Apple apparently wants to let you charge your iPhone using a Wi-Fi router, a patent filing spotted by AppleInsider shows.
Apple is looking into the possibility of charging iPhones through medium to long distance wireless charging technologies, a U.S. Patent and Trademark filing named "Wireless Charging and Communications Systems With Dual-Frequency Patch Antennas" made public Thursday shows.
The filing shows Apple is trying to find a way to transfer power to devices over frequencies traditionally dedicated to data communications.
The power transfer capabilities could be made via wireless communications link, including cellular between 700 MHz to 2700 MHz, Wi-Fi operating at 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and millimeter wave communications between 10 GHz and 400 GHz. The patent also points to power transfer via “WiGig communications [millimeter wave IEEE 802.11 ad communications in a communications band at 60 GHz].”
The filing shows two devices are required for the power transfer, a transmitter and a receiver. Each gadget may include one or more antennas coupled with wireless circuitry that can make phase and/or magnitude adjustments to signals that are received and transmitted.
Again, the idea is just a patent, and Apple could choose to move forward with the technology or not. Also, it could have been a patent associated with Apple’s AirPort routers, on which the company reportedly stopped production. A November Bloomberg report said Apple shut down the wireless router division and transferred engineers from that team to other product development groups, including the one dedicated to Apple TV.
iPhone 8 To Come With Wireless Charging
While we wait to see if Apple moves on with the technology described in the patent filing, numerous reports have claimed the company will release the iPhone 8 with wireless charging capabilities. A schematic of the iPhone 8 leaked Wednesday shows the device sporting a wireless charging feature.
A previous report by the Verifier said the iPhone 8 will come with Apple’s “Smart Connector” for augmented reality and virtual reality accesories, as well as wireless charging technology. The Smart Connector is currently used on the iPad Pro. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also suggested in February the 2017 iPhone lineup will feature wireless charging. It’s also worth noting Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium this year, joining companies like Sony, Samsung, LG and Verizon. The move fueled more rumors about the iPhone 8 featuring wireless charging.
Meanwhile, a report this week said the iPhone 8 release date could be delayed because Apple and its suppliers are working to fix overheating problems with wireless charging components.
The 10th anniversary OLED display iPhone is expected to be released this fall alongside two LCD versions, the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus.