Apple files for reverse wireless charging where the iPhone can top up AirPods

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Apple is the last holdout among major phone makers that doesn’t offer a reverse wireless charging system on its phones. The technology would allow to use your iPhone’s battery charge to top up your AirPods Pro, Apple Watch, or other small gadgets that offer wireless charging if you have forgotten their charger, or simply for added convenience.

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The closest thing is the MagSafe battery case that can be charged back from the iPhone while you are topping it up. Apple simply states that “you can also charge both if you attach your MagSafe Battery Pack to your iPhone, then plug your iPhone into a power source. You might want to charge this way if you need to connect your iPhone to another device while charging, like if you’re using wired CarPlay or transferring photos to a Mac.

The fact that the iPhone doesn’t have reverse wireless charging is not very surprising as Apple’s handsets are often getting new technology years after it has trickled down to midrange Androids even. Apple likes to watch on the sidelines while a novel feature proves its mettle in the field and gauge if there is enough critical mass of consumer acceptance to make it a viable system for putting it into iPhones as well, but often with added value and a marketing twist. This, and the fact that the longer you wait, the cheaper, smaller, and more refined the components for offering a new technology become.

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After all, it took years for Apple to offer simple MagSafe wireless charging on its iPhone 12 series for the first time, long after Samsung has been offering not only wireless charging, but also its reverse form that can top up the Galaxy Buds series of earphones and other small gadgets. The MagSafe system, however, came with an ingenious charging coil arrangement and magnetic attachment system that improved the placement and experience, as well as with a bunch of OEM and third-party accessories for an added value.

Wirelessly charging AirPods with an iPhone

Now, however, Apple may be gearing up to improve the wireless charging experience on its phones even further, as Patently Apple reports that it has been granted a highly technical patent over at the USPTO that explains a “Bimodal Magnetic Alignment Components for Alignment of Devices.” There, it details how an accessory – which usually has a flat surface and comes in various shapes and forms – lying on the back of an iPhone can be charged back wirelessly without always thinking about its proper placement.

The solution is a bit technical, as it explains how “a device incorporating a bimodal alignment component can be interchangeably attached to other devices via either a primary annular alignment component or a secondary annular alignment component,” but the overarching goal is to be able to simply place and AirPods Pro wireless charging case, or even an Apple Watch across the iPhone’s back, and top it up on the go without overthinking the alignment and having to baby the placement at all times. 
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In any case, this patent is seemingly bringing us a step closer to a reverse wireless charging system by Apple, perhaps even in time for the iPhone 15 series which is rumored to come with larger batteries than the current crop of iPhones.

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