iPhone reverse wireless charging still in development despite delay

Apple is still working on full reverse wireless charging for the iPhone, but it may be delayed, according to 9to5Mac. It was originally intended to be launched with the iPhone 14 Pro, but was not able to meet the deadline. Despite this, Apple engineers are reportedly continuing to develop bilateral wireless charging and optimizing the software for it.

Apple iPhone reverse wireless charging

Reverse wireless charging or bilateral wireless charging is the technology that enables a device to charge another device wirelessly. iPhones have had the necessary hardware for this feature since the iPhone 12, as seen in FCC filings, but it was inactive.

The MagSafe Battery Pack, which was introduced with the iPhone 12, demonstrated some of Apple’s work on reverse wireless charging, as power could be transferred from the iPhone to the battery pack through a lightning cable. However, Apple has not officially referred to it as reverse wireless charging.

In January, Apple and the Wireless Power Consortium announced a collaboration on a new Qi wireless charging standard based on MagSafe. This collaboration may aid in the development of Apple’s MagSafe and Qi technology, as well as its reverse wireless charging capabilities.

Full reverse wireless charging support would allow the iPhone to charge any accessory that uses the Qi standard, including AirPods. This means users could recharge their AirPods simply by placing them on the back of their iPhone.

Apple is continuing to work on bilateral charging, but it’s still in development

Apple has further plans for reverse wireless charging, according to sources cited by 9to5Mac. They are still working on advanced bilateral wireless charging technology for the iPhone. The goal was to include full support for this technology in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, but it was not ready in time for the launch. However, Apple engineers are still working on the feature and hope to introduce it in a future iPhone model.

Internally, Apple is creating a unique firmware called “wireless power out” to serve as the foundation of the reverse wireless charging feature. This firmware is a crucial aspect of the ongoing testing and development of the reverse wireless charging hardware. The challenge with bilateral charging lies in managing the charging speed and heat dissipation between the iPhone and the other device while ensuring charging efficiency.

Apple is also designing a special user interface for reverse wireless charging, similar to the one used for MagSafe chargers and accessories. This will include on-screen animations and a sound effect to indicate that the bilateral wireless charging has started.

However, 9to5Mac’s sources have warned that the reverse wireless charging feature may be delayed again or even cancelled. The development of this feature has been ongoing since the iPhone 11 and has been challenging due to concerns of overheat management and charging speeds.