Future iPhones could wirelessly charge MacBooks – and vice versa

iPhone 11 Pro
The iPhone 11 Pro supports wireless charging, but not in the same way (Image credit: Future)

Your next iPhone or MacBook may be able to wirelessly charge your other Apple devices in a similar way to what top-end Android phones can do.

According to a new patent filed at the end of 2019, Apple is looking at implementing reverse wireless charging. You can see the full patent filed at the US Patent and Trademark office.

This isn't the first time we've seen Apple mention the tech. The company has previously filed patents in 2018 and back in 2015 for similar technology.

However, this is the first time Apple has filed a patent for the tech since reverse wireless charging has been commonly available on flagship Android devices.

A lot of top-end Android phones - including the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Huawei P40 - support reverse wireless charging where you're able to share your phone's battery with another device.

This patent from Apple suggests it'd also work with MacBook devices as well, allowing you to charge your iPhone or Apple Watch on your laptop without the need for wires.

There's also a mention of the MacBook being able to be recharged by an iPhone. Exactly how that would work - especially considering MacBooks have far bigger batteries than iPhones - is unclear, but it's an interesting concept.

Previously a report has said the iPhone 11 series had the hardware necessary for reverse wireless charging, but the company turned it off in the software before the devices were available.

Does that mean it's something we're set to see in iOS 14 or macOS 10.16? We'll have to wait until WWDC 2020 - now an online-only event - to see if the feature is set to be included in the new software.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.