iPhone 11 Pro Max hardware points to latent bilateral charging functionality [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 20
In its obligatory launch day teardown of iPhone 11 Pro Max on Friday, repair expert iFixit discovered two connectors leading to the handset's battery, a new hardware configuration that could support claims of a deactivated bilateral wireless charging feature.


Source: iFixit


According to the repair firm, iPhone 11 Pro Max's L-shaped battery includes a pair of connectors running to the Lightning charging port and the main logic board, respectively. The new setup could hint at a bilateral wireless charging feature that was rumored to launch with the handset.

In testing the mechanics of the connectors, iFixit found iPhone is able to function and recharge via the Lightning port while the battery connector leading to said Lightning port is disconnected. Wireless charging was disabled, suggesting the cable is a direct line to iPhone's charging coils.

Further, reconnecting the cable temporarily triggered a temperature warning iFixit believes is the result of a loss of contact between the logic board and a critical battery temperature sensor. If true, the design could reveal a currently unused heat management circuit potentially reserved for bilateral wireless charging.

Removing the second battery cable, which connects to iPhone's logic board, expectedly resulted in a complete system shutdown.

While not confirmed, today's tests point to the presence of wireless charging functionality that currently lies dormant in all new iPhone Pro Max models. What is now known, however, is Apple's incorporation of new hardware in iPhone 11 Pro Max, and likely iPhone 11 Pro, without word of significant updates to its wireless charging capabilities; the latest iPhone recharges at the same speed and with the same efficiency as prior models.

Rumors leading up to iPhone 11's unveiling suggested Apple was working on a bilateral charging feature that would enable users to charge a second device, like AirPods or perhaps another Qi-compatible smartphone, using iPhone's internal charging coils. Those rumblings were echoed by multiple industry insiders and persisted until a last-minute prediction from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo pegged Apple to abandon the feature because the system failed reach adequate operating efficiencies.

With the hardware seemingly in place, it is possible that Apple will enable bilateral charging in a future iOS update. Whether the company is able to overcome whatever hurdles kept the feature from going live at launch through software is unknown.

Update: iFixit's teardown also revealed an unidentified circuit board nestled beneath the battery that could be tied to Apple's rumored bilateral charging feature.

Further, blogger Rene Ritchie claims iPhone 11 contains no bilateral charging hardware as the feature was never planned to go into production.

Update: It's my understanding bilateral inductive charging wasn't pulled from the iPhones 11.

It was never slated for production and there isn't anything in there that could be enabled later.

(It would also be dumb to ship it without Watch support...) https://t.co/vXQxM4T3Yf

— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie)
applesnoranges

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    I think this is also the original purpose for the U1 chip introduced in this phone model. To establish special distance between devices that have this chipset. 
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Not buying it. This is simply a case of someone seeing something new and assuming it’s for a rumored feature.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 15
    maltzmaltz Posts: 148member
    While I think iFixit is jumping to a few conclusions and a healthy grain of salt is certainly called for here, it makes sense that Apple wouldn't pre-announce a function that wasn't quite baked but was close enough to roll the dice and keep it in the hardware. They surely don't want a repeat of the abandoned AirPower charging pad fiasco.
    cornchipnetroxrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    Not buying it. This is simply a case of someone seeing something new and assuming it’s for a rumored feature.
    No, he actually got iphone to recharge.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    netrox said:
    Not buying it. This is simply a case of someone seeing something new and assuming it’s for a rumored feature.
    No, he actually got iphone to recharge.
    Say what? He got it to charge another iPhone through reverse charging?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    maltz said:
    While I think iFixit is jumping to a few conclusions and a healthy grain of salt is certainly called for here, it makes sense that Apple wouldn't pre-announce a function that wasn't quite baked but was close enough to roll the dice and keep it in the hardware. They surely don't want a repeat of the abandoned AirPower charging pad fiasco.
    It wasn't a fiasco.  Apple had a crack but the overall technology isn't there at the moment.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,782member
    kimberly said:
    maltz said:
    While I think iFixit is jumping to a few conclusions and a healthy grain of salt is certainly called for here, it makes sense that Apple wouldn't pre-announce a function that wasn't quite baked but was close enough to roll the dice and keep it in the hardware. They surely don't want a repeat of the abandoned AirPower charging pad fiasco.
    It wasn't a fiasco.  Apple had a crack but the overall technology isn't there at the moment.
    Pulling it after talking about it was embarrassing.
    Putting it out there when it wasn't ready? That would've been a fiasco.
    edited September 21 repressthisStrangeDaysPickUrPoisonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,782member
    netrox said:
    Not buying it. This is simply a case of someone seeing something new and assuming it’s for a rumored feature.
    No, he actually got iphone to recharge.
    Say what? He got it to charge another iPhone through reverse charging?
    No.

    While that lower cable is disconnected, the phone will charge via the Lightning port, but not the wireless charging coil.

    is what they said.

