The consortium pushes the Qi wireless charging standard, making it likely that an upcoming iPhone will use the technology.
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“After several years of increasing rumour, Apple’s membership with the Wireless Power Consortium points strongly to the expectation that the next iPhone will include wireless charging technology,” IHS Technology analyst Vicky Yussuff wrote in an emailed statement.
Yussuff added that wireless charging could be set for a massive boost, given Apple’s effect on the market.
“The world market for wireless charging is expected to exceed 350 million enabled receiver units shipped in 2017. To date, this volume has largely been driven through the backing of wireless charging by Samsung. However, many in the industry have been cautious to move forwards until they knew the direction for any wireless charging on iPhone devices,” the analyst explained.
The next iPhone could have wireless charging, after news that Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium
“Although shipments of wireless charging devices grew by 40% in 2016, the continued absence of the iPhone and the continued wait for the launch of magnetically resonant devices meant shipments were lower than expected for 2016 overall.”
Samsung and Nokia were the main proponents of the technology, which allows users to charge their phone by slapping it down on a charging plate/pillow. The main drawback to wireless charging is that it’s still generally slower than fast-charging from a wall-plug, although Samsung has introduced fast wireless charging solutions in recent years.
IHS also expects another major smartphone company to join the Wireless Power Consortium at Mobile World Congress this month.