Next-Gen AirPods Case Rumored to Wirelessly Charge Your iPhone

A sketchy new report is suggesting that a future version of the AirPods case could wirelessly charge an iPhone.

That rumor comes out of a new report by Nikkei Asian Review, citing an anonymous “industry source” who is familiar with the plans. According to Nikkei, iPhone users will “soon be able to wirelessly charge their handsets using the (AirPods) charging case.”

The report adds that the move would “add” to Apple’s AirPower charging strategy and could bring Jony Ive’s vision of a wireless future one step closer to fruition.

Of course, while it’s a cool idea, it’s hard to imagine that it would be very practical in the real world.

Why It Probably Won’t Happen

  • The AirPods charging case, in its current form factor, isn’t really designed to have a smartphone laid on top of it. Even smaller iPhones are quite a bit larger than the case, which could make the charging act a tricky balance situation. You could put the AirPods case on top of the iPhone, but then the handset would be face-down.
  • In addition, the AirPods charging case has a pretty small battery — about 398mAh. While that’s plenty to keep a pair of AirPods charged, it’s not nearly enough to provide much of a significant energy boost to an iPhone. The AirPods case could simply serve as an “emergency” boost of power, but that’s not likely. It can be assumed the AirPods case would be required to be plugged into an outlet in order to wirelessly charge an iPhone, but again, even that doesn’t seem very likely.
  • It’s also not clear whether the report is supposed to be referring to the upcoming AirPods case that will support wireless charging, a separate model, or a next-generation AirPods case slated for a release in the future. This could, however, simply be a result of a mistranslation.

Consider that the AirPower charging mat will be able to power up several devices — like an iPhone and the new AirPods charging case — simultaneously. You could then say that you’ll be able to charge an “iPhone with an AirPods case.” That’s horribly unclear, but it is technically an accurate statement.

Similarly, it’s possible that Apple floated the idea of being able to charge an AirPods case with an iPhone. In that case, the report may simply have gotten it backward.

Apple is largely expected to debut its AirPower wireless charging mat and a new compatible AirPods case this year. The most recent reports point toward a release sometime in September.

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