Apple has reportedly been working on launching a portless iPhone in 2021. A new patent granted to the company earlier this month describes how it could make the necessary changes to its iPhone battery case to ensure it works with an iPhone sans a Lightning connector.
The existing iPhone battery cases from Apple charge the iPhone using the Lightning connector itself, though they themselves can be charged wirelessly. If Apple indeed goes ahead with its plan of launching an iPhone in 2021 without ports, it will have to tweak the design of its battery case accordingly as well. A patent granted to the company earlier this month points to the Cupertino company working on a smart battery case that will feature dual wireless charging coils for bidirectional charging.
The patent notes that the battery case will have “first and second coils on opposing sides of a battery and has switching circuitry that is coupled between the first and second coils.” By using this dual coil design, the battery case will be able to wirelessly charge a device using the second coil while charging itself using the first coil. In a “closed state,” the battery case will be able to short the first and second coils together to allow the current that’s flowing from the first coil to pass through the second coil and charge the device directly. Basically, this means that the battery case can directly charge the iPhone wirelessly instead of first charging its own battery when the circuit is closed.
If Apple does indeed goes ahead with its plans of launching an iPhone without a Lighting port in 2021, we could see the company debut its new Smart Battery case alongside the device or a few months later as well. While the technology described in the patent is definitely impressive, heat is a major factor with wireless charging and it remains to be seen how Apple will take care of that.