You Can't Charge the New Apple Pencil with Qi

By Holly Brockwell on at

Not only does the original Apple Pencil not work with the new iPad Pros, not only does the new Apple Pencil not work with the old iPad Pros, but we've also now found out that the new Pencil won't wireless charge through Qi devices.

Apple is famously not such a fan of open standards, so it's perhaps not surprising that the Pencil doesn't use the widely-available Qi protocol to charge. But it is irritating, because loads of people have Qi chargers lying around, and there's no obvious reason Apple couldn't have used the popular industry standard instead of their own.

The new Pencil charges by placing it at the side of the new iPad Pro. But that's it. It won't charge with the previous iPad Pro, it won't charge with your third-party wireless chargers, and it doesn't even have a different name or model number to differentiate it from the previous version: just "(2nd Generation)" in brackets.

Just how ridiculous this is becomes apparent in this graphic, which has to rely on pictures to make it clear which Apple Pencil it's talking about, because presumably Apple didn't want to do it by price (the new one is £119, the first was £89):

The lack of Qi compatibility was uncovered by ZDNet, who wanted to check what people were actually getting for their £120.

Honestly, most people buying the Apple Pencil won't really care about this. They'll have the new iPad Pro, so they shouldn't have any trouble charging the Pencil. But that's not the point. If you're going to charge top-end prices for a piece of kit, it's a bit disingenuous to leave out functionality that would make it work with other devices. No one would care if Xiaomi's wireless charging AirPods clones weren't Qi-compatible because they cost £22, but a £119 stylus? Not great.

What do you think: no big deal, or something that'll put you off spending money that could buy you a low-end Android on the Apple Pencil? Let us know in the comments.