Qi2’s Wireless Charging: a Step Closer to Reality

Qi2, an enhanced version of the wireless charging standard, is on the verge of release. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) announced today that the first Qi v2.0 devices are nearing the end of the certification process, with the initial products expected to be available “in time for the holiday season.” The iPhone 15 series will be the first phones to receive Qi2 certification.

Qi is widely used as the open wireless charging standard embraced by both Android and iPhones. The new version, Qi2, incorporates updates to the non-magnetic Qi standard and introduces MagSafe-like rings of magnets for improved wireless charging.

Qi2 promises faster, more reliable wireless charging through the use of MagSafe-like magnets in both the device and charger, ensuring proper coil alignment with the assistance of the Magnetic Power Profile technology contributed by Apple.

Qi2 will offer charging rates of up to 15W for all compatible devices, including the iPhone 15, which will be capable of charging at this rate on a certified Qi2 charger. This advancement will make charging rates more predictable and uniform across Qi2-certified devices.

Only devices with the Magnetic Power Profile will be labeled as Qi2. Other Qi v2.0 devices that do not incorporate magnets will maintain the existing Qi logo. Additionally, all Qi v2.0 devices will be interoperable and capable of charging on both magnetic and non-magnetic chargers.

The WPC has made significant progress in certifying Qi2 devices, with the first products expected to be listed in the Qi product database by the end of this week. Various companies, including Anker, Belkin, and Mophie, have already announced Qi2 chargers, further underscoring the imminent arrival of this innovative wireless charging standard.

This Anker orb is one of the Qi2 chargers announced earlier this year. Sure is orb!
Image: Anker

Besides the iPhone 15 family, the only other known Qi2 devices at the moment are chargers and battery packs. It remains uncertain if earlier MagSafe iPhones are compatible. Nonetheless, an Apple-exclusive Qi2 would undermine the entire purpose. Thus, the question arises: which Android phone manufacturer will be the first to release a Qi2 phone?

It is possible that Google might not be the first, but it seems likely they will incorporate Qi2 in the upcoming Pixel or perhaps the one after. While browsing the WPC website on Tuesday evening, I came across this blog post announcing a new member of the WPC board of directors. Liyu Yang, the newest board member, is a wireless charging expert and a senior hardware engineer at Google, involved in the wireless charging systems of Pixel phones since 2017. According to the post, “Liyu is currently leading the investigation and design of next-generation wireless charging platforms for future Pixel products.”

Updated November 15th, 1:12PM ET: After this story first published, Apple spokesperson Jacqueline Roy confirmed via email that iPhone 15 series phones will charge at 15W on a certified Qi2 charger.

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