As it turns out, Apple included the proper hardware for reverse wireless charging on the iPhone 12. The device, according to FCC filings, has the necessary parts to enable the feature which lets you wirelessly charge accessories right from your phone. Many Android phones have had it for the past couple of years, so it’s no shock to see it in the iPhone 12.
The filings were first spotted by Jeremey Horwitz of VentureBeat.
Of course, the feature’s not enabled, and it’s likely because Apple is waiting to ship an accessory that’s compatible with it. Rumor has it a revamped version of Apple’s AirPods will be MagSafe compatible and could wirelessly charge using your iPhone. It’s not clear if that will be the case, however.
According to the filings, it also appears Apple’s version of reversed wireless charging could be kind of weird. It looks like you’d have to have your iPhone plugged into the wall before you could use the feature. The FCC says reverse wireless charging works only with a USB-C cable, likely referring to Apple’s Lightning to USB-C cable every iPhone 12 ships with.
In addition, the feature would only charge devices at up to 5W, so it probably won’t be worth trying to charge something like a second phone with it.
Whether Apple will ever enable the feature remains to be seen. I’m assuming they’ll lock it down to Apple-branded accessories, but I could be wrong. What they definitely should do is add Qi wireless charging to the Apple Watch so you can charge your watch with your iPhone. That’s grasping, I know, but a reasonable idea nonetheless.
Hopefully, Apple will reveal why it included the tech inside its new phones in the future. I’ll let you know if they do.