Apple reportedly developing new wireless charging technology

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is helping to develop new technology that would enable devices to be charged wirelessly from further away than current charging mats, according to Bloomberg.

Citing unnamed "people familiar with the plans," Bloomberg said the iPhone maker is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to overcome technical barriers such as the loss of power from a distance. No decision has been made about when the technology could come to market, according to the report, but it could be in iOS devices as early as next year.

Battery recharging technologies remain a key concern of device vendors, of course, and heavyweights such as Google and Samsung have pursued wireless charging for years. Chip vendors Broadcom and Qualcomm are also developing technologies and standards for wireless charging.

And Apple is no stranger to the concept: It filed a patent application in 2010 for a model in which an Apple desktop to wirelessly charge devices nearby, as Bloomberg notes, and the Apple Watch uses a magnetic charging cable or dock rather than a traditional cord.

The iPhone was clearly a revolutionary device, but Apple has sometimes struggled to differentiate its iconic handset with high-end Android devices in recent years. And sales of the iPhone are flattening as smartphone penetration rates plateau and replacement cycles slow. If Apple can find a way to allow users to charge their iOS devices more conveniently, it could result in a very compelling new feature.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg report

Special Report:  Starbucks, IKEA, Samsung: Is 2015 the year of wireless charging technology?

Related articles:
Apple's new case highlights battery problems plaguing the industry
Samsung launches computer monitor with wireless phone charging stand
Purdue researchers develop HUSH smartphone tool that shuts off apps to save battery life