In late December we reported on a pair of new patent applications that were originally filed as provisional patents back in 2015 titled wireless charging station and wireless charging retail systems. Obviously it was a smoking gun that Apple’s work on wireless charging was in full flight because their engineers wouldn’t be designing Apple Store wireless charging presentation tables unless they knew that Apple had wireless charging coming to their iDevices and Macs.
Apple has filed many wireless charging patents over the years and you could review them in our specialty archive here. My two favorites cover a master wireless system integrated into an iMac that covers a wide area of coverage that could charge your Magic keyboard, mouse, trackpad, iDevices and more. The second covered the ability of a future MacBook Pro being able to recharge an Apple Watch and iPhone by resting them in the trackpad area.
There was a rumor last October that Foxconn got the green light from Apple to test a wireless charging module for 2017 iPhones – and Fast Company wildly speculated last December that Energous was working with Dialog Semi, an Apple supplier, for a long-range wireless solution akin to Apple’s master wireless system with a longer range.
Today we learn another little factoid about Apple’s wireless charging puzzle. Taiwan-based Lite-On Semiconductor, a maker of discrete and analog IC components, has entered the supply chain for the next-generation iPhone 8 by providing GPP bridge rectifiers for the support of fast wireless charging, according to a recent Chinese-language Commercial Times report.
The report further cited that Lite-On Semi has reportedly obtained half of the orders for GPP bridge rectifiers that will be used in the wireless charger for the upcoming iPhones.
While that doesn’t tell us what kind of charging solution Apple has finally adopted, the fact is that the part from Lite-On Semi is for a specific function related to wireless charging. Fast charging has already been adopted by many Android OEM’s for some time.
Hopefully Apple has a superior solution on the way because in the Android world, these wireless chargers don’t charge batteries any faster than standard wired based charging.
As Android Central described, “No Android phone that supports wireless charging has ever included a wireless charger in the box, and wireless charging is never as fast as the charger you do get in the box. It’s only marginally more convenient to set a phone on a little tray than it is to plug it in, so the list of positives has never really been high enough to justify mass adoption.”