Apple has acquired a small New Zealand firm, PowerbyProxi, for an undisclosed amount, reports New Zealand website Stuff. The lesser-known firm specializes in wireless charging technology based on the Qi wireless standard.
How can PowerbyProxi help Apple?
With the launch of the iPhone 8, iPhone X and Apple Watch series 3, the U.S. firm talked of a simplified form of charging based on the Qi industry standard. AirPower, a charging mat is in the works now, and the California-based company is eyeing a 2018 date to release the product. Apple’s AirPower would be capable enough to charge any glass-backed iPhone and Apple watch along with AirPods earbuds, notes The Verge.
Now, with the acquisition of this New Zealand-based firm, Apple seems to be working towards the platform, which would be capable enough to charge iPads and Mac. In a statement to Stuff.co.nz, Apple SVP of hardware Engineering Dan Riccio said the “team will be a great addition as Apple works to create a wireless future.” Riccio further stated that Apple is keen to deliver truly effortless charging to most locations and more customers across the globe.
The New Zealand-based PowerbyProxi was founded in 2007 with the intention to develop wireless charging technology so that smartphones and other devices could be juiced up without the need of the cord. Their product proxi-module – a modular power system – can support a host of new products and situations offering an output of up to 100 watts of power to devices such as drones and robots.
PowerbyProxi founder, Fady Mishriki, said that he, along with his team, is thrilled to join Apple. “There is tremendous alignment with our values, and we are excited to continue our growth in Auckland and contribute to the great innovation in wireless charging coming out of New Zealand,” Mishriki told Stuff.co.nz.
Financial terms not revealed
For now, there is no word over how much Apple paid to acquire PowerbyProxi. Back in 2013, Samsung paid $4 million for a 10% stake in the company, suggesting the total acquisition price would be somewhere over $40 million. PowerbyProxi employs around 55 staff, and owns over 300 patents related to wireless charging.
PowerbyProxi has been more into licensing its wireless charging technology rather than selling the products. One of its early clients was the U.S. giant, Texas Instruments. The New Zealand-based firm also received one grant from Callaghan Innovation, suggesting it could have got over $15 million for research and development over a period of three years, according to NBR.
Apple has not confirmed whether PowerbyProxi will continue its sales after the acquisition. However, going by Apple’s previous acquisitions, acquired hardware companies are not allowed to carry on with their own sales. Rather, the team takes on in-house initiatives. It must be noted that not all Apple acquired companies have locked up their individual sales activity. For instance, Beats continues to sell the product under its own brand after it was acquired in 2014 for $3 billion. Recently acquired Beddit also continues to sell through the Apple Store, notes AppleInsider.
On Tuesday, Apple shares closed up 0.60% at $157.10.