Today, Apple watcher Sonny Dickson confirmed suspicions that hardware to enable two-way or bilateral charging is indeed still embedded in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro smartphones. However, it has been disabled by software for some unknown reason.
On the eve of the iPhone 11 launch, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that the feature had been canceled. Given that this revelation came so close to the official launch, it would be seemingly impossible for Apple to just yank the requisite hardware from the phones just weeks before their global launch. That would back up Dickson's contention about a software lock for the feature.
The ability to wirelessly charge other devices could be a reason why the new phones are both thicker and heavier than their predecessors, with batteries that are at least 10 percent larger. The iPhone 11 Pro features a battery that lasts 4 hours longer than the iPhone XS, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max's battery lasts 5 hours longer then the iPhone XS Max. That additional "juice" would definitely be beneficial if you needed to charge your Apple Watch, AirPods, or a friend's iPhone when you're on-the-go and don't have access to an outlet.
What is unknown at this time is if the two-way charging hardware will lay dormant forever on this latest crop of iPhones, or if Apple plans to enable the feature in a future iOS update as the ultimate "One More Thing" for customers. Or, we might just have to wait until next year's 5G iPhone to see this feature truly come to fruition.
Apple first introduced wireless charging with the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus back in 2017, and two-way wireless charging was seen as the next logical step. It's something that's supported in Samsung's Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 family.