Apple Watch found to be compliant with Qi wireless charging standard

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited June 2015
The inductive charging capabilities of the Apple Watch are based on the established Qi open standard, as shown by the fact that the Apple Watch charger works with the competing Moto 360 smartwatch.




AppleInsider reader Albert C. Lee reached out on Friday to share his video, where he shows the Apple Watch magnetic charger being used with the Moto 360. This would seem to confirm that Apple's charger is Qi-compatible, despite the fact that Apple has not been announced as a supporter of the Qi standard.

Coming from the Chinese word meaning "natural energy," Qi was created by the Wireless Power Consortium to standardize inductive electrical power transfer. The specifications allow for electricity to be transferred over distances up to 1.6 inches.





Qi chargers usually feature a transmission pad, upon which compatible devices, like a watch or phone, can be placed. Inductive charging negates the need for a cable to be plugged into a device to replenish its power.

The Apple Watch is the first device from the company to support wireless charging out of the box. In the past, the company has expressed reluctance regarding wireless charging, with marketing chief Phil Schiller saying in 2012 that the convenience of such technology was questionable, given that it still needed to be plugged into a wall.

"Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated," Schiller said.

In the end, Apple opted to not go for the "power mat" approach, even if the Apple Watch will apparently support such accessories. The charger that ships with the Apple Watch is instead a small magnetic clasp on one end, and a traditional USB plug on the other, allowing the cable to be plugged into power in a variety of fashions.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,513member
    Gnashing of teeth heard from Euro MPs hoping to find a way to mess with Apple who are now foiled!
    elijahg
  • Reply 2 of 13
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,299member

    Using an open standard is good although I bet Apple patch around it in time. At least it increases the number of chargers available and reduces the price range.

    singularity
  • Reply 3 of 13
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    This is good news. While I don't buy into the "Apple tax" nonsense when it comes to their devices, Apple accessories like cables always seem expensive when compared with third party options, so not being tied to a single cable for charging is great news.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    jensonbjensonb Posts: 528member
    Please stop calling it wireless. It is, at best, contactless.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member

    I'm not convinced that it's Qi compliant just from the video. The Qi standard specifies a 100-200 kHz magnetic field with a data link. Perhaps the Apple charger puts out a field no matter what, and the Moto 360 doesn't require the data link to charge. They need to show a wide variety of devices and chargers working with the Apple pieces, or perhaps find documentation from the FCC.

  • Reply 6 of 13
    runbuhrunbuh Posts: 315member
    konqerror wrote: »
    I'm not convinced that it's Qi compliant just from the video. The Qi standard specifies a 100-200 kHz magnetic field with a data link. Perhaps the Apple charger puts out a field no matter what, and the Moto 360 doesn't require the data link to charge. They need to show a wide variety of devices and chargers working with the Apple pieces, or perhaps find documentation from the FCC.

    Agreed - the video doesn't prove anything about the Apple Watch being able to do a darn thing. Why didn't they show an Apple Watch working with a charging mat?
  • Reply 7 of 13
    rtdunhamrtdunham Posts: 428member
    Right, we need to see an apple watch charging on a Qi device.

    A question: It's been reported the Sport Watch comes with a plastic charger, not the nice metal one that comes with the two higher tier watch collections. What is the nature of the $29 watch charger apple sells separately? Plastic or metal?
  • Reply 8 of 13
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    rtdunham wrote: »
    Right, we need to see an apple watch charging on a Qi device.

    A question: It's been reported the Sport Watch comes with a plastic charger, not the nice metal one that comes with the two higher tier watch collections. What is the nature of the $29 watch charger apple sells separately? Plastic or metal?

    Based on the pictures, I'd say they were metal backed.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    Now with the AW supporting Qi charging mats and accessories, could the iPhone and iPad not add such tech so that multiple devices could charge on one mat (one electrical outlet for multiple devices)
  • Reply 10 of 13
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member

    Confirmed not Qi complaint. Found the FCC ID, BCGA1598. Says fundamental frequency is 326.5 kHz. Standard Qi devices are 100-205 kHz, high power is 80-300 kHz.

  • Reply 11 of 13
    dalepdalep Posts: 3member
    Agreed definitely NOT Qi compliant . If you try and charge on a Qi mat , you get a charging error on the mat , the watch doesn't react at all.
  • Reply 12 of 13

    Yes i really would like to see it as well. Apple always seems to need to be some kind of special! But am sure they will get in a big hurry because of qi is getting the universal standard for wireless charging . I think they cannot afford anymore to ingnore it...

  • Reply 13 of 13
    yhdyhd Posts: 1member
    Ok, but can an iwatch be charged by a Moto 360 charger??
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