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[Slashdot] - Apple's iPhone 12 Seems To Have a Secret Reverse Wireless Charging Feature

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Apple's iPhone 12 lineup has the ability to wirelessly charge an external accessory, according to a series of newly unveiled FCC filings that just went public yesterday. The Verge reports: The documents first spotted by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz say the phone "supports a built-in inductive charging transmitter and receiver." Apple has not officially announced any such functionality that could be used to charge future AirPods or Apple's long rumored Tile-competitor dubbed "AirTags." "In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT [wireless power transfer] charger (puck), 2020 iPhone models ... also support WPT charging function at 360 kHz to charge accessories," one of the documents reads. It lists a series of FCC IDs of iPhones with the new feature, which include the the iPhone 12 mini (BCG-E3539A), iPhone 12 (BCG-E3542A), iPhone 12 Pro (BCG-E3545A), and iPhone 12 Pro Max (BCG-E3548A). The maximum reverse wireless charging speed is listed as 5W, if we're reading the documents correctly. It sounds like the iPhone 12's reverse wireless charging may be limited, at least at first. The documents say that "currently the only accessory that can be charged by iPhones is an external potential apple accessory in future" and that reverse charging currently "only occurs when the phone is connected to an AC power outlet." The FCC's testing appears to have been conducted using only a wall charger and USB-C cable, presumably the same USB-C to Lighting cable bundled with each iPhone 12. It's unclear why Apple did not officially reveal the functionality when it announced the phones themselves, though it could be because the accessory which works with the functionality isn't yet ready to be released. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman speculates that it might work with the company's upcoming AirPods revamp, whose existence was reported earlier this week.

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