Rumor: Apple may introduce wireless charging technology for iOS devices in 2017

Apple is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology that could be deployed on its mobile devices as soon as 2017, Bloomberg reports, quoting unnamed “people familiar with the plans.”

The article says that the technologies being investigated would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. Apple is looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed, according to Bloomberg.

Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,086,864) that would give an iMac the ability to charge Apple accessories by resonant charging. The patent, “Wireless Power Utilization in a Local Computing Environment,” shows an iMac-like device with a NFMR (Near Field Magnetic Resonance) power supply that charges nearby gadgets wirelessly.

And we might even have Macs that on day run on wireless power. In 2014 ComputerWorld predicted that wireless charging would soon come to personal computers., It hasn't happened yet, but its likely that Macs will run via wireless power sooner rather than later.

ComputerWorld’s vision: “Place a laptop on a table, and it'll automatically start charging. No wires needed, no need to carry a power brick. That's how Intel views wireless charging for laptops, which could become a reality next year. Intel wants to make wireless chargers as easy to find as a Wi-Fi signal, and wants to bring the technology to cafes, restaurants, airports and other public places so laptops can be recharged without power adapters. The first laptops with wireless charging could come out next year, and Intel has shown a few prototypes laptop being recharged on a table.”