The next generation upgrade for the global wireless charging standard, Qi, was announced at CES 2023 in January. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) took the covers off Qi2, which is based on Apple's MagSafe technology, at the event. Qi2 certified phones and chargers are expected to arrive in the holiday season of 2023. Recently, the WPC announced that Qi2 is almost at the finish line as the first mobile devices with the new wireless charging standard were set to complete certification testing. This means, we could soon see MagSafe wireless charging technology on Android phones.
Qi2, like MagSafe, will feature magnetic attachment with phones, faster charging, higher efficiency and greater convenience, according to WPS. The first Qi2 certified products are set to come to market in the holiday season, starting with Apple's iPhone 15 lineup. Android phones are expected to follow suit, adopting the Qi2 profile. According to WPS, Belkin, Mophie, Anker, and Aircharge have already announced Qi2 charging products and over 100 devices are currently in testing or in the certification testing queue.
According to the WPC, the Qi2 standard comprises two profiles, the Magnetic Power Profile (MPP) which is based on MagSafe technology contributed by Apple to the consortium and branded with the Qi2 logo, and the Extended Power Profile (EPP), which is an improvement to the existing wireless charging, that does not include magnets but complies with the Qi2 standard. New Qi2 EPP products will be branded with the existing Qi logo, WPS said in its press release earlier this month.
With Android phones adopting the new Qi2 standard, we could soon see the MagSafe-based MPP profile on upcoming Android phones. New wireless chargers would be able to magnetically attach to compatible Android devices, just like a MagSafe charger attaches to an iPhone. Additionally, with magnetic attachment coming to Android phones, a bunch of magnet-based phone accessories, which are currently available for iPhone models, could also arrive for Android devices. These include MagSafe-compatible cases, magnetic wallets, battery packs and more.
“These certified Qi2 chargers provide smoother, faster charging that is more energy efficient, and offers wide interoperability,” Paul Struhsaker, executive director for the WPC, had said in the release. “Plus, Qi2's magnetic attachment also means consumers will no longer have to fuss in trying to adjust the positioning of their devices to ensure perfect alignment between phone and charger.”
Recently, the Google Pixel 9 lineup was also tipped to launch with the Qi2 wireless charging standard. A Google senior hardware engineer Liyu Yang, who has been working on wireless charging systems on Pixel handsets since 2017, recently joined WPC as a board member. According to WPC, Yang is currently in charge of the research and development of next-generation wireless charging technology on upcoming Pixel products, thus suggesting Pixel 9 series may come with Qi2 wireless charging support.
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