iPhone 8 May Use Apple's In-House Inductive Wireless Charging Rather Than Technology From Energous

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Over the course of the last year, there has been ongoing speculation that wireless charging company Energous has inked a deal with Apple and could potentially provide wireless charging technology for the upcoming iPhone 8.

    While Energous CEO Steve Rizzone has continually hinted that his company has established an agreement with "one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world," leading people to believe the partner is Apple, a new investor's note from Copperfield Research outlines why Apple has no plans to use Energous' WattUp radio frequency-based wireless charging solution.

    Copperfield Research examined multiple inductive charging patent applications filed by Apple starting in 2013, which now number more than a dozen, suggesting the patents are a clear indication of Apple's desire to pursue its own in-house inductive charging solutions for future products. Inductive charging, widely used today, relies on magnetic coils to provide power rather than radio waves.

    An image from an Apple patent covering inductive charging

    The patents by themselves are not a clear indication of Apple's plans, but in one patent filed in 2011, Apple makes its feelings on radio frequency-based charging clear, calling it "very inefficient," "not practical," and potentially hazardous. In the interest of full disclosure, however, the patent was filed before any prospective relationship with Energous.
    Furthermore, Copperfield Research suggests both rumored design decisions and recent news that Apple has partnered with Lite-On Semiconductor for wireless charging bridge rectifiers are indications of Apple's plan to use inductive charging.

    Bridge rectifiers, explains Copperfield Research, are used to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), a component needed for inductive charging and one that would not be necessary should Apple be relying on an all-in-one module from Energous.

    Apple's rumored decision to use a glass body also reportedly points towards inductive charging. A glass body would not be required for RF-based wireless charging technology, but is needed for an inductive charging solution.
    Many of Apple's inductive charging patents outline the improvements Apple has made in the field over the course of the last few years and give hints as to how wireless charging could work if Apple is indeed developing an in-house inductive charging solution for the iPhone 8.

    Patents point towards multiple objects that could provide power, such as a table top with a charging coil built in, a desktop charging station, or even a desktop or notebook computer, which could be used to provide power to an iPhone or iPad. Devices could even share power between one another, suggesting a fully charged iPad could charge an iPhone, or vice versa.

    An image from an Apple patent covering inductive charging

    Copperfield Research does believe that Apple had a partnership with Energous that gave the Cupertino-based company a way to research radio frequency-based charging without shelling out cash, but concludes that there is an "overwhelmingly conclusive mosaic" suggesting Apple will use in-house inductive charging for the iPhone 8.

    Copperfield Research is made up of an anonymous group of researchers that have shorted Watt's stock and may not be entirely impartial, but the evidence they have presented makes a compelling argument for the use of an in-house inductive charging solution rather than a partnership with Energous.

    Article Link: iPhone 8 May Use Apple's In-House Inductive Wireless Charging Rather Than Technology From Energous
  2. Dormammu macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2013
    A mysterious location in the middle of nowhere
  3. ILuvEggplant Suspended


    Jul 28, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    another standard.. :mad:

    apple - why dont you make it compatible with QI

    Qi (pronounced CHEE; IPA: /tʃiː/, meaning "natural energy") is an open interface standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    I wouldn't be at all surprised if Apple have an in-house solution, or if they've at least been wrestling and testing the idea for years. No way they'll happily wait for somebody else to invent this technology, which everybody else can use, and then decide to use it.

    wireless charging (not charging on a mat) will really be a game changer and Apple recognise this, though in its very nature it would be very difficult and dangerous to pull off properly. It's not something to release in a rush.

