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Rumor: Both Apple & Samsung may introduce wireless charging in 2013 smartphones

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S IV, will offer inductive wireless charging as an add-on ability, while Apple could add the same functionality to its next iPhone, according to a new rumor.

Taiwan tech industry publication DigiTimes, which has a spotty track record, reported on Friday that both Samsung and Apple are "expected" to add wireless charging to their 2013 flagship smartphones, citing unnamed industry sources.

Skech Case
The Sketch wireless charging case for iPhone 5 was introduced earlier this year.


"Apple is likely to adopt the wireless charging technology developed internally," the report said, "but it remains unknown if the next-generation iPhone will come with built-in wireless charging capability or with other attached accessories," the report said.

The details on Samsung are more specific, claiming that the Galaxy S IV will feature Qi wireless charging technology run by the Wireless Power Consortium. Users will reportedly be required to buy replacement back covers and an accessory charging pad to be able to recharge their handset without plugging in a cable.

Industry insiders reportedly believe that Samsung's adoption of Qi standards could help make wireless charging a mainstream feature among smartphones. Competing standards are available from Alliance for Wireless Power and Power Matters Alliance.

Apple has shown interest in wireless charging, and took it one step further to contact-less charging in a patent application detailed by AppleInsider last November. Apple described its method as a "realistic and practical" way to provide over-the-air electricity to low power devices within a distance of one meter.

Apple's concept for a wireless charging accessory would be able to provide electricity to a number of devices located within the near field, or "virtual charging area." Low-power devices cited by Apple include a mouse and keyboard.

Apple also secured a more traditional inductive wireless charging patent this January.

Some accessory makers already offer special cases that give the iPhone wireless charging capabilities. Among major smartphone venders, the now defunct Palm Pre was the first to offer inductive wireless charging when paired with the Touchstone dock accessory.
post #2 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Taiwan tech industry publication DigiTimes, which has never been correct in the history of the universe, reported on Friday that both Samsung and Apple are "expected" to add wireless charging to their 2013 flagship smartphones, citing unnamed industry sources.

There. I fixed that for you.
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post #3 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


There. I fixed that for you.

http://techland.time.com/2012/05/14/digitimes-apple-rumors/

 

"But the thing is, Digitimes isn’t just wrong some of the time. When it comes to the big Apple stories, it’s wrong most of the time. Sometimes wildly so. It’s reported that its sources had said that Apple was going to release MacBooks with AMD processors, iMacs with touch screens, iPhones with built-in projectors and iPads with OLED displays. Those products, and others mentioned in Digitimes articles, never showed up. . . "

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post #4 of 37

I predict that we'll see an iPhone without any port or SIM tray within the next 3 years. Everything will be built-in or wireless. It's the logical conclusion of Apple's minimalist design philosophy.

post #5 of 37

Loved wireless charging on WebOS devices, especially the way they went into a different mode with speakerphone, etc.

 

We've had too many charging connectors break on other well used portable devices, from HTC phones to my MacBook's frayed MagSafe (that an Apple Store charged me $80 to replace because I "didn't have an appointment to see a Genius to knock the price down").

 

Now what would be really nice (but not likely) is if everyone had compatible chargers. 

post #6 of 37
Would never leave this plugged in so it wouldn't be of any use to me. Not interested in running up my electrical bill for something as gimmicky as 'wireless' charging. DVR's have already been found to use more electricity in a month than refrigerators. This wouldn't use nearly as much vampire power but still more than I'd like just have such a minor convenience.
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRaider2011 View Post

Would never leave this plugged in so it wouldn't be of any use to me. Not interested in running up my electrical bill for something as gimmicky as 'wireless' charging. DVR's have already been found to use more electricity in a month than refrigerators. This wouldn't use nearly as much vampire power but still more than I'd like just have such a minor convenience.

There's more involved than you think. When you figure that the number of phones in the world number in the billions, even a few watts of waste power adds up to a couple of full-size nuclear or coal units. We can't afford to be wasting power on that scale.

