The iPhone 5 could have wireless charging inbuilt, recent rumours have suggested. At first, this seems like an awesome technology to be implemented on the iPhone, but is it reliable enough? FoneHome (opens in new tab) explains that wireless charging may be wrongly perceived as it will be pretty hard to apply, and the need for docks could prove to be inconvenient.
“Built into these docks would be an inductive coil. Once placed in close proximity to a device that also possesses one, an alternating current is passed from the base to the portable unit, which is then converted to DC power. Hey presto – you have a charged iPhone battery without ever having to directly plug it into anything. Interestingly, inductive coils can also be used to transfer data.”
Electronics Warehouse (opens in new tab) has another informative story, where they use Nintendo’s induction charger for the Wiimote as an example.
“Transmitting energy wirelessly, as you can imagine, is not nearly as fast or effective as transferring it through a physical connection, as such, it takes a significantly longer time to fully recharge the battery pack. To fully charge an empty battery, a Wiimote has to be placed on the charger for somewhere between six and eight hours; a pretty lengthy bit of time, no doubt.”
It really should be no revelation to gadget users that AC power remains king when it comes to charging batteries: DC power, such as the power used when charging through a cigarette lighter in your car — is historically underpowered compared to plugging your smartphone directly into an AC wall socket.
Considering all these aspects, it’s quite possible that Apple may ditch the rumoured plans for wireless battery charging and will go for an extended battery life, at least until a reliable solution can be found.