Wireless charging is quickly becoming a standard feature in flagship smartphones. Although wireless charging has been around for quite some time now, it’s only recently garnering the attention of consumers. Now that more popular smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6, features wireless charging, as well as furniture manufacturer IKEA creating a line of furniture that embeds wireless charging, it certainly feels like the feature is garnering a lot of attention at this point.
But despite the forward efforts to make wireless charging mainstream, there’s still one major manufacturer that has yet to employ the feature: Apple.
When it comes to charging, Apple has always had its eccentric Apple-y ways of doing things. When the world switched to microUSB as the standard charger for smartphones, Apple’s 30-pin connector remained the exception. When the 30-pin connector was considered a slow and outdated method of charging, Apple then switched to the Lightning connector that we see in Apple products today. Again, they managed to avoid the microUSB standard. So in regards to the very likely situation where Apple decides to employ wireless charging in the iPhone, will its methods be different than the standard Qi, Rezence, or Powermat charging that we see in smartphones today?
If I had to guess, probably so. But can they get away with it? If I had to guess, probably so.
Apple has a lot of people invested in their ecosystem, whether it’s apps, devices, or even accessories. Apple likes to keep Apple users within the Apple ecosystem, and understandably so. They are a business, after all. Since they’ve been able to keep so many users on board despite the switch from 30-pin to Lightning connector, even after microUSB was the set standard, I imagine that they would just as easily be able to come up with some alternative wireless charging method that would be made just for Apple products.
Should Apple do it? In short: Yes.
If Apple can create a wireless charging system that actually improves upon the way that wireless charging works, then other than sheer inconvenience, I wouldn’t see much wrong with it. This would also likely encourage the competition to create a better product as well. Apple has a way of being late to the party for devices and certain features, but often takes the time to enhance the feature or product to make a good, solid end result. Not every time, but sometimes - in my opinion, more often than not.
The introduction of the Lightning connector was inconvenient when it came to switching out all of the accessories (especially to previous iPhone/iPad users) but in the end I found that the faster charging speed was a better trade-off. Even if Apple introduced a different type of wireless charging, I don’t think it would have nearly the same amount of risk seeing as wireless charging is just now starting to pick up steam.
In the end, I suspect that Apple will implement wireless charging and they will make it so that only Apple products can use it – that’s just the way Apple is. If it manages to improve wireless charging in some way and encourage other companies to improve the technology to make wireless charging better, then overall I wouldn’t be opposed to it at this point. I’m still surprised that wireless charging isn’t considered a set standard yet, but I imagine it might take Apple throwing their card into the hat before the feature ever truly becomes a standard.