In brief: Apple’s just-announced iPhone 11 lineup reportedly packs in the necessary hardware for two-way wireless charging, a feature that was first rumored earlier this year. But before you run out and pre-order one of these devices, there’s something you should know.
Well-known Apple leaker Sonny Dickson claimed in a recent Twitter post that reliable sources have confirmed that the hardware to enable two-way wireless charging is indeed present in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models but for whatever reason, Apple has disabled the functionality via software.
Reliable sources are saying iPhone 11 and 11 Pro do include the hardware for bilateral charging, but that it is software disabled. Uncertain whether this was removed prior to final production run.
— Sonny Dickson (@SonnyDickson) September 13, 2019
Two-way, or bilateral, wireless charging allows a device – in this case, an iPhone, to not only be able to be charged wirelessly, but to share its battery power wirelessly with other devices. It effectively turns your phone into a wireless charging mat so, for example, you could charge your Apple Watch or AirPods using your iPhone.
Samsung has offered this feature for months now through what it calls Wireless PowerShare.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors before Apple’s press event on Tuesday that Apple likely wouldn’t support two-way wireless charging because “the charging efficiency may not meet Apple’s requirements.” Hours before Apple’s press event, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also confirmed that reverse charging was off the table.
We’ll find out soon enough through teardowns whether or not the iPhone 11 really does have the hardware necessary for two-way charging. If it does, but Apple canceled it at the 11th hour, this would be its second major miss on wireless charging. Earlier this year, the Cupertino-based company canceled its planned AirPower wireless charging mat due to technical difficulties.
Masthead credit: Shara Tibken, CNET