Apple, iPhone

Apple has developed an animosity for ports that is surprising to behold. From iPhones to Macbooks, Apple is waging a war of attrition that is seeing ports disappear one at a time. The company has now joined the Wireless Power Consortium, lending fuel to rumors that it might finally do away with the lightning charging port in the next iteration of its iconic iPhone.

The Wireless Power Consortium website has now been updated to reflect Apple as one of the members. This takes the total membership up to 213 and more importantly, casts a pall over the future of the lightning port.

There have been a lot of rumors, but we have yet to see wireless charging on an iPhone. Of course, the Apple Watch has a magnetic cable that allows you to charge it without any wires however, this is the first time that we are hearing of some really concrete evidence that the company’s interest in charging without wires could extend to well, you know — iPhones.

Wireless charging is a feature that has fascinated us since the past several years. Being able to charge your smartphone while unencumbered by wires. Is there really anything left to ask life? However, the technology is not exactly in its prime yet and there has been quite a bit of trouble wherein a lot of power was wasted or the battery got hot and was damaged in the long run.

With that said, the technology has matured over the past few years and Apple’s move to join the consortium shows that it is gearing up to take the next big step. Speaking of the next big step, it could also mean a step back for the Cupertino based smartphone manufacturer.

There were rumors of Apple delving in wireless charging in partnership with Energous wherein the iPhone could charge even at substantial distances from the charging station. The Wireless Power Consortium’s approach on the other hand, has to do with induction based charging wherein the devices need to be placed on a charging plate. I don’t know about you, but the earlier approach could have been even more convenient. That Apple is moving ahead with the latter, could point to difficulties with the former.

Meanwhile, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities, who has been known as one of the most reliable forecasters (though he did make a few slips of late) for Apple product releases, also said that the next iPhone should feature the lightning port plus wireless charging.

The company provided the following statement to TechCrunch:

Apple is an active member of many standards development organizations, as both a leader and contributor. Apple is joining the Wireless Power Consortium to be able to participate and contribute ideas to the open, collaborative development of future wireless charging standards. We look forward to working together with the WPC and its members.

So yeah, in typical Apple manner, the statement manages to convey everything except for addressing the most burning question — that is, will the next iPhone have a lightning port or wireless charging or will it be powered by fossil fuels? The company is expected to release three high end iPhones around September this year, and is said to have gone overboard with them. It will be interesting to see if the wireless charging feature forms part of iPhone 8’s retinue.

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