Some Apple iPhones Could Charge Wirelessly in 2021

It seems Apple (AAPL) is setting up to bring revolutionary changes to its future iPhones. We already know about 5G connectivity and the varying sizes of the iPhone screens planned for 2020. On Thursday, though, MacRumors revealed that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had shed light on another feature: the iPhone’s wireless charging ability.

Kuo said that in 2021, Apple would do away with the lightning port on its high-end iPhones to provide a “completely wireless experience.” Speculation has been rampant about Apple discarding the lightning cable for years. The report further stated that by 2022, every iPhone would feature wireless charging, not just high-end ones.

Back in 2017, CNBC cited the Wall Street Journal in saying that Apple could remove the lightning connector for the conventional USB connector for iPhone 8. Kuo predicted that Apple would release three wireless-charging iPhones in 2017, according to CNBC.

What didn’t happen in 2017 is likely to happen in 2021. Apple introduced the lightning connectors in 2013 with the iPhone 5, according to the Verge. The company has continued with lightning ports with all its iPhones to date, even the latest iPhone 11 series. Interestingly, Kuo wrote, “Apple will create more differentiation between the highest-end and high- end models. It will benefit the shipment of the highest-end model and iPhone ASP.

Apple adopting various strategies for future iPhones

Earlier this week, JPMorgan Chase indicated that Apple would launch iPhones twice a year from 2020 onward. Kuo seems to think the same. He said that Apple would launch the iPhone SE2 Plus in the second half of 2021 and a high-end iPhone in the first half. According to Kuo’s previous prediction, the affordable iPhone SE2 could launch in the first half of 2020.

Wireless charging could have initial obstacles

According to Chance Miller from 9to5Mac, though the technology is revolutionary, there are obstacles to its adoption. Firstly, you can’t use your iPhone when you have it charging wirelessly. You may have to wait until it charges to access it. Secondly, while the wireless charging case is convenient in cars or indoors, it won’t be helpful when outdoors.

The third hurdle is the most important one. The USB cable can charge an iPhone up to 18W. However, wireless charging can power a battery only from 7.5W to 10W, noted Miller. The speed of charging via USB is also much higher than via wireless charging. Lastly, if you need support for your iPhone, you can normally restore it through a Mac. Without a lightning cable, you’d have to go to an Apple store.

Will Apple bring back the AirPower?

Let’s hope these issues turn out to be minor growing pains. As 2021 approaches, Apple should be able to find solutions to each of these problems. We may also see improved battery life so that the iPhone can function without the need for frequent charging.

Apple has long been a leader in product innovation. It’s a unique move to launch wireless charging on its devices. Right now, the company offers wireless charging for its AirPods through a case. These wireless charging cases are compatible with Qi charging.

Apple was previously expected to launch a wireless charging mat called the AirPower. However, in March this year, the company canceled the product. Dan Riccio, vice president of hardware engineering at Apple, informed Tech Crunch, “After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project.”

However, amid anticipation of wireless charging for iPhones in 2021, can we expect Apple to bring back the AirPower? We’ll have to wait for more details on that front.