Several issues will inevitably arise when charging your mobile device with a wall charger. The most frustrating problem with USB cables – particularly Apple’s – is that many of them are poorly made. The cable splits open, wires get exposed, and the charger is eventually rendered unreliable or completely useless. As it turns out, Apple may be exploring a solution to this problem that could simultaneously absolve the company of its shoddy cable sins and boost its bottom line. According to Bloomberg, Apple is exploring ways to develop mobile phones and tablets that aren’t inhibited by the need for cables or close proximity to a power mat.
Late last year, Apple released a charging dock that can power the Apple Watch from a distance of a few millimeters away. Now, it appears that the tech giant has set its sights on enabling a similar function over a much longer distance. Although the Cupertino-based company has declined to comment on the matter, a source who asked to remain anonymous has informed Bloomberg that Apple is working with partners in both the United States and China to find a way to beam power to devices from “further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones.”
A few weeks ago, a company by the name of Energous made noise at CES 2016 by introducing its wireless charging system, WattApp. The tech proved capable of delivering 5.5 watts of power from 5 feet way, and 1 watt from 15 feet away. This would be an optimum wireless charging system for the iPhone, which currently receives 5 watts of power from the standard iPhone charger. Although Bloomberg‘s source failed to name specific partners in Apple’s ambitious project, Energous revealed that it has a contract with “one of the top five consumer technology companies in the world.” It’s possible that Energous could be talking about Google, Samsung, or Microsoft, but their description of the unspecified tech company strongly points to Apple.
Whether or not Apple is set on pushing wireless-charged devices to market is still up in the air. However, if the company is successful in overcoming the technical obstacles, then devices with the ability to be charged from afar may surface as early as 2017.
A new technology like this has the potential to be a game changer for Apple. While the Cupertino-based company remains one of the most valuable companies in the world, Apple is forecasting its first sales decline in 13 years. The decline is due mostly to the stalling sales of iPhones, as well as a dropoff in the sales of iPads – two devices that generate more than three quarters of Apple’s revenue. Hence, a new technology like wireless-charged phones could greatly help to rejuvenate consumer demand for the company’s marquee products.
Stay tuned for more details on Apple cutting the cord from your phones and tablets.[Bloomberg]
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