Despite the fact that Apple has only publicly acknowledged wireless charging for about four months, it's actually been around for many years. Crazy right? Who would have thought Apple didn't invent all these things themselves. Oh right, everyone who had a decent non-Apple phone before September.
The problem was that while the Qi wireless charging standard was the most popular, it wasn't the only standard knocking around. That looks to be changing, though, since its next biggest rival has thrown in the towel.
Powermat was the only serious contender to Qi's dominance, but now it's conceded and backed Qi by joining the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). Elad Dubzinski, Powermat CEO, said in a statement:
“Qi has become the dominant wireless charging standard on the market and the recently launched Apple iPhone lineup is evidence of this success. Powermat will share technology innovation to further unlock wireless charging potential, and will expedite the growth of the wireless charging infrastructure, bringing wireless charging to wherever users need it”.
Qi was always ahead of Powermat in terms of support, with a large number of big phone companies opting for Qi wireless charging. Some of them, like Samsung, also offered Powermat on certain models, but for the most part Powermat was struggling to hang on. When Apple declared its support for Qi with the launch of the iPhone 8 and X, that was basically it. Today's announcement just confirms what most people already figured out for themselves.
With Powermat supporting Qi it makes things an awful lot easier for consumers, since they don't have to try and figure out which standard their phone supports when buying an inductive charging pad. Hopefully it also means they can pool their resources and find ways to make the system faster and more efficient. [Powermat via Engadget]