Apple's iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro have a secret new wireless charging standard hidden inside that could open up charging wirelessly at 15W with any supported charger, freeing users from Apple's exclusive MagSafe accessories.
Developed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), Qi2 is an update to the way Qi wireless charging currently works. This new standard will fix problems with the existing tech that you’ll find in some of the latest smartphones and smartwatches.
For example, it’ll add new magnets to help better align devices on a charging pad. That way you don’t miss out on a whole night’s charging just because you accidentally placed your phone down a little off-center from the pad. It’ll also ensure all devices charge at the same right, no matter whether they’re protected in a case or not.
Qi2 will work in a similar way to MagSafe, which isn’t surprising considering that Apple worked closely with the WPC to integrate its magnetic charging tech into this latest standard.
However, the difference is that Qi2 is open, meaning Android phone brands can adopt it too. It should also allow iPhones to juice up quicker with fast 15W charging, whereas right now Apple limits the wireless charging rate to 7.5W, with 15W reserved for MagSafe-certified accessories.
A new era of wireless charging (coming soon)
A number of accessory brands, like Anker and Belkin, have already launched Qi2 chargers, but haven’t explicitly mentioned using them with the new iPhones just yet.
And that’s no surprise because Apple hasn’t specified the charge rates it’s going to be supporting over Qi2. Instead, the official line from Apple is that the new iPhone 15 Pro will have “support for MagSafe and future Qi2 wireless charging.”
This is because no Qi2 products have been certified yet, iPhones or otherwise. In an email to The Verge, Paul Golden, who works as the marketing director for the Wireless Power Consortium, wrote:
“I can tell you that no Qi2 products have been certified yet. The Qi2 specification has been finalized. We’re awaiting the certification testing equipment to be delivered, tested and verified.”
What does this actually mean? Well, that the new iPhones are likely going to get Qi2 certification, it just might take a few months before it’s official.
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Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.