08.28.2017 by @Reform_Justice
Today it was leaked that the new iPhone 8s are indeed coming in September and that they are going to address a longstanding consumer request. That they be made capable of wireless charging. Wireless cellphone and other device charging isn’t new. Many people question what has taken Apple so long to tackle this seemingly straightforward issue. Today’s leak seems to answer that question.
It took Apple this long to get around to deciding they need to once again make their own standard and to reject the industry wide and accepted Qi charging technology.
This is typical post Steve Jobs Apple. Instead of working with other platforms such as Netflix or Amazon, Apple launched their own streaming TV service. Long protective of their music distribution, this came as no surprise. A long laundry list of smaller Apple defiance has been the topic of discussion for years. As a longtime supporter of Apple products, It has seemed for some time that Apple’s focus hasn’t been on the product or the consumer. Their focus is squarely on the bottom line and how they can flex what they see as their market influence.
The Qi (pronounced Chee) wireless battery charging technology has become industry accepted as the chosen method thus eliminating the need for multiple charges and confusion in the marketplace. The name was developed by the Wireless Power Consortium who held their first meeting in Honk Kong in 2008. The term “Qi” represents the life force circulating in all of us and is a central tenet of Eastern Philosophy..
qi CHē/ noun
- the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine.
The shared technology decisions reached by the consortium are nothing short of inspirational in the modern marketplace. Cell phone users had become tired of the changing power adaptors an different connectors each manufacturer utilized in efforts to squeeze the last dollars out of any consumer they could get their hands on. Here was a technology that would modernize worldwide communications and standardize the way an on-the-go mobile generation would charge on-the-fly. All over the world in bars, restaurants, internet cafes, and many other places, people have gotten used to the very handy option of charging on-the-go.
If Apple has their way, consumers will be faced with some very stark decisions. Apple, according to the leak today, will ship the new iPhone 8s with the wireless hardware on-board, but the capability to charge wirelessly won’t be “turned on” until a later IOS update. This leaves us to wonder if today’s leak is a trial balloon or market litmus test or an outright threat to the entire industry. Apple claims their chargers will work on a 7.5 watts instead of the Qi 1.2 standard of 15 watts. We assume there will also be some form of codec that is transmitted within the signal to prevent simple wattage reduction by third party manufacturers. Instead, Apple want to force manufacturers to buy licensing to make Apple compliant wireless chargers.
The questions raised by this leak today are many. Why would Apple not simply adopt the industry and worldwide Qi standard in order to increase market share? Apple will invariably push away customers once again with this update. It would seem the bean-counters over at Apple have decided that trying to bilk consumers and back-end third party manufacturers outweighs compatibility, environmental concerns, and one of the huge reasons people shy away from Apple in the first place. In short: APPLE DOESN’T CARE. In order to utilize the Qi chargers we have around our house we have adaptive cases for our Apple phones. While an inconvenience, the workaround was a minor issue. If Apple makes it impossible for there to be a work-around, they may have just lost another customer. Or thousands.
I have a new Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and one of the features that sold me on the vehicle was the built-in Qi charger in the console. This is extremely handy for on-the-go work and play. A person can set up a mobile hotspot anywhere they have cell signal, set the phone on the charger and work indefinitely while away from a desk or wall plug. We use iPhones and have since they came out. Every year more and more vehicle manufacturers are getting on board with new technology and are including Qi charging systems as a part of the package. Here is a non-exhaustive list as of the beginning of this past year:
With this latest update, it would appear that Apple is going to war with Qi and is going to try to set a new industry standard. There is just one problem. Apple does not dominate the cellphone market to the degree they think they do.
We see in these studies that Apple holds approximately a 14.8% market share. Recent sales numbers show a flat growth/ decline model for IOS but at the same time more units were sold, thus Apple has recently lost market share.
Until now people have become adaptable and figured out a way around Apple’s many quirks and outright inconveniences. If they continue to ignore the needs and desires of a more than ever mobile and global society, what does the future look like for the iPhone? To take this one step further, judging by Apple’s latest arrogance to the market, would it be any surprise if the iPhone 8s successors do away with wired charging altogether? Thus, FORCING people to outlay for several pricey Apple only wireless charging devices? Your guess is as good as ours. But if this titan of industry doesn’t wake up soon, we may be talking and typing to you on non-Apple devices in the very near future.
You as consumers have a voice. Steve Jobs is watching…
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