The group responsible for coordinating wireless charging standards, the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), has introduced a new specification known as Qi2. The WPC is collaborating with Apple to bring Magsafe-like features to Android, and this is getting a lot of press.
For more than two years now, iPhone owners have had access to a wide variety of magnetically attachable accessories, including chargers, thanks to Apple’s MagSafe wireless standard. The company’s main goal was to improve wireless charging speeds, which previously topped out at 7.5W for Qi-compatible chargers and 15W for MagSafe Chargers. Apple also wanted to eliminate the hassle of needing to correctly position the phone on the wireless charging station, so they added magnets to the device’s rear that attach to the pad. However, it remains a closed standard, and the ecosystem of Apple-approved peripherals hasn’t expanded much.
According to the WPC, the Qi2 standard makes it possible to implement the Magnetic Power Profile, which is based on Apple’s MagSafe. Devices adhering to the Qi2 standard should, therefore, be interoperable with both Android and iOS systems.
The WPC stated in a press statement that “Qi2’s Magnetic Power Profile will guarantee that phones or other rechargeable battery-powered mobile items are correctly aligned with charging equipment, therefore delivering increased energy efficiency and quicker charging.”
The consortium has announced that later this year they would publish the new Qi2 standard, which will supersede the current Qi standard. In addition, Qi2 compatible accessories should hit the market by year’s end. Accessories “that wouldn’t be chargeable using current flat surface-to-flat surface technologies” will now be possible, according to the new standard. A variety of headphones and smartwatches might be charged using this.
The WPC has not yet provided comprehensive details regarding Qi2, thus we do not yet know what it is capable of. A WPC representative told The Verge that the organisation is working on greater power profiles for the Qi2 standard, but that the initial charging cap will be 15W.
Qi2 may pave the way for improved wireless charging with magnets, but it won’t guarantee the quality of magnets used in chargers or phones. Because of this, it is not easy to ensure a safe magnetic fit with Qi2-compatible chargers. It is also unclear if the new standard’s chargers will fully support the iPhone 14 or older versions. When this was being written, Apple had not yet issued a statement in response to the report.
Apple may seek out a new standard to dominate in light of its impending adoption of USB-C for iPhones in response to legislation in the European Union and India. When compared to cable charging, the current pace of wireless charging (even with a technology like MagSafe) is far slower. Apple may be laying the groundwork for future iPhones to rely mostly (or exclusively) on wireless charging by using MagSafe as the basis for a widely established standard similar to Qi2.
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