Wireless charging is one of the more intriguing additions to the latest iPhone models, but until the AirPower officially launches at some point in the future, there is no Apple-branded wireless charger for iPhone owners to buy. That might change in the near future though, as Nikkei Asian Review, citing industry sources, reports that Apple’s next version of the AirPods charging case could double as a wireless phone charger.
“The product could be available as soon as the end of this year,” the source familiar with Apple’s plans told Nikkei this week. “However, the schedule is still subject to change.”
The report claims that the new AirPods case will be produced alongside the AirPower charging mat Apple showed off at its fall event in 2017. Apple previewed a second-generation AirPods charging case last September as well, one that would support wireless charging, but it’s unclear if this report is referring to the same device.
Providing the phone-charging AirPods case is the same one that Apple debuted last year, this report raises more than a few questions. Are we expected to perch our iPhones atop the small, curved case? Will the iPhone just need to be near the case in order to charge? And it’s worth noting that the original AirPods charging case carried a capacity of 398 mAh, which MacRumors points out is less than 15% of a full charge for the iPhone X’s 2,716 mAh battery.
Despite Apple leaks becoming increasingly common (and accurate) in recent years, we’re going to take this one with a hefty grain of salt until more evidence arises. In the meantime, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims Apple’s AirPower charging mat should be out by September, if you’re willing to wait for an Apple wireless charger.