Apple didn’t invent or create Qi wireless charging and was actually one of the last major phone manufacturers to include wireless charging in their phones. Apple doesn’t even have an official branded Qi wireless charging pad of its own. Apple doesn’t really have anything to do with Qi charging, and inductive charging in general, except when you start to look at the bigger picture.
The Qi charging standard for inductive charging changed the landscape of smartphones as we knew it, and when it comes to the future of all phones — iPhone included — the technology has a ton to offer.
A brief history of Qi wireless charging
Qi is an open interface that is used for wireless power transfer via inductive charging that was developed by the Wireless Power Consortium. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s a bunch of companies that work together to promote the use of Qi wireless charging around the world.
Qi is a standard for inductive charging, but there were other organizations competing with Qi for a while. The biggest competitor was likely the Power Matters Alliance. Qi has largely “won” the wireless charging war. as now Qi wireless charging is available in many smartphones from almost every major phone manufacturer. Of course, it all started with one.
Remember Windows Phone? Qi wireless charging sure does
While Qi was “invented” in 2008, the first widely-available phone to adopt the Qi standard and feature wireless charging was the Nokia Lumia 920 in 2012. The Samsung Galaxy S3 (also made available in 2012) was Qi wireless charging compatible with an additional accessory, but Nokia put it into the phone itself.
Fun fact: The picture above is so old, it still has the watermark from when our sister site, Windows Central, was called Windows Phone Central — where has the time gone!
2012 marks the year when the idea of charging your phone with a cable plugged into your device started to become a thing of the past. Suddenly, you could put your phone down on a charging pad and watch the battery percentage go up — it was kind of like magic.
What does this have to do with Apple?
Look, it’s no secret that Apple was a little late to the Qi wireless charging game. It didn’t include inductive charging into its iPhone lineup until the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X was released in the fall of 2017, and by that point, plenty of other companies had been including it in their phones for a few years.
The benefit of Apple waiting a bit longer is that the company avoided the brief period where multiple wireless charging standards were prominent. Adopting the Qi standard once it came out on top was an easy decision, plus with the iPhone X being the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, a big design overhaul made a lot of sense. Regardless of why or why not Apple waited, Apple getting into the Qi wireless charging game is a big win for everyone, not just Apple users.
Regardless of whether you love or hate the iPhone, it’s one of the top-selling smartphones around the world. Lots of people use it every day, and therefore, when a company like Apple adopts new technology, the industry follows suit.
The adoption of Qi wireless charging has rapidly increased over the last few years. Airports have charging pads all over. IKEA makes lamps that have built-in Qi charging pads; even Starbucks includes tables with charging pads inside so you can enjoy your java and charge your phone. I’m not saying this growth is entirely because of Apple ( that would be a ridiculous claim), but it’s contribution certainly didn’t hurt.
What will Qi do for the future?
Recently, the internet went crazy when the rumor was reported that by 2021 the iPhone might have absolutely no ports at all. The headphone jack has been gone a while now, but this would mean the Lightning port would also be gone. There is absolutely no way this would even be in the realm of possibility if Qi wireless charging hadn’t made its way into the smartphone world back in 2012.
Of course, this is just a rumor, and that doesn’t mean changing to a portless design wouldn’t be without its problems. Over the air updates and device data recovery can be tricky but put all your doubt away for a second and think of what this could mean for the future.
Wireless charging, as of right now, is only so fast, but it’s getting faster — and something like a portless phone would only encourage development in these areas. Waterproofing phones without ports is easier (and less expensive to some degree), charging devices with other devices (like you can with Samsung’s flagship) would become even more useful, and likely prominent. The future is pretty bright for a world where Qi wireless charging reigns supreme.
None of it would be possible without the Qi wireless charging standard being included in the Lumia 920 in 2012.
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In my Apple Watch Series 5 review, I said that the addition of always-on took it from being the best smartwatch in the world to being the best damn watch period. And, three months later, I stand by that. Absolutely. 100 percent. But, it’s also something more: Not just the best watch of the year, but the best gadget of the decade.
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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries
Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.
Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver
EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.
Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.
Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.
Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.
($1 = 1,117.7000 won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum
The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.
Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.
Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.
The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.
The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.
Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.
In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.
Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.
Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.
In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.
Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.
The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.
($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)