And in my experience, there's not really any extra convenience. I have wireless charging for the handsets on our Wii. In order to use it, I have to first find where I put it, then plug it in, then carefully align the handset with the charger (if you don't get it exactly right, it won't charge) - and do all of that hours ahead of when I'll need it. Alternatively, I could leave it plugged in and wasting power all the time, but I refuse to do that. Even if I did, though, it takes far longer to align the handset with the charger than it takes to plug in a connector.
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post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

We've had too many charging connectors break on other well used portable devices, from HTC phones to my MacBook's frayed MagSafe (that an Apple Store charged me $80 to replace because I "didn't have an appointment to see a Genius to knock the price down").

Yeah, wireless chargers never break. /s

In any event, if you've had that many broken connectors, then you need to handle your devices with a little more respect. In all the phones, tablets, and laptops around our house, we never had a failure - with just one exception. I had a MacBook Pro which had the first version of MagSafe and it failed at the connect. Since Apple admitted it was a design failure, they replaced it at no charge.
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post #9 of 37
Rumor or not, this is a no brainer and will happen in the next few years. You will simply see the Apple mobile devices start charging once within a certain range of a charging base station. I have been saying this for years and seriously have no doubts. I hope Scamsung go for a toothbrush type system and Apple opt for the more sci fi Witricty (http://www.witricity.com) style system with a reasonable in room range to set them apart from the scumbags.
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post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Rumor or not, this is a no brainer and will happen in the next few years. You will simply see the Apple mobile devices start charging once within a certain range of a charging base station. I have been saying this for years and seriously have no doubts. I hope Scamsung go for a toothbrush type system and Apple opt for the more sci fi Witricty (http://www.witricity.com) style system with a reasonable in room range to set them apart from the scumbags.

I just don't see it. Apple is very environmentally conscious and I don't see them implementing this type of wasteful scheme.
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post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Rumor or not, this is a no brainer and will happen in the next few years. You will simply see the Apple mobile devices start charging once within a certain range of a charging base station. I have been saying this for years and seriously have no doubts. I hope Scamsung go for a toothbrush type system and Apple opt for the more sci fi Witricty (http://www.witricity.com) style system with a reasonable in room range to set them apart from the scumbags.

 

Unfortunately there are some physical limitations imposed by object dimensions in near field operation - which is necessary for good efficiency - so it's hard to see a charging distance on a room scale for a small device.

post #12 of 37

I'll get on board when we have true wireless and nothing needs to be plugged into an outlet.  Last thing I want to travel with is another gadget for wireless charging.  My cables work just fine.

post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


There's more involved than you think. When you figure that the number of phones in the world number in the billions, even a few watts of waste power adds up to a couple of full-size nuclear or coal units. We can't afford to be wasting power on that scale.

 

And yet electric toothbrushes have used inductive charging for years without Greenpeace complaining.

post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Unfortunately there are some physical limitations imposed by object dimensions in near field operation - which is necessary for good efficiency - so it's hard to see a charging distance on a room scale for a small device.

This from the link I posted: WiTricity power sources and capture devices are specially designed magnetic resonators that efficiently transfer power over large distances via the magnetic near-field. These proprietary source and device designs and the electronic systems that control them support efficient energy transfer over distances that are many times the size of the sources/devices themselves.
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post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I just don't see it. Apple is very environmentally conscious and I don't see them implementing this type of wasteful scheme.

What is the energy loss estimated to be for the electrical grid absent the use of magnetic resonators?
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post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRaider2011 View Post

Would never leave this plugged in so it wouldn't be of any use to me. Not interested in running up my electrical bill for something as gimmicky as 'wireless' charging. DVR's have already been found to use more electricity in a month than refrigerators. This wouldn't use nearly as much vampire power but still more than I'd like just have such a minor convenience.

Power usage could be minimized if charging bases were smart enough to detect the presence of a compatible device. Once a device is detected, the power level could be determined and the base station would power on if necessary.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Unfortunately there are some physical limitations imposed by object dimensions in near field operation - which is necessary for good efficiency - so it's hard to see a charging distance on a room scale for a small device.

This from the link I posted: WiTricity power sources and capture devices are specially designed magnetic resonators that efficiently transfer power over large distances via the magnetic near-field. These proprietary source and device designs and the electronic systems that control them support efficient energy transfer over distances that are many times the size of the sources/devices themselves.

