Apple Wins As MagSafe Becomes Part Of The Qi2 Wireless Charging Standard

The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) announced a new version of the Qi wireless charging standard yesterday. Called Qi2, it promises the following:

  • It uses a Magnetic Power Profile to make sure that phones and other battery-powered mobile products are perfectly aligned with chargers for improved energy efficiency and faster charging.
  • Qi2 will allow for new accessories that would not be chargeable using existing flat surface-to-flat surface devices.
  • Faster charging will be available for some devices, and the updated standard will also “pave the way for significant future increases in wireless charging speeds.”

The big news is that all of this is based on Apple MagSafe tech:

WPC member, Apple®, provided the basis for the new Qi2 standard building on its MagSafe® technology. Apple® and other WPC members developed the new Magnetic Power Profile, which is at the core of Qi2. Qi2’s Magnetic Power Profile will ensure that phones or other rechargeable battery-powered mobile products are perfectly aligned with charging devices, thus providing improved energy efficiency and faster charging.

So, what this means is that the broader smartphone industry will likely be adopting a standard based on Apple tech for the next generations of smartphones. As in Samsung, Nothing, Etc.

Mind. Blown.

Apple wins huge here as they have tried to get their tech to become industry standards before. They tried with Firewire back in the day and failed with that. They tried with USB-C and while USB-C has been adopted widely, Apple doesn’t make a dime off of that because the USB-IF which governs that standard doesn’t roll like that as it’s a non-profit. But Apple has hit the jackpot with the WPC. Because Apple will be able to collect royalties from anyone who uses Qi2. And the revenue from those royalties will likely dwarf whatever money that Apple presently makes from its MFi or Made For iPhone program. Tim Cook likely can’t wait for Qi2 to roll out later this year because of that.

But there’s something else. You might recall that the EU has forced Apple to adopt USB-C in the iPhone. I wonder if this could be a vehicle for Apple to tell the EU to take a hike on that front as they could argue that they are using a standards based charger? Thus there’s no need for USB-C on the iPhone? I guess we’ll see in September when the iPhone 15 rolls out.

Finally, you have to believe that talk of the portless iPhone will start up again. Because I’m betting that Apple will take this standard that they had a hand in inventing and layer on data transfer. Which means a physical port won’t be required. If that’s true, that’s not happening this year. But I can see it happening in a year or two.

No matter how you slice it, Apple wins. Which is something that I didn’t have on my BINGO card at the start of the year.

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