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Image credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Apple takes a big step toward wireless charging on iPhones

It just joined the Wireless Power Consortium.
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Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Rumors have swirled for a while that Apple might embrace wireless charging beyond smartwatches (including for the next iPhone), and the company only seems to be stoking those expectations. Apple has quietly joined the Wireless Power Consortium, which governs the Qi standard you see on most devices with wireless charging. This doesn't guarantee that this year's iPhone will tout wireless charging, or even that Apple will use the Qi standard at all (the Apple Watch uses a modified take on Qi). However, it does say a lot about Apple's broader wireless charging strategy.

For over a year, there's been talk of Apple exploring long-range charging, possibly through a partnership with Energous. You'd just have to keep your iPhone within several feet of a charging station to top it up. The Wireless Power Consortium move doesn't mean that Apple has given up on long-distance electricity, but it does suggest that the company believes conventional inductive charging is more practical in the near term. Also, it shows a firmer commitment to the very concept of wireless charging -- Apple doesn't think it starts and ends with one wearable product.

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