPhone battery will be the wireless charging circuit?

The other issue in all of this is the timescale. The internals of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are likely very close to their final designs, and could shortly go into a small 'beta' production run for a decent sized batch of internal testing devices (ahead of a larger run that will seed the launch devices for September 2015). While you can hire an Engineer at any point, it does feel like this is a post for the iPhone 7 considering the tag that it is for Apple’s "next generation mobile platforms". With the best will in the world, the iPhone 6S is not "next generation."

So, once more, Apple is waiting to adopt a technology that is rapidly maturing in the smartphone space. It’s about time Apple joined everyone else in the wireless-powered future.


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