An upcoming version of the AirPods charging case would be able to charge a compatible iPhone, claims a report from the Nikkei Asian Review. The report titled Apple to unveil iPhone wireless charging with AirPods, says that they got the information from a reliable source.
AirPods charging case support iPhone – is it possible?
Apple’s new AirPods charging case would become available to users by the end of this year, claims the report, adding that nothing is confirmed though and the timing may change. “The development would add to Apple’s much-anticipated AirPower wireless charging mat, unveiled last year and due out soon, bringing chief designer Jony Ive’s call in 2016 for a ‘truly wireless future’ a step closer,” the report adds.
Last year, the iPhone maker stated that it is working on a wireless charging case for the AirPods that could launch with the AirPower charging mat in 2018. Apple, however, did not divulge any further information on the charging case. Also, the Nikkei Asia Review report does not clarify if it is talking about the same AirPods charging case that Apple talked of during the launch of the iPhone X last year.
Since, there are no clear details on the AirPods charging case supporting the iPhone, the Nikkei Asia Review report should be taken with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless, discussions have already started about whether it is even possible to charge the iPhone with the AirPods charging case. And, even if it can, there are doubts over how it could charge an iPhone.
Apple uses Qi charging standard similar to the one used in the Android smartphones for years now. The charger is made up of two coils for sending and receiving power. These coils are not interchangeable, meaning the coil built inside the iPhone which gets power from the coil inside the wireless charger cannot possibly be reconfigured to send power from the iPhone to another device.
So, to make the AirPods case send and receive power, the case should either have two coils or require redesigning of Qi charging completely. Both the tricks seem impossible given the small size of the AirPod case, notes Cult of Mac. Even if Apple finds a solution to the problem, it would still have to work around the battery inside the AirPods, which is too small to offer any power to the iPhone.
As of now, there has been no comment from Apple over the Nikkei Asian Review report.
What about Apple’s “wireless future”?
While unveiling AirPods earbuds in 2016, chief designer Jony Ive boasted about the new “wireless future.” He added that all Apple devices would connect and charge without the wires, plugs and sockets. So, everyone was expecting wireless charging for the iPhone, wherein the phone would charge through a process known as induction just by placing it on a charging mat.
However, the Cupertino, California-based company has not shared anything significantly since then. Possibly, there have been a series of technical glitches and supply chain challenges hampering the wireless strategy of the company.
Last year in September, Apple stated that the iPhone 8 and iPhone X come with the wireless charging capability, but recommended charging hubs from Belkin and Mophie – an unusual move from the consumer-hardware specialist. The company also announced its AirPower charger, but said it wouldn’t release until 2018.
Since then, Apple has hardly released any details about AirPower. Engineers at Apple are possibly working on ways to fix the issues. One of the many issues could be that the charger does not overheat. Those aware of the device’s development say that Apple has another challenge, which demands resolving the complexity of the circuitry. Also, designers at Apple aim to remove the majority of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone along with the charger, notes a report from Bloomberg.
Wireless charging is slower compared to wired ones, which is one reason why Apple has not included the system in the iPhone X. Pricing of the iPhones are another significant reasons why Apple is a little hesitant in adding wireless charging. However, if the latest rumors are anything to go by, AirPower might debut in September or a little earlier than that before the launch of the next flagships. There is no word on the pricing yet, but the rumors suggest it might be anywhere in the range of $99 to $295.