    My heart tells me Apple will be throwing the kitchen sink at the 2017 iPhone and blow everybody's minds, though my head tells me they'll continue with their 'S' upgrade cycle and continue to test/refine the iPhone 8 features for release next year. I hope my heart is right. :D
  5. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    How about waiting what Apple will really do?
    This seems to be too far away to get our panties in a twist now.
  6. Beenblacklisted macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2011
    If apple maps and siri are any indication, this will not be as successful, but its still two years away, the next iphone is the 7s.
  7. pat500000 Suspended


    Jun 3, 2015
    I am assuming this is probably what they will go with. If so, this maybe a "try out" phone before the next generation.
  8. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    I don't think patents from over 5 years ago dismiss any partnership with Energous. Especially since the RF transmission from Energous locates and targets the device rather than spreading it out in all directions, something that wasn't present with 2011 demos.
    I definitely think Apple would be interested in Energous and refining RF transmission.

    Inductive charging is ok but you can't pick the phone up and use it while its charging - it has to lay on a pad, which is the opposite to RF charging. And since the pad will be sold separately (probably $99), I think the majority of users will stick to a cable although they may have a pad next to their bed for charging at night.
  9. Delgibbons macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2016
    Apple= proprietary

    Just the way it is.
  10. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Because it's not a great standard and leaves a LOT to be desired. Operating outside of it means Apple can make far larger advances far faster.

    Going with Qi could mean that the charging device must be in contact with the charger, rather than simply in the vicinity.
  11. mcfrazieriv macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2012
    Irvine, CA

    Next Macbook Pro feature to be removed: places to rest the palms of your hands when you have attached devices.
  12. soupcan macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2014
    Oh nononono, you don't put a charging pad in a palm rest. That defeats the entire purpose of a palm rest.

    And Apple, Qi exists. Use it.
  13. DanielDD macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2013
    Just like the W1, Apple's version might simply be better
  14. One Bad Duck macrumors member

    One Bad Duck

    Sep 18, 2005
  15. CJM macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2005
    "Copperfield Research ... have shorted Watt's stock ... may not be impartial."

    Yeah, that's putting it lightly.
  16. ILuvEggplant Suspended


    Jul 28, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    sure - better is great but why not make it cross compatible?
  17. Delgibbons macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2016
    Airpods still use plain ol Bluetooth for audio and not even aptx quality but plain old a2dp.

    They just pretend it's different in the way it pairs using the w1 thing.

    I've personally never had any trouble with Bluetooth 4 pairing as soon as I turn my headphones on with my galaxy s7
  18. Apple 26.2 macrumors 6502a

    Apple 26.2

    Jan 1, 2011
    What up, 212?!
    Will this indeed be ready for iPhone 8 or are we speculative at this time?
  19. NMBob macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2007
    New Mexico
    Ohhh. THIS why we now have to get a 2nd mortgage to get 2TBs of disk space in a laptop, instead of just buying an $80 spinning hard drive. Now I get it. Very courageous.
  20. Iconoclysm macrumors 68020


    May 13, 2010
    Washington, DC
    If it takes a leap beyond Qi where that makes compatibility impossible, then no. One thing Apple has going for it with its own iterations of proprietary tech is that it isn't held back by slow moving standards organizations.
  21. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    According to you, QI is a standard? Why does Apple have to make it compatible with QI? Apple will likely use their own method of the way they incorporate wireless charging.

    Placing the iPhone on a mat isn't exactly that far superior over plugging into a wall. Using a Mat means the iPhone has to be placed properly for it to charge and isn't always practical for everyday purposes.
  22. konqerror macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2013
    Already seen in the Apple Watch: they took a Qi chipset, cranked the frequency just beyond the Qi standard, and modified the data link protocol to make it proprietary.
  23. lincolntran macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2010
    Well, my common sense dictates that if I have to get a 2nd mortgage to be able to have enough space for my laptop, then there's something wrong with my reasoning...
  24. WRChris macrumors 6502a


    Aug 17, 2016
    Panties stay in a wad year round at MR.
  25. Rafagon macrumors regular


    Jun 19, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Noooo!! That method is crap! I was excited for the “REAL” wireless charging technology. This is not wireless and certainly not revolutionary.

    Imagine if you had to place your laptop ON the router in order to get “wireless” Internet.

    Come on, Apple, wow us with the real deal.

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180 January 23, 2017