Apple iPhone To Finally Gain Wireless Charging Capabilities Next Year, Report Suggests

If you look back at Apple's product launches, you'll notice that each new generation of a particular device boasts a standout feature or two that gets touted above all the rest—3D Touch, bigger displays, and Siri are a few examples. Looking ahead to 2017, and presumably the iPhone 8, wireless charging could be one of Apple's big feature upgrades.

People who are supposedly familiar with Apple's future plans told Bloomberg that the Cupertino outfit is currently working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop a new wireless technology of its own, one that could be rolled out with its mobile devices next year.

iPhone 6 Plus

Wireless charging technologies already exist, but the one Apple is said to be developing would differ in that iPads and iPhone devices wouldn't need to be on top of a wireless station or charging mat; they could sit further away and still be charged. That would be a pretty big convenience, though first Apple and its partners would have to figure out how to make it feasible.

The challenge is that wireless charging doesn't do well with distance, hence why today's devices that support wireless charging need to be placed on or near the power source (a mat, typically).

Some of the groundwork for Apple's plans is already in place. The company filed a patent application several years ago describing an iMac serving as a wireless charging hub that could charge devices from a meter away using near-field magnetic resonance technology. It's similar to the technology used in the Apple Watch, though the wearable's wireless charging capabilities are on a scale of millimeters.