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The iPhone 11 reportedly has the hardware for a missing feature we might never see

Published Sep 13th, 2019 1:46PM EDT
iPhone 11 Features
Image: Tony Avelar/AP/Shutterstock

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In a series of last-minute iPhone 11 leaks that dropped just before Apple’s event, we learned that one of the rumored features of the iPhone 11 may not be coming after all. That’s the bilateral wireless charging support that we’ve already seen on a variety of flagships, such as the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the Galaxy S10, and the Note 10.

Earlier than that, reports said that all three iPhone 11 models would support reverse wireless charging, allowing users to recharge devices like AirPods, the Apple Watch, and other phones from the iPhone. Some reports even claimed that the repositioning of the Apple logo on the back of the iPhones was related to the wireless charging feature, providing users a visual indication of where the gadget should be placed on the back of the iPhone. Apple never mentioned the feature on stage during the event, but a new report claims that all the hardware for the feature is in place on all the three phones. The feature, however, is not enabled.

The revelation comes from noted Apple leaker Sonny Dickson, who took to Twitter to say that that bilateral charging hardware is present on all iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro phones, but the software is disabled:

It’s unclear why Apple canned the feature, but if the above is true, then the company must have decided to disable it late in the game, at a point where hardware changes were no longer possible.

Insider Ming-Chi Kuo said a few days ago that the feature was abandoned because “the charging efficiency may not meet Apple’s requirements.” Kuo did not go into any further detail, though.

Apple has canceled the AirPower universal wireless charger because it failed to address various issues with wireless charging, but the company never explained what went wrong. It’s unlikely that Apple will share any details about the iPhone 11’s supposedly disabled reverse wireless charging, either.

iPhone 11 teardowns that will take place as soon as the iPhone 11 models ship next week will tell us if the hardware is there, as Dickson claims. That doesn’t mean, however, that Apple will enable wireless charging on the handsets at any point in the future, just because the hardware can support it.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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