Apple recently became listed as a member of the Wireless Power Consortium, committed to the open development of the Qi wireless charging standard. The listing was brought to our attention by IHS Technology.
If the listing is accurate, Apple has become one of over 200 companies that belong to the consortium, including Samsung, LG, HTC, Qualcomm, Verizon, ConvenientPower, Aircharge, Dell, Canon, Sony, ST Microelectronics, Toshiba, Texas Instruments, Philips, Panasonic, Bosch, Nokia, and Huawei.
Qi is the leading wireless charging standard, used by more than 200 companies in products ranging from smartphones to cordless kitchen appliances. Samsung's latest Galaxy smartphones, for example, feature Qi-based wireless charging which requires placing the device on one of its "Fast Charge" stands.
Qi, pronounced "chee," is capable of scaling from less than 1 watt to more than 2,000 watts of power, making the standard more than adequate enough for charging any smartphone. With Qi's latest Quick Charge technology, a five-minute charge can provide a smartphone with up to five hours of battery life.
The so-called "iPhone 8" is widely rumored to include wireless charging, so Apple's participation in the consortium is perhaps unsurprising. Moreover, there is increasing evidence to suggest the "iPhone 8" may use inductive technology, which would require a charging puck or pad, rather than long-range charging.
Luxshare is also a member of the Wireless Power Consortium, which is notable given a recent rumor claiming the "iPhone 8" will have a separate wireless charger based on technology from the Chinese company. Luxshare was rumored to be a supplier of wireless charging coils for the Apple Watch charger.
In 2015, the inductive Apple Watch charger was found to be compliant with the Qi wireless charging standard. However, Apple's involvement in the Wireless Power Consortium does not guarantee that it will use the Qi standard for future iPhones—but it does suggest it has a growing interest in wireless charging technology.
Over the course of the last year, there has been ongoing speculation that wireless charging company Energous has inked a deal with Apple to potentially provide wireless charging technology for the iPhone 8, but patents and other evidence suggest Apple may pursue its own in-house inductive charging solutions instead.
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