More evidence suggests Apple tie-up with wireless charging firm Energous

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2016
Rumors of a potential partnership between Apple and long-distance wireless charging firm Energous refuse to die. In the latest tidbit, market analyst Louis Basenese points to the recent defection of an Apple product manager, who is now helping Energous gain federal regulatory approval for its various consumer product offerings.




In a research note published on Tuesday, and subsequently obtained by AppleInsider, Basenese outlined the many -- currently loose -- connections between Apple and Energous, a startup specializing in long-distance wireless charging technology.

Of note, Basenese points to Billy Manning, who served as Apple's Regulatory Certification Program Manager for seven years before taking on the position of Director of Regulatory Operations at Energous in September. While at Apple, Manning was responsible for obtaining and maintaining regulatory certification for iPhone, iPad and iPod in major markets including China, Japan, the EU and the U.S.

Jumping through regulatory hoops has been a problem for Energous, Basenese says. Expertise offered by Manning, along with other senior industry veterans like Hans Mellberg and longtime Cypress Semiconductor executive Jeff McNeil, should streamline the often difficult process. For example, Mellberg, who serves as Energous' Senior Director of Regulatory Compliance, is a member of the same wireless charging ANSI Working Group as Apple.

Basenese goes on to reiterate rumor, speculation and conjecture to "connect the dots" between an Apple and Energous future. Much of the information presented in today's was covered last week when Energous announced a deal to develop and market hardware components through Apple chip supplier Dialog Semiconductor.

As part of the deal, Dialog will invest $10 million in Energous to become the firm's exclusive component supplier, while Energous gets access to Dialog's sales and distribution channels. Notably, Apple orders are thought to account for more than 70 percent of Dialog's balance sheet.

Aside from the Dialog partnership, Energous in March reached an agreement with Apple supplier Pegatron to integrate wireless charging technology into certain product designs. The firm inked a similar deal with Foxconn a few months earlier. It should be noted that both Foxconn and Pegatron are suppliers to dozens of major tech brands.

Further, Basenese believes rumblings of a next-generation iPhone with glass chassis, first predicted by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, point to the integration of some flavor of wire-free charging tech.

Finally, Energous is anticipating consumer release of a mid-range transmitter sometime in the third or early fourth quarter of 2017, just in time for an expected "iPhone 8" debut.

As previously reported, Energous' WattUp platform uses small antennas to transfer energy over fairly long distances, much farther than existing wireless charging solutions that rely on traditional inductive charging coils. Beyond sheer distance, the charging process is controlled by software, meaning end users can prioritize the order in which devices receive power, create charging schedules and more.

Those who predict an Apple partnership believe the tech can help iPhone differentiate itself from similar systems marketed by Samsung.

Despite showy tech demonstrations, however, Energous has yet to release a shipping product.

As for Apple, the company is clearly investigating a possible branded long-distance wireless charging solution. In September, the company reportedly put out feelers asking a select subset of chip suppliers for wireless charging component samples.

Apple is also working on radiative charging tech internally, as evidenced by ongoing patent filings. Potentially related to internal development efforts are recent segment hires from wireless charging firm uBeam.

Apple is rumored to launch three iPhone models in 2017, a pair of iPhone 7 upgrades and a high-end "iPhone 8." The top-tier model is forecast to incorporate exotic technologies like a curved OLED display, under-screen home button and wireless charging and an substantially glass enclosure. The fate of Apple's "s" cycle updates are less clear. Recent rumblings claim the "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus" variants will go without a major design change and might not include OLED displays or wireless charging, but reports are conflicting at best.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    2017 will prove to be a defining year for Apple. They will need to follow through with some big announcements in the new year, especially with the iPhone. A 4th year with an iPhone 6/6s/7 chassis simply won't do. 
    ai46
  • Reply 2 of 15
    I can't wait. It will be a cure to the current iPhone 7 dilemma (can't charge while listening to music at the same time).
    ai46
  • Reply 3 of 15
    chatteronstockschatteronstocks Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    $WATT $AAPL and Dialog will show the FCC that the Energous charging technology is safe, side-stepping the $WATT shorts that say that FCC Part 15 block their technology.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,792member
    sully54 said:
    2017 will prove to be a defining year for Apple. They will need to follow through with some big announcements in the new year, especially with the iPhone. A 4th year with an iPhone 6/6s/7 chassis simply won't do. 

