For much of this year, we continue to feel that Apple’s 2019 iPhone would have a wireless reverse charge (also known as bilateral wireless charging). This feature was released for the first time on Huawei Mate 20 Pro 2018 and Samsung called Wireless PowerShare for the Samsung Galaxy S10 series and Galaxy Note 10. Reverse wireless charging allows the user to flip the phone and use the rear panel as if it was a wireless charging platform. For example, iPhone users may have turned on the AirPods wireless charging case, an Apple Watch or compatible phone.
Only last Monday evening, the evening before the new Apple product event, the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told customers that Apple had decided not to equip its new models with reverse wireless charging. The reason cited by Kuo was that Apple believed that “charging efficiency may not meet Apple’s requirements”. And in fact, during the event last Tuesday, not a single word was mentioned about it.
The great improvement in battery life in the iPhone 2019 models could originally have been related to reverse wireless charging
But this is not the end of the story. On Thursday, Twitter reporter Sonny Dickson revealed through a tweet that reliable sources told him that iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro could contain the hardware needed to offer reverse wireless charging, but the hardware is said to be “software disabled”. If true, this would mean that Apple’s decision to disable the feature was a last-minute decision and could have happened too late to remove the hardware from the phones.
Another sign that Apple may have originally decided to include reverse wireless charging in the 2019 iPhones is the good-sized leap in battery life for every model announced by Apple. The iPhone 11 has an additional battery life and the model it replaced (the iPhone XR) already has a longer battery life than any iPhone. The iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max have an increase in the battery life of four and five hours respectively. Because reverse wireless charging uses the battery that belongs to the host phone, Apple should have included more powerful batteries in the new phones. In fact, at the beginning of the year, when Kuo noticed that Apple planned to equip the 2019 iPhones with larger batteries, he specifically stated that it would help support bilateral wireless charging.
When it comes to wireless charging, this has not been an exceptional year for Apple. In March, it officially canceled the AirPower wireless recharging platform that first introduced September 12th, 2017. In that event, Apple also introduced the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. The platform would have to upload simultaneously the AirPods wireless charging case, an Apple Watch, and a compatible phone. Despite the small indications that AirPower was still alive (including a diagram in the sales package of the second-generation AirPods that showed a sketch of the product used with the Bluetooth wireless headphones), after 562 days, Apple eventually turned off the lights of the accessory too ambitious.
As for the reverse wireless hardware that could be inside the new iPhone, it does not seem that Apple intends to enable the feature with a short-term software update. And frankly, it’s not clear that the lack of reverse wireless charging will still cost Apple so many iPhone sales. Instead, the manufacturer has improved camera systems, larger batteries and better water resistance to increase sales of the latest iPhone models.
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