 

I've seen that claim - near-field resonant magnetic coupling over large distances (many times the size of the devices) - but I've seen no data to support that and no indication of what they mean by "many".  Consideration of the basic physics, in which the near field is ¼ λ or less and limited to only a few times the size of the resonator, that does not suggest that something the size of a phone could be coupled efficiently over more than ~ 1 m.

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

What is the energy loss estimated to be for the electrical grid absent the use of magnetic resonators?

I've seen various efficiency estimates for wireless charging. The BEST indicates that efficiency might hit 80% under the most ideal circumstances - but that's the ones where the device is in contact with the charger. But let's assume the most efficient 80% possible.

I believe that the charger is 10 W. So if we have 80% efficiency, it requires 12.5 W for a wireless charger. 2. 5 extra watts per phone. Figure a billion phones in the world and that's 2.5 GW of power.

Now, most phones aren't plugged in all the time. For example, I plug mine in at night and therefore it's being charged about 1/3 of the time. So we're looking at roughly 1 GW of wasted power - or a full scale unit for a coal fired power plant.

But that's best case. Most wireless systems are far less efficient than 80% (especially the ones that will start charging your phone as soon as you walk into a room). If efficiency was only 50%, you'd need four full scale units.

And that even assumes that there's no power loss when you're not actually charging. In reality, the vampire power is significant, as well.

In the end, it comes down to mentality. If something adds no value, why waste energy on it? We have enough energy problems as it is - why make it worse?
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post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by muadibe View Post

Power usage could be minimized if charging bases were smart enough to detect the presence of a compatible device. Once a device is detected, the power level could be determined and the base station would power on if necessary.

Oh, you might be able to reduce energy losses - but there's still significant waste involved. And since it doesn't take any longer to plug your phone in than to position a phone on a wireless charger, there's no real savings.

Compounding the difficulty are those pesky laws of physics. Energy level decreases as the square of the distance. So that energy is radiating out into space in all directions and only a portion is actually hitting the device. That can be improved by using a focused radiator, but that lessens the advantage of flexibility. The more focused your beam, the more you need to be careful to make sure the phone is in exactly the right place.

And even if you had a perfectly focused beam, there are still energy losses in conversion to radio energy and back. That can't be avoided.

And, finally, even if you don't care about the energy, a wireless charging system adds volume and weight to the device - and it is unlikely that Apple is going to want to make their phone significantly larger and heavier just because a few lazy people can't be bothered to stick their phone into a dock at night.
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post #20 of 37
Makes me wonder if this is why Apple doesn't make a dock for the iPhone 5...
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muadibe View Post

Power usage could be minimized if charging bases were smart enough to detect the presence of a compatible device. Once a device is detected, the power level could be determined and the base station would power on if necessary.

Oh, you might be able to reduce energy losses - but there's still significant waste involved. And since it doesn't take any longer to plug your phone in than to position a phone on a wireless charger, there's no real savings.

Compounding the difficulty are those pesky laws of physics. Energy level decreases as the square of the distance. So that energy is radiating out into space in all directions and only a portion is actually hitting the device. That can be improved by using a focused radiator, but that lessens the advantage of flexibility. The more focused your beam, the more you need to be careful to make sure the phone is in exactly the right place.

And even if you had a perfectly focused beam, there are still energy losses in conversion to radio energy and back. That can't be avoided.

And, finally, even if you don't care about the energy, a wireless charging system adds volume and weight to the device - and it is unlikely that Apple is going to want to make their phone significantly larger and heavier just because a few lazy people can't be bothered to stick their phone into a dock at night.

 

You are misunderstanding the technology. The energy is not being transported via radiative EM waves but by near-field magnetic coupling. Not only do those fields not decrease with the square of distance, but since it is resonant rather than radiative the rate and efficiency are decoupled. Near-field high-Q coupling of that kind can achieve much higher than 80% efficiency. We've had this discussion before though.

post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Apple is likely to adopt the wireless charging technology developed internally," the report said,

As long as it is compatible with other devices's wireless charging technology. What we do NOT need is a wireless charger for each and every device.

post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

I've seen that claim - near-field resonant magnetic coupling over large distances (many times the size of the devices) - but I've seen no data to support that and no indication of what they mean by "many".  Consideration of the basic physics, in which the near field is ¼ λ or less and limited to only a few times the size of the resonator, that does not suggest that something the size of a phone could be coupled efficiently over more than ~ 1 m.

