In a research note provided to AppleInsider, Cowen & Company analyst Timothy Arcuri from Cowen and Company predicts that wireless charging appear in the upcoming “iPhone 8,” but he doesn’t think it will involve Energous technology. Arcuri notes that there are chip sets and supporting gear intended for mobile devices that support both Qi and Airfuel, two different wirelesss charging technologies.
Apple is reportedly working on long-range charging that allows multiple devices to charge anywhere within range of around 20 feet. Energous has already successfully demonstrated this with its WattUp system, and a recent announcement by the company that it has delayed its release of the technology following a “key strategic partnership” has fueled the idea that Apple would be using the system in the iPhone 8, according to 9to5Mac.
Two former uBeam engineers with expertise in wireless charging and ultrasonic technology were hired by Apple last year. uBeam is a wireless charging start-up. In the last two-plus years Apple has hired more than a dozen staffers with expertise in wireless charging.
A year ago Bloomberg reported that Apple is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology that could be deployed on its mobile devices as soon as 2017. The article says that the technologies being investigated would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from farther away than the charging mats used with current smartphones. Apple is looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed, according to Bloomberg.