Look for iPhones and iPads with inductive charging in 2016

It's just a matter of time before Apple brings inductive charging to the iPhone and iPad as it has with the Apple Watch. The company has filed for a patent (number 20150288193) with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for "inductive power transfer using acoustic or haptic devices."

Inductive charging (also known as "wireless charging") uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two objects. This is usually done with a charging device such as the Apple Watch charging cable. Energy is sent through an inductive coupling to an electrical device, which can then use that energy to charge batteries or run the device.

The magnetic charging cable that comes with the Apple Watch combines Apple's MagSafe technology with inductive charging. It’s a completely sealed system free of exposed contacts. 

You can expect to see the same thing available for iPhones and iPads soon. Apple has lots of patents with ideas that never come to fruition, but I think we'll see this one in 2016 (after all, Samsung, has already been touting how some of its phones offer inductive charging).

Here's Apple's summary of patent filing 20150288193: "A first electronic device includes a first coil that is operative in at least two modes. In a first mode, the first coil may be utilized to moves a membrane to produce one or more sound waves, register movement of a membrane to detect one or more sound waves, or generates one or more haptic outputs. 

"In the second mode, the first coil may be used to inductively transmit power to and/or inductively receive power from a second coil included in a second electronic device. In various cases, the second coil may be a dedicated inductive power transmission coil. In other cases, the second coil may be capable of multimode operation similar to the first coil."