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

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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.
However, this type of radiative transfer is very inefficient because only a tiny portion of the supplied or radiated power, namely, that portion in the direction of, and overlapping with, the receiver is picked up. The vast majority of the power is radiated away in all the other directions and lost in free space. Such inefficient power transfer may be acceptable for data transmission, but is not practical for transferring useful amounts of electrical energy for the purpose of doing work, such as for charging electrical devices. [...]

In addition, such schemes may pose hazards to objects or people that cross or intersect the beam when modest to high amounts of power are being transmitted.
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.
Adding further credence to Apple's inductive charging roadmap are the consistent leaks from Asian sources that the next iPhone will feature glass casing. Inductive charging does not penetrate aluminum cases effectively, which is the material for the current iPhone casing. One reason Samsung adopted plastic material for its cases is to improve the performance of wireless charging.

A major misperception among tech blogs and WATT investors is that Apple's switch to a glass casing somehow confirms the inclusion of WATT's charging technology. This is ridiculous. The efficacy of RF wireless charging (WATT's technology) is not affected by aluminum or plastic cases.
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
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,264
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.

True
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
 

Beenblacklisted

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2011
430
215
Miami,Fl



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
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.
 
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Appleaker

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2016
2,197
4,190
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.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,049
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
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.
 
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Delgibbons

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2016
701
1,478
London
Just like the W1, Apple's version might simply be better
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
 

Iconoclysm

macrumors 68020
May 13, 2010
2,424
1,674
Washington, DC
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
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.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,035
35,036
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
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.
 

lincolntran

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2010
843
471
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.
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...
 

Rafagon

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2011
230
173
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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