Qi2: The next version of the wireless charging standard, now with more magnets! – is more almost here than ever. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) announced today that the first Qi v2.0 devices are almost in the certification process, with the first available “in time for the holiday season” and more than 100 in certification testing or waiting in line. The iPhone 15 series will be the first Qi2 certified phones.
Qi is the open wireless charging standard that almost everyone uses. It’s on Android and iPhone, and MagSafe is built on top of it. Version 2.0 includes updates to the non-magnetic Qi standard, which we’ll get to, but also introduces Qi2.
Qi2 promises faster, less complicated wireless charging using MagSafe-like magnetic rings on both the device and charger to ensure proper coil alignment. When I say MagSafe-type, I mean that Apple contributed Magnetic Power Profile technology to the new standard.
In addition to easier alignment, Qi2 will offer the same higher charging speeds (up to 15W) for all compatible devices. Right now, iPhones can only charge up to 7.5W with regular Qi chargers (with or without magnets); They can output 15W, but only with more expensive MagSafe-certified chargers. Meanwhile, Android phones could charge up to 15W (but actually 9 or 10W) with those same standard Qi chargers, including ones with magnets, but would only charge at 5W or less with MagSafe chargers.
Qi2 should make charging rates much more predictable. After this article was first published, Apple spokesperson Jacqueline Roy confirmed The edge via email that the iPhone 15 will charge up to 15W with a certified Qi2 charger. That same charger will also charge other Qi2-certified devices, including future Android phones, at the same rate.
Only Qi version 2.0 devices with magnetic power profile, i.e. generic MagSafe, will get Qi2 branding. According to today’s press release from WPC, the other part of the v2.0 update consists of “an improvement to the existing wireless charging Extended Power Profile (EPP) that does not include magnets but complies with the Qi v 2.0 standard.” Qi v2.0 devices that do not have magnets will not get the Qi2 branding, but will retain the existing Qi logo.
Paul Golden, marketing director at WPC, said all Qi v2.0 devices “share a common compatibility layer” and will be able to interoperate: a magnetic charger will still charge a non-magnetic Qi v2.0 device, and vice versa. vice versa. I asked him if Qi2 (the magnetic version) could be added to existing Qi devices via third-party accessories such as cases, and he replied: “We hope this will be possible in the future.”
The last time we heard from the WPC, when the iPhone 15 with “future Qi2 wireless charging” was launched, the standards body was waiting for its certification equipment to be delivered. Several companies had already announced Qi2 chargers, including Anker, Belkin and Mophie, but those chargers need certification for release. The first one should finally pass through certification later this week, and they will be listed Qi Product Database when they do it.
Aside from the iPhone 15 family, the only other Qi2 devices we know of so far are chargers and battery packs. We don’t even know if previous MagSafe iPhones are compatible. But an Apple-exclusive Qi2 ruins the whole thing. So which Android phone maker will be the first to launch a Qi2 phone?
Google may not be the first, but I’m pretty sure it will include Qi2 in the next Pixel or possibly the one after that. While poking around the WPC website on Tuesday afternoon (as is often the case), I found this blog post announcing a new member of the WPC board of directors. Liyu YangThe newest member of the board, he is a wireless charging expert and senior hardware engineer at Google who has worked on the wireless charging systems for Pixel phones since 2017. According to the post, “Liyu is currently leading the research and design of next-generation wireless charging platforms. for future Pixel products.”
Updated November 15 at 1:12 pm ET: After this story was first published, Apple spokesperson Jacqueline Roy confirmed via email that the iPhone 15 series phones will charge at 15W with a certified Qi2 charger.