Regulatory Filings May Point to Apple Partnership With Wireless Charging Firm Energous
Apple may be working with Energous on a wireless charging project according to regulatory filings discovered by VentureBeat. Energous certification documents dating back to 2014 features a mysterious "Apple compliance testing" listing, which could hint at a partnership.
According to VentureBeat, this is proof Apple is considering using Energous' WattUp wireless charging technology in one of its devices, but it should be noted that this listing isn't concrete proof of a relationship - it could also be a reference to MFi testing for an iPhone case or other WattUp iPhone accessory.
The conclusion here is obvious: the WattUp reference design would only undergo compliance testing at Apple if Apple is evaluating its use in one of its portable devices. And the fact that Energous names the company so nonchalantly and unambiguously seems to be suggestive of a well-formed relationship between the two.
While there continues to be no undeniable proof that Energous is working with Apple, there have been other hints. Energous has claimed it is working with "one of the top five consumer electronics companies," it has relationships with Apple manufacturers TSMC and Foxconn, and both are members of ANSI.
Energous also happens to be the only company that has a long-distance RF-based wireless charging system (WattUp) that's nearly ready to launch in consumer products. According to rumors, Apple is working on an extended range wireless charging solution, which would allow the iPhone to be charged at a distance without the need to be placed on a mat or other charging base. WattUp transmitters can charge devices located up to 15 feet away.
Apple is said to be planning to introduce wireless charging in the 2017 iPhone and may be working to overcome obstacles like the loss of power transfer efficiency that occurs when the distance between the transmitter and the receiver increases.
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, "Wireless is the future." Given the recent removal of the headphone jack and the need for the Lightning port to serve multiple functions, wireless charging is a logical next step.
Over the course of the last several months, Apple has been hiring engineers with expertise in wireless charging and it's rumored to be seeking a supplier for wireless charging chips, suggesting there are plans in motion for the next-generation iPhone.
Read more on a possible partnership between Energous and WattUp.