Apple adopted wireless charging beginning with the iPhone 8/iPhone X launch in the fall of 2017, but in 2019 competitors like Huawei and Samsung introduced reverse wireless charging, allowing you to use your device to wirelessly charge other devices.
According to a recent patent filing, Apple may be preparing to catch up and perhaps even surpass its rivals by applying reverse wireless charging across virtually its full lineup (via PhoneArena).
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The standard grain of salt warnings apply here as with all patents, companies contemplate lots of ideas that never end up coming to light, but given Apple's propensity for tightly integrating its entire product lineup this does seem like a plausible move.
For the most part the patent in question, "Inductive charging between electronic devices" sounds very much like every other implementation of reverse wireless charging that we have seen to date with the basic description simply being, " wirelessly charging a first electronic device using a second electronic device."
Where it gets a bit more interesting is the scope of the implementation with the patent image depicting an iPad charging an iPhone.
In the text of the patent there is reference to using a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, and even a desktop to charge devices like "a gaming device, a display, a digital music player, a wearable computing device or display, a health monitoring device...."
Now some of this is certainly just catchall language meant to make sure the patent isn't limiting, but it's easy to imagine using a MacBook to charge up your iPhone or your iPad to charge up your Apple Watch or AirPods.
Apple had a bit of a rough start to its wireless charging ambitions with its failure to bring the AirPower charging mat to market, so it's good to see it continuing to push its wireless charging tech forward and hopefully we see this make its way into Apple's lineup in the near future.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.