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Apple still developing reverse wireless charging for iPhone

9to5Mac has learned from sources familiar with the matter that Apple is continuing to provide full reverse wireless charging support for the iPhone despite engineering delays. Apple had hoped to debut the feature in the iPhone 14 Pro lineup but was unable to meet that deadline.

The so-called reverse wireless charging feature, also known as bilateral wireless charging, means that the phone can wirelessly charge small devices such as wireless headphones and bracelets. According to the report, sources indicate that Apple engineers are stepping up the development of the reverse wireless charging feature while optimizing its software.

Interestingly, the iPhone has had at least some of the necessary hardware for reverse wireless charging since iPhone 12. The MagSafe external battery also debuted with iPhone 12, allowing a Lightning cable to be plugged into the iPhone and then the iPhone will charge the MagSafe external battery. However, Apple still doesn’t explicitly call this reverse wireless charging.

Full reverse wireless charging will allow iPhone to charge any Qi-enabled accessory. One of the primary uses of this feature for Apple users is to charge AirPods.

Sources familiar with the matter have told 9to5Mac that Apple is continuing to develop more advanced reverse wireless charging technology for the iPhone. Apple had hoped to include full support for reverse wireless charging on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, but the feature wasn’t finalized in time for that launch, the sources said. Despite missing the mark, Apple engineers are still working on the feature and hope to introduce it in future iPhones.

Internally, Apple is working on a unique “line power out” firmware that will serve as the basis for this feature. Work on this firmware is a key aspect of ongoing testing and engineering of reverse wireless charging hardware. A key aspect of dual-sided charging is managing the speed of charging between the iPhone and other devices, including heat dissipation and charging efficiency.

Apple is also developing a special user interface for reverse wireless charging, similar to the one currently used for MagSafe chargers and accessories, including on-screen animations as well as sound effects to indicate that bilateral wireless charging has been activated.

Sources also caution that reverse wireless charging may eventually be delayed again or eliminated altogether. This feature has been in the works since at least iPhone 11, and is one of the bigger challenges due to concerns about heat management and charging speed.

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Stephen Cruise
Stephen Cruisehttps://www.techgoing.com
Stephen Cruise is a senior editor covering latest smartphones, EVs, PC gaming, console, and tech with 11 years of experience.

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