    Later on, the article (which to be fair, pointed out that there are a number of reasons why this cable might exist) says it might be something to do with new monitoring hardware Apple is using.


    caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    Rayz2016 said:
    kimberly said:
    maltz said:
    While I think iFixit is jumping to a few conclusions and a healthy grain of salt is certainly called for here, it makes sense that Apple wouldn't pre-announce a function that wasn't quite baked but was close enough to roll the dice and keep it in the hardware. They surely don't want a repeat of the abandoned AirPower charging pad fiasco.
    It wasn't a fiasco.  Apple had a crack but the overall technology isn't there at the moment.
    Pulling it after talking about it was embarrassing.
    Putting it out there when it wasn't ready? That would've been a fiasco.
    Such as.... the Samsung F... ?
    “Jehova! Jehova!”  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    Bilateral is a terrible word for something that explains bidirectional property.

    Bilateral sounds more like the possibility to charge the phone from both sides, screen and back.

    That being said, induction is one of the most inefficient ways to charge anything, and it’s not wireless, just contactless. Inductive charging has been a thing for a long time, why marketing speak has been allowed to make up new names for old tech?
    Japheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,290member
    nadriel said:
    Bilateral is a terrible word for something that explains bidirectional property.

    Bilateral sounds more like the possibility to charge the phone from both sides, screen and back.

    That being said, induction is one of the most inefficient ways to charge anything, and it’s not wireless, just contactless. Inductive charging has been a thing for a long time, why marketing speak has been allowed to make up new names for old tech?
    I agree. 'Bilateral' is a wholly unnecessary word for something that is already known industry wide (correctly or incorrectly) as reverse wireless charging.

    That said, marketers make a living out of these changes so the only way to effect change is to not use the term.
    nadriel
  • Reply 12 of 15
    avon b7 said:
    nadriel said:
    Bilateral is a terrible word for something that explains bidirectional property.

    Bilateral sounds more like the possibility to charge the phone from both sides, screen and back.

    That being said, induction is one of the most inefficient ways to charge anything, and it’s not wireless, just contactless. Inductive charging has been a thing for a long time, why marketing speak has been allowed to make up new names for old tech?
    I agree. 'Bilateral' is a wholly unnecessary word for something that is already known industry wide (correctly or incorrectly) as reverse wireless charging.

    That said, marketers make a living out of these changes so the only way to effect change is to not use the term.
    avon b7 said:
    nadriel said:
    Bilateral is a terrible word for something that explains bidirectional property.

    Bilateral sounds more like the possibility to charge the phone from both sides, screen and back.

    That being said, induction is one of the most inefficient ways to charge anything, and it’s not wireless, just contactless. Inductive charging has been a thing for a long time, why marketing speak has been allowed to make up new names for old tech?
    I agree. 'Bilateral' is a wholly unnecessary word for something that is already known industry wide (correctly or incorrectly) as reverse wireless charging.

    That said, marketers make a living out of these changes so the only way to effect change is to not use the term.
    I mostly agree with what you are both saying, except marketers didn’t coin the term “bilateral”. The analysts and journalists did. If and when Apple does offer such a feature, it will most certainly have a more savvy name than “bilateral” or “reverse wireless”. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,038member
    Everybody knows the extra five hours was for the bilateral charging which was not implemented at the last moment. 
  • Reply 14 of 15
    nadriel said:
    <snip>
    That being said, induction is one of the most inefficient ways to charge anything, and it’s not wireless, just contactless. Inductive charging has been a thing for a long time, why marketing speak has been allowed to make up new names for old tech?
    Old, tired and inaccurate statement. 

    You may prefer the more technically correct “inductive charging”, but since I can set my iPhone down on a charging pad without having to plug a cable (wire) into it and have it charge, it is certainly wireless. It’s hardly “marketing speak”, it’s simply descriptive (and accurate). iPhone charges without having to connect a cable to it equals wireless charging. No wires connected to the iPhone—i.e. wireless—yet it magically charges. The phone doesn’t actually have to touch the charging pad, either, it just needs to be sufficiently close. 
    edited September 22 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 15
    nadriel said:
    <snip>
    That being said, induction is one of the most inefficient ways to charge anything, and it’s not wireless, just contactless. Inductive charging has been a thing for a long time, why marketing speak has been allowed to make up new names for old tech?
    Old, tired and inaccurate statement. 

    You may prefer the more technically correct “inductive charging”, but since I can set my iPhone down on a charging pad without having to plug a cable (wire) into it and have it charge, it is certainly wireless. It’s hardly “marketing speak”, it’s simply descriptive (and accurate). iPhone charges without having to connect a cable to it equals wireless charging. No wires connected to the iPhone—i.e. wireless—yet it magically charges. The phone doesn’t actually have to touch the charging pad, either, it just needs to be sufficiently close. 
    Okay, I’m going to be a tad annoying right now. 

    Warning annoying/useless/meaningless  rant:
    I know it is a matter of definition, but totally not inaccurate to say inductive charging is wired since there is a coil i.e. a wire in the phone, there’s a cable to the charging pad where there’s also a coil.

    Sure cableless and contactless between pad and phone, but I-can’t-be-wrong-in-internet-wireless it ain’t. 

    End of rant.

    P.S.
    Just like beatsx bluetooth headphones aren’t wireless since there is a cord between the speakers. In my mind they are since they’re Bluetooth only. In the end everyone is wrong all the time and I just wasted a minute of everyone’s life... sorry..
    edited September 23 watto_cobra
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