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Apple is continuing development on a reverse wireless charging feature that would allow the iPhone to charge other devices like the AirPods, according to a new report from 9to5Mac that cites sources with knowledge of Apple's plans.

iphone-airpods-reverse-charge.jpg

Apple is said to be working on an "advanced bilateral wireless charging technology" for a future iPhone. The company originally intended to implement the functionality in the iPhone 14 Pro models, but it wasn't "finalized in time."

The site claims that Apple is creating a "wireless power out" firmware that is the basis for the two-way wireless charging feature, and while exactly what that means is unclear, it is apparently a "key aspect of the ongoing testing and engineering" of reverse wireless charging.

To implement an option that would let the iPhone charge other devices, Apple needs to optimize aspects like charging speed, heat dissipation, and charging efficiency. Apple is designing a "special user interface" for bilateral wireless charging, which is similar to the interface used for MagSafe accessories.

We've heard rumors of reverse wireless charging (or bilateral wireless charging, as it's sometimes referred to) several times over the past few years. Bilateral wireless charging was rumored to be an iPhone 11 feature ahead of the device's launch, but it did not materialize. Rumors later suggested that Apple had abandoned the feature at the time because the charging efficiency did not match Apple's requirements.

With the iPhone 12, an FCC filing hinted at reverse wireless charging capabilities that might be hidden inside the hardware, and with the launch of the MagSafe Battery Pack in 2021, Apple sort of demoed how reverse wireless charging might work.

When attached to an iPhone magnetically, the MagSafe Battery Pack is able to charge using passthrough technology when the iPhone is plugged into a Lightning cable. Charging for AirPods and other devices could eventually work in the same way, connecting to the back of the iPhone and charging at the same time an iPhone does. Apple competitor Samsung has had a reverse wireless charging option for several years now, and it allows a Samsung smartphone to charge any Qi-based device, including another smartphone.

9to5Mac claims that reverse wireless charging could be delayed again or scrapped altogether, so there is no concrete detail on when we might see such a feature launch. We've already heard numerous rumors about the iPhone 15 lineup, and so far reliable sources like Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman have made no mention of reverse wireless charging, so it may not be something that we see in 2023.

Article Link: Apple Still Working to Allow iPhone to Wirelessly Charge AirPods and Other Devices
 

Justin Cymbal

macrumors 6502
Mar 25, 2008
395
2,337
Boston, Massachusetts
This would be an awesome feature

I hope that Apple does add this to their future iPhones and possibly the iPad as well

This would work great for charging AirPods and possibly even the Apple Watch

If Apple was able to allow it to charge another iPhone, that would be great as well. Especially when you’re with your friends and someone has a low battery on their iPhone, you can help them charge it back up
 

geogecko

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2008
32
19
Firstly, try attaching an AirPods case to the back of an iPhone… They have to overcome the polarity they chose for devices to attach to the phone and charging pads.

Reversible magnets? Unfortunately, this probably means it’s not going to be backwards compatible with older iPhones.
 
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addamas

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2016
916
867
It’s just disabled by SW, as it’s already possible to reverse charge this tiny power bank with Apple logo.
 
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David1964

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2017
397
836
This would be an awesome feature

I hope that Apple does add this to their future iPhones and possibly the iPad as well

This would work great for charging AirPods and possibly even the Apple Watch

If Apple was able to allow it to charge another iPhone, that would be great as well. Especially when you’re with your friends and someone has a low battery on their iPhone, you can help them charge it back up
I would never give my battery power to somebody else!
 

jz0309

macrumors 604
Sep 25, 2018
7,003
18,746
SoCal
Wirelessly charging a phone and then wirelessly charging say AirPods thru said phone got to be the most inefficient was.
I get the convenience but what a waste
 
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goonie4life9

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2010
460
922
Folks, this isn’t about figuring it out but rather a road map for how to stagger the release of features. Apple learned an important lesson with the first HomePod: if you make the initial product too great, there is a limited opportunity for short-term iterations of the product. Year-to-year iterations are Apple’s bread and butter and let’s them keep their margins near or above 40%.
 

macduke

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
12,504
18,102
Central U.S.
They need to fix it so that the magnets align on the back. My AirPods Pro 2 slide all over the place on the iPhone's magnets and don't lock into place like it does on the MagSafe Charger or Apple Watch Charger. It slides right off. If they are going to do this they need to standardize it for all future AirPods as well as other MFI accessories. And it should also be able to charge the Apple Watch. They need to do it right the first time.
 
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