Apple planning wireless charging for the iPhone?

7 Jul 2011

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Cable-free charging could be winging its way to future members of the iPhone family. As Apple’s iPhone 5 is expected to arrive in September with a faster processor, the sixth generation in 2012 could boast wireless charging technology.

In the last two years, charging mats have begun appearing in the mobile phone industry using inductive charging technology. Inductive charging uses the electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two objects.

Induction chargers use an induction coil to create an alternating electromagnetic field from within a charging base station, and a second induction coil in the portable device takes power from the electromagnetic field and converts it back into electrical current to charge the battery.

Tootbrush manufacturer Braun has used inductive charging since the 1990s and devices from Duracell and Powermat allow users to charge a number of devices by placing them on a grid or mat.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple’s iPhone 5, which will debut in September, will come with an A5 processor, an 8-megapixel camera and will be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4.

The company is understood to have initially planned to launch the iPhone 5 during the summer but difficulties improving production yield rates held it back.

Beyond iPhone 5, it is understood Apple has been experimenting with new ways of charging the phone – which could involve inductive charging – as well as less expensive devices with edge-to-edge screens.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com