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Apple’s 2019 slate of iPhones may be able to wirelessly charge smartphones and other devices, according to a new analyst prediction.
Well-connected TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasted the additional feature for the upcoming iPhones in an investor’s note published Monday. Kuo had previously predicted the feature, but he goes went a bit more in-depth in today’s note.
“We expect the new 2H19 iPhone models will support two-way wireless charging,” Kuo wrote, adding that the “new function could make it more convenient for users to charge the new AirPods and create a better integrated user experience of the iPhone and AirPods.”
Two-way wireless charging (also known as bilateral charging) allows Qi-based devices, like smartphones, to charge other Qi-based devices. For example, you’ll be able to place your wireless-compatible AirPods case on the back of your iPhone to transfer power from the latter device to the former.
Of course, as Kuo notes, the 2019 iPhone won’t be the first high-end smartphone to sport such a feature. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S10 flagships have two-way wireless charging capabilities, dubbed Wireless PowerShare.
Kuo also mentions that both battery board size and overall battery capacity will likely increase to accommodate two-way wireless charging.
The successor to the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max, for example, could have its battery capacity increased by about 10 to 15 percent. Apple’s 2019 5.8-inch device could have a battery that’s 20 to 25 percent bigger, while the iPhone XR successor may have a battery capacity increase around 5 percent.
It isn’t clear whether Apple’s two-way wireless charging system will support the Apple Watch. To date, all versions of the Apple Watch use a proprietary charging mechanism that’s based on Qi but isn’t compatible with it.
That, of course, could change in 2019 Apple Watch models. Alternatively, Apple could tweak its own two-way wireless charging system to support its chief wearable. If not, then this year’s iPhones probably won’t be able to charge them.
As far as the supply chain, Kuo predicts that Apple’s inclusion of two-way charging on the 2019 iPhones could benefit suppliers like Compeq and STMicro, who produce battery boards and two-way wireless charging controllers, respectively.