After all, the iPhone 12 is capable of reverse charging

After All, The Iphone 12 Is Capable Of Reverse Charging

An earlier FCC filing hinted at the iPhone 12’s reverse charging capability, but it took months for the first chargeable product to arrive.

Litter kept at least one of its iPhone 12’s features quiet for months, but reverse wireless charging was revealed in an Apple support document, confirming earlier suspicions. This means that not only can the iPhone 12 be wirelessly charged with a MagSafe or Qi charger, it can also charge other devices wirelessly. So far, this capacity is quite limited, but it can be expanded in the future. Apple has a tendency to plan ahead and include technology in its devices, even when the related product is months or even years after launch.

There were indications in 2020 that the iPhone 12 could reverse wirelessly charge an AirTag or future versions of AirPods. This came to light when Apple filed RF exposure documents as required by the FCC, but this feature was not mentioned when the iPhone 12 was released. This was before the AirTag was released, but it was rumored to be soon. Putting these details together, it made sense that the new iPhone could carry an AirTag. When Apple’s location beacon was announced in April 2021, it was clear that it wasn’t happening. AirTag in its current form does not support wireless charging of any kind. Instead, it relies on a user-replaceable 3V CR2032 lithium coin battery.

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It turns out that Apple simply hadn’t made use of all the features of the iPhone 12 yet. With the release of the MagSafe Battery Pack in July 2021, however, that changed. Apple has published a support document on this new device, as discovered by 9to5Mac. The accessory has a Lightning port and can be charged separately, but you can also connect it using the MagSafe connection to an iPhone 12 — and both will charge at the same time. While reverse wireless is not specifically mentioned, in this arrangement the iPhone is connected with a Lightning cable and consumes power to replenish the internal battery while the MagSafe Battery Pack is simultaneously charged wirelessly.


Uses of iPhone 12 Reverse Wireless Charging


Apple MagSafe Battery for iPhone 12

Since the MagSafe Battery Pack can be plugged in while connected to an iPhone 12 to charge both, it initially appears that there is no need for reverse charging. Apple has given some examples to clarify the purpose. If you’re powering the iPhone 12 via CarPlay, it can charge while playing music, giving instructions, and interacting with Siri. Another example is when backing up an iPhone to a Mac. In either case, when a MagSafe battery is connected, it can be charged when using the iPhone with a connected device. It seems unlikely that Apple will include this technology for use with just one compatible accessory, so there could be more products coming that can take advantage of the iPhone’s newfound ability.


Based on the FCC filing, the Phone 12 should be able to deliver up to 5 watts of wireless power. That’s not fast charging, but it’s the same amount of power supplied to an iPhone and AirPods when using a Qi charger. Future versions of AirTag may come with rechargeable batteries. Additionally, Apple mentioned several form factors for its tracking tags in a patent document.

Unfortunately, the story is exactly the same with the latest iPhone 13 series. All iPhone 13 models work the same way with Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack, but they don’t offer reverse wireless charging capabilities beyond that. In other words, it’s another generation of iPhones that technically supports reverse wireless charging – only in one much limited way. Apple is likely to expand iPhone reverse wireless charging to other use cases in the future (like charging AirPods or other phones), but when that will happen remains a total mystery. It could be with the iPhone 14, the iPhone 15, or not until the iPhone 16. Apple is notorious for taking its time to release new features for the iPhone. In the case of reverse wireless charging, it seems that the strategy is no different.


iPhones can reverse charge wirelessly through the screen


iPhone reverse wireless charging

Nearly two years after the launch of the iPhone 12, Apple has shown no sign of introducing conventional reverse wireless charging on current or future iPhones. The iPhone 14 series leaks and rumors provide no indication that this feature, or any charging updates, are on the cards. However, Apple has patented an unusual reverse wireless charging solution for the iPhone and iPad. According to the patent application, an iPhone or iPad could wirelessly charge devices through the screen. The patent is limited to wireless charging accessories only, which may be restricted to devices like AirPods, Apple Watch and Apple Pencil.


iPads can already charge an Apple Pencil wirelessly by attaching it magnetically to the top, but the patent suggests it may be possible to do this by placing it on the screen. The screen of future iPhones and iPads may have a wireless charging coil underneath, along with magnets to hold the accessory in place. While it’s certainly an intriguing solution, patented technology can take years to reach commercial products. For now, however, it seems Litter is in no rush to bring reverse wireless charging to the iPhone.

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Source: Apple, 9to5Mac

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