AirTags may wirelessly charge from the back of an iPhone, official Apple FCC filings suggest
Apple has the ability to enable a wireless charging function on the iPhone 12 that would allow the device to charge future Apple accessories, according to an official FCC filing first spotted by VentureBeat‘s Jeremy Horwitz last year.
Apple says in the official FCC filing that in addition to receiving power from regular wireless chargers, the 2020 iPhone models can also act as wireless chargers themselves. “Currently the only accessory that can be charged by iPhones is an external potential apple accessory in the future.”
While the report does not specifically name what future accessory could be charged on the back of an iPhone, one possibility is that the wireless charging function could be used to charge AirTags – Apple’s long-rumored item trackers that will attach to valuables such as wallets, backpacks, keys, and more, which will then become trackable using the Find My app.
In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones also support WPT charging function at 360 kHz to charge accessories, The filing says. Currently the only accessory that can be charged by iPhones is an external potential apple accessory in future.
The Apple Post has long imagined how Apple could enable iPhone-to-iPhone power-sharing via a new feature called “PowerDrop” which would allow users to rest their iPhones on top of one another and wirelessly share power. – See our PowerDrop concepts here.
Apple was rumored to be bringing two-way charging to the iPhone 11, with the device said to have the required hardware to do so, but it is understood the feature is blocked through software as the charging performance didn’t meet Apple’s high standards.
It’s unknown whether the wireless charging function will ever be enabled fully, but the filings, if anything, do confirm that Apple has at least experimented with the feature and has the hardware in place to be activated through an update if and when needed.