While there are quite a few smartphones available today that support wireless charging, such as the Galaxy S6, Apple has never embraced the technology in the same way its competitors have. But, according to a report from Bloomberg, this might change next year. Citing 'people familiar with the matter,' the report states that Apple may introduce ‘cutting edge’ wireless technology to its mobile devices in 2017, and it’ll work over a “long range,” so there’ll be no need for a charging mat or plate.
Being able to wirelessly charge a device without it requiring physical contact with a charging surface would no doubt increase its appeal to consumers. But Apple still needs to get past some technical issues, such as the potential loss of power over distances. The report did add that the decision on implementing the technology is still being assessed.
Apple does use a form of Qi wireless charging in the Apple Watch, but it requires the device to be placed on a magnetic charging surface. Qi technology can transmit power over a distance, although it is limited to around 4cm (1.6 inches).
Apple has filed a number of patents related to wireless charging technology, but a large number of companies file design patents that never end up becoming actual products. However, considering that this is Apple’s take on an existing technology, rather than one it came up with itself, there’s more likelihood of it becoming a reality.
If the report proves to be true, the feature could help Apple increase its iPhone growth next year, which has stagnated recently.