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Apple acquires wireless charging company that holds over 300 patents

PowerbyProxi builds Qi standard-compliant modules that allow wireless charging of large devices.

  • Published: October 25, 2017 11:27 AM IST
Apple-event

Apple has just acquired a lesser-known wireless charging company from New Zealand for an undisclosed amount. The Auckland-based firm PowerbyProxi was founded in 2007 with the purpose of helping people charge everyday devices without having to plug them in, Stuff reported. Apple’s increasing focus towards wireless charging — one of the key features in the newly released iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X — might have lured the Silicon Valley giant towards PowerbyProxi.

While Apple has said that it would keep the acquired entity restricted to New Zealand, the country’s local body NZTech forecasts that wireless charging would soon become an important business in Apple’s global operations, and PowerbyProxi would eventually spread its wings. The NZ firm holds over 300 patents relating to wireless charging, and is expected to make the feature “ubiquitous” in all Apple devices. Tech circles estimate that Apple could have paid a “ten-figure” amount for the acquisition. ALSO READ: Samsung working on Apple AirPower-like wireless charging mat

PowerbyProxi, which has a 55-member workforce, specializes in Qi standard-compliant modules that allow wireless charging of large devices like drones, robots, drones, and medical equipment. The company also produces a series of higher-watt systems — thus, opening the door to wireless charging of larger, energy-sapping Apple devices like MacBooks. PowerbyProxi’s team would be “a great addition as Apple works to create a wireless future,” Dan Riccio, senior vice president of hardware engineering at Apple, stated. “We want to bring truly effortless charging to more places and more customers around the world,” he added. ALSO READ: How to add wireless charging feature to any smartphone

Meanwhile, Apple’s wireless charging vision will soon be out as it plans to launch the AirPower next year. It is a charging mat that can simultaneously charge any glass-backed iPhone and Apple Watch along with the wireless AirPods earbuds. Incidentally, Belkin and Mophie have both already developed wireless chargers for the iPhone 8. Clearly Apple isn’t putting all its apples in one basket. Apple competitors such as Samsung and Sony are also said to be building phones that have wireless charging features. But Apple has been the first to test the market by enabling the feature in its recent iPhones.

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  • Published Date: October 25, 2017 11:27 AM IST