    Seems like we say this every year...

    If the next iPhone does have wireless charging I wonder if they'll even keep the lighting jack? Why else would you need it? Ship the iPhone with wireless earbuds (AirPods?), and then you really won't need it. I guess the only other thing holding that back would be something like putting it in DFU mode should that ever be necessary. 
    edited December 2016 calinetmageStrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 15
    One thing I liked about this method of charging is you can put the chip in vehicles, plug them in wall sockets, have them in appliances out of sight...It is not a "charging pad"...it is true wireless charging from a small distance...not sure if everyone knows this. But to me this type of charging could be a game changer...
    xmhillxhypoluxa
  • Reply 6 of 15
    macxpress said:
    sully54 said:
    2017 will prove to be a defining year for Apple. They will need to follow through with some big announcements in the new year, especially with the iPhone. A 4th year with an iPhone 6/6s/7 chassis simply won't do. 

    Seems like we say this every year...

    If the next iPhone does have wireless charging I wonder if they'll even keep the lighting jack? Why else would you need it? Ship the iPhone with wireless earbuds (AirPods?), and then you really won't need it. I guess the only other thing holding that back would be something like putting it in DFU mode should that ever be necessary. 

    Charging through a wire is faster, generally always will be. We could get by without the physical connections but I have found the physical connections to be 100% reliable. My experience with wireless has and likely always will be subpar to wired in every product I have used, including Apple products. TV remotes are about the most reliable wireless product I can think of in my experience. They, however, are only sending simple information.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,792member
    sog35 said:
    macxpress said:
    sully54 said:
    2017 will prove to be a defining year for Apple. They will need to follow through with some big announcements in the new year, especially with the iPhone. A 4th year with an iPhone 6/6s/7 chassis simply won't do. 

    Seems like we say this every year...

    If the next iPhone does have wireless charging I wonder if they'll even keep the lighting jack? Why else would you need it? Ship the iPhone with wireless earbuds (AirPods?), and then you really won't need it. I guess the only other thing holding that back would be something like putting it in DFU mode should that ever be necessary. 
    shipping with airpods is dumb.  Many people will already own them.
    So...many people also own the regular EarPods yet you get them every time in the box. I have like 5 pairs of them already. You also can't assume everyone has them already. I have a feeling at some point the all ports are going away and the iPhone will go totally wireless for everything, including charging. So Apple is either gonna have to either create wireless EarPods (which seems silly to me), ship AirPods with them, or simply not ship anything with the iPhone. I would just vote to not ship anything and let the customer decide what they want to use. I know Apple will catch a TON of crap for doing this, but in the end it might be best. This is how Apple pushes forward. People bitch, get over it and thats the new standard. They're going through this now with USB-C, and they went through it when they switched to USB way back. 
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 8 of 15
    It seems the Energous charger not only has an antenna for sending power to a device, but the antenna is also able to "point" the energy in the direction of the device. Although charging over longer distances is possible with the Energous product, it seems that being closer would speed up the process. (I expect distance would scatter the photons somewhat.)
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 9 of 15

    It seems the Energous charger not only has an antenna for sending power to a device, but the antenna is also able to "point" the energy in the direction of the device. Although charging over longer distances is possible with the Energous product, it seems that being closer would speed up the process. (I expect distance would scatter the photons somewhat.)