1 m. would be just great IMHO. Several family members could be using iOS devices, sitting around the kitchen counter for example, while all were being recharged.
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post #24 of 37

Galaxy S3 has wireless charging already.  Probably rather important to include that in this article.

I'd be extremely surprised if it wasn't, at the very least, an add-on for the S4 or, possibly built it standard.

 

http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/04/verizon-samsung-galaxy-s3-wireless-charging-kit/

post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

I've seen that claim - near-field resonant magnetic coupling over large distances (many times the size of the devices) - but I've seen no data to support that and no indication of what they mean by "many".  Consideration of the basic physics, in which the near field is ¼ λ or less and limited to only a few times the size of the resonator, that does not suggest that something the size of a phone could be coupled efficiently over more than ~ 1 m.

1 m. would be just great IMHO. Several family members could be using iOS devices, sitting around the kitchen counter for example, while all were being recharged.

 

I completely agree - that would be much better than having to plug in the devices and definitely worthwhile. I'm just not sure about the long-range concepts.

post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

You are misunderstanding the technology. The energy is not being transported via radiative EM waves but by near-field magnetic coupling. Not only do those fields not decrease with the square of distance, but since it is resonant rather than radiative the rate and efficiency are decoupled. Near-field high-Q coupling of that kind can achieve much higher than 80% efficiency. We've had this discussion before though.

1. Still waiting for the evidence that it's over 80% in the real world.

2. Even if true, it certainly doesn't allow for 80% in the case that people are requesting several meters distance).

3. Even if it were true that the efficiency were 90%, it's still a significant amount of wasted energy.
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post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Yeah, wireless chargers never break. /s

In any event, if you've had that many broken connectors, then you need to handle your devices with a little more respect. In all the phones, tablets, and laptops around our house, we never had a failure - with just one exception. I had a MacBook Pro which had the first version of MagSafe and it failed at the connect. Since Apple admitted it was a design failure, they replaced it at no charge.

^ Exact same here. What do people do to wear out connectors? Swing your phone around by the cord? Unplug by yanking the cord at a weird angle instead of pulling on the plug itself?

 

Until they can make it work at 1m range minimum, IMO it's actually less convenient. Plugging in a cord takes what, a second, maybe two? But at least then you can move your device around without losing power. You can hold it up to your ear to make a call, play a power-sucking 3D game, check that text message that just came in without hunching over the charge etc. Not to mention the extra weight/thickness/cost it adds.... kudos to Samsung for making it an option at least for the sake of those who don't want it.

 

My prediction: Apple will implement wireless charging as soon as they can make it work at a 5 foot range. No soon, no later.

post #28 of 37
Taiwan tech industry publication DigiTimes… citing unnamed industry sources.

 

"Yo! Ted! Got any new scoops from your grandson?"

"Yeah, hang on, here's the tape…"

*click*

"Awww, you know what'd be cool? If you could shoot electricity around the room! Neeerrrr, neeeerrrr, bzzzzzzt! Aughlalughl…"

 

 

"So wireless power, then?"
"Sounds about right."

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

You are misunderstanding the technology. The energy is not being transported via radiative EM waves but by near-field magnetic coupling. Not only do those fields not decrease with the square of distance, but since it is resonant rather than radiative the rate and efficiency are decoupled. Near-field high-Q coupling of that kind can achieve much higher than 80% efficiency. We've had this discussion before though.

1. Still waiting for the evidence that it's over 80% in the real world.

2. Even if true, it certainly doesn't allow for 80% in the case that people are requesting several meters distance).

3. Even if it were true that the efficiency were 90%, it's still a significant amount of wasted energy.

 

Not sure what you define as real world - 90% transport efficiencies have been reported up to 1 meter or so. Correct that 80% is likely not achievable over several meters, but if your metric for success is whether or not a technology fulfills everyone's dreams then no technology is ever successful.

 

While I agree that energy conservation is important, 90% is actually pretty good efficiency for a charging system, especially when we are talking about low-power devices. The case for wireless is certainly easier to make if it permits powering, rather than charging, devices, but if, for example, an inductive charging station were able to charge multiple devices and models then there might be other associated savings in charging equipment manufacturing.

post #30 of 37

Okay something load sensitive so it would shut down when there wasn't a power draw of a unit sitting on it I could somewhat see. 

