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

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
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.

Tag: 9to5Mac

Popular Stories

Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
Apple Intelligence General Feature

Apple Intelligence Features Not Coming to European Union at Launch Due to DMA

Friday June 21, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple today said that European customers will not get access to the Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing features that are coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac this September due to regulatory issues related to the Digital Markets Act. In a statement to Financial Times, Apple said that there will be a delay as it works to figure out how to make the new...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Wednesday June 19, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
back to school 2024

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launches, Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Thursday June 20, 2024 4:29 am PDT by
Apple has launched its annual Back to School promotion for college students in the United States. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with any new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or iMac, and a $100 gift card with the purchase of any new M4 iPad ...
iOS 17

Apple Releases First Public Beta of iOS 17.6

Thursday June 20, 2024 10:18 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first betas of upcoming iOS 17.6 and iPadOS 17.6 updates to public beta testers, with the betas coming a few days after the initial iOS and iPadOS 17.6 developer betas. Public beta testers can get the beta by opening up the Settings app, going to the Software Update section, tapping on the "Beta Updates" option, and toggling on the iOS 17 or iPadOS 17 Public Beta....

Top Rated Comments

infinitejest Avatar
18 months ago
Sometime you really wonder why some rather "basic" features take them so long.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lounge vibes 05 Avatar
18 months ago
The iPhone already has this, the MagSafe battery pack can be reverse charged via the iPhone.
It’s just disabled for all of their other products.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
18 months ago
Wireless charging is still too slow and it overheats the device.

USB-C is all I care about. The lightning (connector) has got to go. It's outdated now!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
David1964 Avatar
18 months ago

Sometime you really wonder why some rather "basic" features take them so long.
It’s not a basic feature,it’s a gimmick.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
David1964 Avatar
18 months ago

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!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jtdx99 Avatar
18 months ago
Didn't android phones have this like five years ago? Not very 'advanced' to me...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)