The iPhone 15 could be due for an important boost to its wireless charging capabilities. An upgrade that could see faster charging speeds made available to more people — particularly those that aren’t using an official Apple MagSafe charger.
According to a new rumor from ChargerLAB, the iPhone 15 family will offer support for the new Qi2 wireless charging standard. What’s more, a post from Chinese social network Weibo claims that Qi2 chargers will be able to wireless charge at 15W speeds — even if they’re not certified under the Made for iPhone program.
The Made for iPhone (MFi) program is Apple’s certification process for accessories and chargers. From a consumer standpoint, the program is supposed to offer peace of mind, since the MFi branding means products have undergone Apple’s strict quality control.
MFi-certified chargers also offer faster charging and data transfer speeds, and non-certified wireless chargers are limited to 7.5W — which isn’t particularly fast. So it goes without saying that affording the full 15W wireless charging speed to uncertified Qi2 chargers is rather a big deal. Especially if this measure kicks off with the iPhone 15.
Qi2 is based on the MagSafe standard, magnets and all, albeit without the official (and expensive) MagSafe module. One of the things Apple brings up where MFi is concerned is ensuring that products are safe and not made to a low standard. And higher levels of power make dangerous products more dangerous than otherwise would have been.
It’s possible that, because Qi2 conforms to an Apple-made standard, those fears have been mitigated.
The first steps towards a portless iPhone?
For years we’ve been hearing rumors that Apple is working on an iPhone that is completely portless. That means no charging port, be it Lightning or USB-C, and a flush design with minimal cutouts. Such a phone would naturally have to rely on wireless charging as a result.
It had been rumored that Apple was aiming to release a portless iPhone before sunsetting the Lightning port and bypassing USB-C entirely. But it seems that isn’t going to be the case. But that doesn’t mean that the idea is dead. In fact, the new pro-USB-C regulations in the EU mean Apple has a much bigger justification for ditching physical charging ports entirely.
It’s long been noted that EU regulations surrounding the USB-C port only apply to charging plugs — with little to no mention of wireless charging. So a portless iPhone would allow Apple to circumvent the mandate, and associated legislation that would prevent it from limiting charging speed with non-certified chargers in the region.
Of course, having an iPhone that’s exclusively reliant on wireless charging means wireless charging speeds need to be up to scratch. Certified or not, you don’t want your users to be stuck with 7.5W charging speeds.
In our charging test with a 20W wired charger the iPhone 14 pulled in 54% of its total charge in 30 minutes. At 7.5W speeds that figure would be closer to 20%, assuming the same levels of efficiency. That may be fine for, say, overnight charging, but next to useless if you need power in a hurry.
If this is indeed the case, I wouldn’t be surprised if official MFi wireless chargers ended up getting even faster wireless charging speeds in the future. 15W is not terrible, but Apple could be doing better. Especially since there are companies out there offering upwards of 50W wireless charging speeds.
But even parity with the Google Pixel 7 Pro, which offers up to 23W wireless charging, would be a welcome upgrade. It may even push other phone makers, like Samsung, to bolster their own wireless charging capabilities.
But until the day we start hearing some solid portless iPhone leaks, this line of thinking remains purely in the realm of speculation. Before that, we can look forward to the possibility that the iPhone 15 might offer improved wireless charging speeds for those that think $39 is a little too much to pay for a wireless charging pad.
The first Qi2 wireless chargers will reportedly be available before the holidays. In the meantime be sure to check out our iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro hubs for all the latest news and rumors regarding the upcoming flagship iPhones.
More from Tom's Guide
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.