 

Now in a wireless sync and update world wireless power would be consistent. Though I'm not quite feeble enough to find having to insert the connector all that daunting a challenge..... 

post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRaider2011 View Post

Would never leave this plugged in so it wouldn't be of any use to me. Not interested in running up my electrical bill for something as gimmicky as 'wireless' charging. DVR's have already been found to use more electricity in a month than refrigerators. This wouldn't use nearly as much vampire power but still more than I'd like just have such a minor convenience.

Yeah, but what if the smart field could detect if a compatible device was in range and only turn on the recharge field in that case. Turning on a Bluetooth receiver ever few seconds and doing doing a quick "anyone there" check would use hardly any power. Likely there are more efficient ways to do it - just tossing darts right now.
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

In any event, if you've had that many broken connectors, then you need to handle your devices with a little more respect.

 

True, I do often let the kids and grandkids get the devices, and they're not always gentle.  It's still another reason inductive charging would be nice.

 

Plus, of course, the MagSafe break was not my fault:

 

Quote:
 In all the phones, tablets, and laptops around our house, we never had a failure - with just one exception. I had a MacBook Pro which had the first version of MagSafe and it failed at the connect. Since Apple admitted it was a design failure, they replaced it at no charge.

 

Yeah, after I drove to the Apple Store and paid for the replacement charger, I later found out that it was a known problem.    Apparently that's why they asked if I had a Genius appointment.  Why would I need a Genius appointment if everyone knew it was a recall item?  Cannot this be done by anyone else in the store?   Instead, they made me pay full price.

post #33 of 37
this shows how out of touch iphone uers are with whats going on in the android world.

Samsung galaxy s3 has since it was released supported wireless charging with an official (or aftermarket) replacement battery cover. as well as the NOTE 2, etc.

additionally, so has RIM for some time..

QI charging is "cool" but who wants to charge with a 650-700ma charger when you can with a 2-2.1A charger?
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Loved wireless charging on WebOS devices, especially the way they went into a different mode with speakerphone, etc.

 

We've had too many charging connectors break on other well used portable devices, from HTC phones to my MacBook's frayed MagSafe (that an Apple Store charged me $80 to replace because I "didn't have an appointment to see a Genius to knock the price down").

 

Now what would be really nice (but not likely) is if everyone had compatible chargers. 

I just hate the potential loss of energy efficiency when it comes to charging these things.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I've seen various efficiency estimates for wireless charging. The BEST indicates that efficiency might hit 80% under the most ideal circumstances - but that's the ones where the device is in contact with the charger. But let's assume the most efficient 80% possible.
 

While I don't doubt you read that, I've never personally read claims that were that high. Personally I hope they go really conservative on adoption with this one. As you pointed out, it's a lot of electricity due to the widespread nature of the devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

 

Yeah, after I drove to the Apple Store and paid for the replacement charger, I later found out that it was a known problem.    Apparently that's why they asked if I had a Genius appointment.  Why would I need a Genius appointment if everyone knew it was a recall item?  Cannot this be done by anyone else in the store?   Instead, they made me pay full price.

Chargers are one of my biggest complaints. They like to make them compact, but there isn't an option for one that can drive the machine under heavy loads without leveraging the battery, which of course adds cycles while plugged in. That is truly ridiculous that they wouldn't just treat it as a recall item by default.

post #35 of 37
Originally Posted by realized View Post
this shows how out of touch iphone uers are with whats going on in the android world.

 

We just couldn't care less.

 

QI charging is "cool" but who wants to charge with a 650-700ma charger when you can with a 2-2.1A charger?

 

Who wants to charge wirelessly when it wastes more power than is transferred and isn't actually wireless?

post #36 of 37
If they built this tech into an iMac or Mac mini how sweet would that be - if it could auto charge keyboard, trackpad/mouse and phone/pad/pod that are within a meter of the computer. No extra wires - it just works
post #37 of 37

Wireless charging is a pointless fad, surely it'd be better and more efficient to have a magsafe inspired pad that actually made contact to a pair of contacts on the back or base of the phone. The magnets could orientate the phone or the magnets and contacts could sit on a rotating platform so it span into the correct position.

 

The fact is, any charging that requires a pad for it to sit on is a step back.

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