In 2019, rumors suggested that the iPhone 11 would have reverse wireless charging. That would have made the phone, in essence, a wireless charging pad in and of itself. Disassembling iFixit revealed some of the components needed for this, but the work was not completed. This year, the FCC statement for iPhone 12 show it might work now. Yes, yours iPhone 12 may charge your AirPods soon.
Bilateral or reverse charging
Normally, the Qi charging components in a file iPhone operate in one direction only. They charge your device, but they don’t allow it iPhone to reload other components. The FCC filing, as noted by Jeremy Horwitz, shows some interesting facts about that technology in the iPhone 12.
A new MagSafe feature has been hidden in Apple’s FCC statements: “In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhone models also support 360 kHz WPT charging function to charge accessories [including] a potential external accessory for the apple in the future. “
– Jeremy Horwitz (@horwitz) October 28, 2020
In the repository, we learn that the iPhone 12 works with normal Qi chargers and also features a new “360 kHz charging function” which makes the laptop capable of charging accessories. Once Apple activates this feature, you can charge your AirPods by placing the case on the back of yours iPhone 12.
Apple is quiet, perhaps waiting for new AirPods
Cupertino never talked about this possibility in the “Hi, Speed” event. We never even heard rumblings about reverse wireless charging on iPhone 12. Ever since the 2019 model came and went without the feature, it’s almost as if everyone has forgotten about it. Then came the request from the FCC iPhone 12.
In addition to being able to be recharged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhone models also support 360 kHz WPT charging function to charge accessories. Currently the only accessory that can be recharged by iPhone is a potential external Apple accessory in the future.
As of now, Apple has clearly disabled this feature iPhone 12 devices. However, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman recently tweeted a possibility that arose from the filing. He believes Apple is holding on to this reverse charge feature for the alleged next generation AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2.
If this FCC statement is any indication, the iPhone 12 may have hidden reverse charging function. Maybe MagSafe on the new AirPods? https://t.co/QhFQtOgoRB https://t.co/OAKzzb5U3B pic.twitter.com/pqAVcjLCyN
– Mark Gurman (@markgurman) October 28, 2020
Gurman suggests that reverse charging might work via MagSafe. The new accessory cases may use their own MagSafe connectors to pair with yours iPhone Magnets of 12.
Like yours iPhone It could charge your AirPods
The FCC filing suggests using wireless charging technology in a “portable use condition”. Normally, charging will only happen when you connect the phone to AC power, but Apple is obviously preparing for more mobility in charging scenarios.
Future designs and accessories could support a true portable use condition, with the host-client pair able to fit in a pocket or backpack. In those cases. A body contact exposure assessment will be conducted.
Imagine, if you want, a world where you can charge your AirPods on the go, right from your own iPhone. No cables are needed, just a magnetic connection between the AirPods case and your phone. Apple is clearly envisioning just such a world. Let’s see if it happens.