    It isnt that that you are wrong about the pointing. It is just that you have no concept of the energy density allowed for this type of device. Energous is fine for the Apple Watch. It is not fine for the iPhone. It is an order of magnitude problem. 

    ai46
  • Reply 10 of 15
    sully54 said:
    2017 will prove to be a defining year for Apple. They will need to follow through with some big announcements in the new year, especially with the iPhone. A 4th year with an iPhone 6/6s/7 chassis simply won't do. 
    Why? Why does the shell design of the device matter, when the hardware and software is always improving? Laptops and desktops look the same year after year. DVD players, home receivers. What's different about phones? Apple doesn't do change for change's sake (not talking colors here). 

    Also, every year people say Apple may be doomed next year. For like, twenty years now. 
    edited December 2016 ai46
  • Reply 11 of 15

    I can't wait. It will be a cure to the current iPhone 7 dilemma (can't charge while listening to music at the same time).
    I'm able to charge and listen to music at the same time on my 7. No dilemma... I can use my wireless headphones or if they're dead for some reason use a splitter. Not that i've had to, mind you.
    ai46watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15

    macxpress said:
    sog35 said:
    macxpress said:
    sully54 said:
    2017 will prove to be a defining year for Apple. They will need to follow through with some big announcements in the new year, especially with the iPhone. A 4th year with an iPhone 6/6s/7 chassis simply won't do. 

    Seems like we say this every year...

    If the next iPhone does have wireless charging I wonder if they'll even keep the lighting jack? Why else would you need it? Ship the iPhone with wireless earbuds (AirPods?), and then you really won't need it. I guess the only other thing holding that back would be something like putting it in DFU mode should that ever be necessary. 
    shipping with airpods is dumb.  Many people will already own them.
    So...many people also own the regular EarPods yet you get them every time in the box. I have like 5 pairs of them already. You also can't assume everyone has them already. I have a feeling at some point the all ports are going away and the iPhone will go totally wireless for everything, including charging. So Apple is either gonna have to either create wireless EarPods (which seems silly to me), ship AirPods with them, or simply not ship anything with the iPhone. I would just vote to not ship anything and let the customer decide what they want to use. I know Apple will catch a TON of crap for doing this, but in the end it might be best. This is how Apple pushes forward. People bitch, get over it and thats the new standard. They're going through this now with USB-C, and they went through it when they switched to USB way back. 
    I don't expect AirPods to ship free in box anytime soon, the return on investment isn't there yet. They need them to get much cheaper to produce, I suspect.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    tshapitshapi Posts: 291member
    Apple is a go big or go home company.  Think of wireless charging from Apple akin to Apple Pay.  Apple will put this forward thinking wireless charging in its mobile devices. Then it will start recruiting and signing up business, just like Apple Pay. That will either include the technology in its product ( cars) or in there locations ( Starbucks, McDonalds) this is how Apple will revolutionize how we charge our devices. 

    The more Apple spreads wireless charging for its devices. The less people will concerned about battery size.  And Apple can continue to make its products thinner and still have great battery life. 

    Also imagine a world where you can bring your phone or tablet or laptop. To Starbucks or to work or home or really anywhere. Sit down on a desk and it will not need to be plugged in to charge and not be plugged in to need power. Think of energous as the next evolution in the battery.  Never need to worry about charging you device. 

    Once it's deemed safe. Which you know Apple will do since Apple underclock.

    not having a charge could be a thing of the past.  

    "Power" if that's what you wanna call it. Will be just like wi-fi.  
    I don't see cords going anywhere for a while though. In my view the lightning connector will eventually he replaced by the smart connector to better provide a water resistant experience. 

    That motto "think 5 years out"  
    edited December 2016 ai46
  • Reply 14 of 15
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,626member
    macxpress said:
    sully54 said:
    2017 will prove to be a defining year for Apple. They will need to follow through with some big announcements in the new year, especially with the iPhone. A 4th year with an iPhone 6/6s/7 chassis simply won't do. 

    Seems like we say this every year...

    If the next iPhone does have wireless charging I wonder if they'll even keep the lighting jack? Why else would you need it? Ship the iPhone with wireless earbuds (AirPods?), and then you really won't need it. I guess the only other thing holding that back would be something like putting it in DFU mode should that ever be necessary. 
    Smart connector
    tshapi
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