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Apple's wireless charging future plans


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Apple's wireless charging future plans
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-11-29, 09:21

**Apple/Tech News**

Apple Still Working on AirPower-Like Charger, Also Long-Range Wireless Charging and Reverse Charging

...according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

A few things, from someone who admittedly doesn't understand much of all this. Just general thoughts/questions...

1) What is taking Apple so long to put out such a device, when many other outfits have done so for quite some time? Are they trying to do too much (charging many devices at once, vs. just saying "hey, it can do 1-2...schedule/plan your charging a bit, nerds"

2) Is/will this type of charging ever be as efficient as the traditional wired kind? I ask only because Apple tends to blow itself on its green/environmental initiatives and stances to such a degree, but this wireless stuff seems like a bit of a waste in comparison to just plugging in a cord

3) Are they chasing something for first-world convenience points (because "everyone" now allegedly has an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods?) and can't be bothered with the above staggered charging? Is Apple chasing a unicorn nobody is really asking for, or are they just having to spend a bit more time "thinking different" on a solution?



As someone with a steam-powered 1840's era iPhone - and no watch, iPad or AirPods - I fully realize I'm not the ideal barometer/test case on this stuff. My personal DGAF is quite high on all this, however one day we'll all be on wireless-charging-capable stuff - even me - and the idea of plugging in a Lightning cable will seem as funny and dated as SCSI usage *shudder*

Could Apple help themselves out and scale back their ambitions a bit - "you can charge one device, very efficiently". But then what explains some of those others products I've seen that actually charge a phone, watch and wireless earbuds (and at a decidedly non-Apple price)?

What are they able to figure out/implement that Apple, of all people, hasn't? Or are these things known to be hyper-inefficient, unreliable house-burning-down dice-rolls?

I realize Apple could probably do something like above (and sell it for $179).
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chucker
 
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2021-11-29, 09:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
2) Is/will this type of charging ever be as efficient as the traditional wired kind? I ask only because Apple tends to blow itself on its green/environmental initiatives and stances to such a degree, but this wireless stuff seems like a bit of a waste in comparison to just plugging in a cord
Correct. There will always be overhead compared to wired charging. I indeed find this aspect a bit… under-discussed.

MagSafe (the iPhone variant) is neat and all, but it's ultimately convenience at the cost of inefficiency.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-11-29, 09:49

That's kinda what I was thinking, but in my limited knowledge of this sort of stuff, I didn't know if I was seeing it right. But I can read/understand numbers and specs.

Yeah, seems to be an odd tradeoff for an outfit so proud of their green track record. They always take a bit of time during any keynote or media event to talk about that in the general, and how their newest, just-announced products meet or exceed all the important green/planet-friendly factors.

This sort of stuff seems like an odd "well, except for..." hit to that. Will be interesting to see how they reconcile or spin all that, if/when the day ever comes.

Unless, Apple being Apple, they're actually working on something that is both wireless and super-efficient in a way that currently doesn't exist or that nobody is expecting/imagining. That certainly wouldn't be the first time they've surprised everyone. So maybe that's what is taking so long, and why they've not put out any sort of first-party product when Belkin and 800 others all have. Maybe they're looking to "do it right" (and maintain their green cred).

I can imagine that being part of a four-year (and counting) holdup/delay on such a product.

Of course, when it does arrive, it'll be $699.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-11-29, 14:35

I have this bitching magnetic snap on charger by Anker that seems terribly inefficient compared to plugging in at the mains. You simply can't wish away physics.


...
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-11-29, 15:07

Apple may be lauded for their bravery at WWDC next summer when Tim comes on stage and says "you know what, just use your damn cords, people. We've pissed up a rope long enough on this wireless charging and we're just not happy with our efforts and progress. It may be too Star Trek for even us. Check back in 20 years."

It'll be like vinyl records...all the trendy hipsters will be using 30-pin USB cables again because that's what the iPhone 14 will return to.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2021-11-29, 15:09

Don’t count on it. With the EU forcing Apple to use USB-C in Europe, the push to wireless everything will come even faster than it might have.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-11-29, 15:39

Yep. But, there will be lawsuits and appeals for a few years, and even the EU cannot expect Apple to just reengineer an entire product line in a few months. Also, Apple isn't going to sell Lightning in one country and USB-C in another, as that will just intensify the confusion, so it will come as a world-wide release for all iPhones, which is coming one way or another — and get ready for the relentless whining because "All my Lightning ain't work with my new iPhone!"

And, even with wireless as an option, if the EU gets away with their lack of vision/innovation then USB-C will still be required. "Since we can't innovate, neither can you! It's the law!"

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chucker
 
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2021-11-29, 16:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
And, even with wireless as an option, if the EU gets away with their lack of vision/innovation then USB-C will still be required. "Since we can't innovate, neither can you! It's the law!"
No, wireless devices are explicitly exempt from the EU regulation.

(Still misguided.)
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-11-29, 16:28

Wow. I had no idea.

Makes no sense, since a whole new round of cables is required to make all that work. I thought they were going for consistency?

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chucker
 
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2021-11-29, 16:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Wow. I had no idea.

Makes no sense, since a whole new round of cables is required to make all that work. I thought they were going for consistency?
Well, if wireless devices weren't exempt, then AirPods would need a USB-C port. (But smartwatches seem exempt. No USB-C on your Apple Watch!)

It just seems an overreaching solution for a problem that hasn't actually been a big deal for a decade and a half. Like, if this were 2005 and your phone might have something weird like ExtUSB, or mini-USB, or micro-USB (those two are distinct!), or micro-USB 3.0, or Lightning, or the Dock connector, and the charger might have some proprietary jack, or none at all (see, old-school Apple MagSafe AC adapters, say), I could see the point. But basically any phone is now USB-C or Lightning, and basically any charger just has a USB-A or USB-C jack. So you don't need a new charger anyway, you just might need another cable.

I think the moment we started standardizing on a USB-A jack on the AC adapter, and now a USB-C one, this stopped being a problem. And that was, what, a decade ago?

Who asked for this?
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-11-29, 16:48

Europe did.

Because politics somewhere for some reason.
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chucker
 
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2021-11-29, 17:30

Nah. There isn’t much connection between what voters want and what the EC thinks makes sense.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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2021-11-29, 17:47

Since when do politics have anything to do with voters?

I suspect it has more to do with big tech isn't greasing palms, so palms are lashing out.

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chucker
 
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2021-11-29, 17:51

Not sure why you're starting this fight with me.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-11-29, 18:07

There's a fight?

Nah.

I'm just typing my thoughts.
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